Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Guy


Marriage is a partnership
.
Combining your strengths to overcome weaknesses. Working together to accomplish goals, pay the bills, raise the kids.

It’s about sacrifices, sharing, laughter and love.

But sometimes you gotta wonder if it’s just a load of crap. Because...really...I got a sneaking suspicion I’ve just been had.

***

“Let’s get after it,” my husband ordered, marching into the kitchen, bundled in winter garb, a snow shovel resting over his shoulder and on his face a look of determination that probably mimicked the guys who dug the Panama Canal. No job, you know, is never too big. With a little bit of crazy thrown in.

I carefully pulled the afghan over my head and snuggled deeper into the couch cushions, pretending indifference or deafness, whichever would get me out of the task at hand.

I was warm, I was cozy and I was definitely not in the mood to get involved.

Consider me France.

I quickly felt a poke at my side. I peeked over the edge of the blanket to find the business end of one snow shovel hovering over my person.

“Hey,” I hollered, “that’s spousal abuse.”

“Hey,” my husband hollered back. “It’s a warning. There’s over half a foot of snow on the driveway, and it’s not going anywhere by itself. Get moving.”

I sighed. “It’s cold, and there’s a lot of snow out there. Let’s just call The Guy. I love The Guy.” I paused. “He’s awesome.”

“No,” he answered. “We are not calling The Guy to blade the driveway. We’re Americans. Descended from a long line of other hard-working Americans who put their blood, sweat and tears into their land to make it better for future generations. And they did not - in fact - ever call The Guy.”

I snickered, “You’re not concerned about making our home better for future generations. You just want to clear the driveway so you can go get beer.”

He simply answered, “So what’s wrong with that?”

***

“OK, here’s the deal,” my husband instructed. “I’ll make the first pass then you follow. Between the two of us, we can get this knocked out quickly.”

I reached up with my gloved hand to shove up the stocking cap that had fallen over one eye.

Stupid winter clothes. I was wearing three layers, including ski pants, snow boots, wool socks and I was still freezing.

Then I looked at my husband and pointed.

“I have a question,” I said. “How come you have the better shovel?”

He looked at the ergonomic, back-saving, lighter, plastic fancy one clutched in his gloved hand and waved it in the direction of the one I held, a short-handled, heavy metal scooped monstrosity I struggled to lift higher than two inches from the ground and old enough to have been used during the Spanish Inquisition.

He shrugged, “‘Cuz I have to move the most snow.”

I arched an eyebrow in response and answered, “But I’m smaller. Shorter. I bring less leverage to the table.” As I said it, the wooden handle slipped through my gloved hand and dropped the metal end of the shovel on the toe of my right boot.

SON-OF-A-BISCUIT!

Too scared to look, I clapped my hands over my eyes and screamed, “MY TOES! OH MY GOD! ARE MY TOES STILL THERE!?”

Silence from the husband front greeted my outburst.

I cracked one eye and braved a peek downward. No bloody stumps greeted me. No blood squirting across the driveway.

My toes were still there. My shoulders slumped. Dammit.

You know it’s a bad day when you wish for severed digits. The look on my husband’s face said he agreed.
I reached down, grabbed the shovel and said, “Are you sure you don’t want to call ---.”He interrupted, “If you say ‘The Guy’ one more time, we’re gonna have words.”

Ouch. “And don’t forget, lift with your legs.”

The death glare that shot outta my eyes should have melted him on the spot...that is, if my darn hat hadn’t slipped down over my face again.

Stupid winter.

***

Two hours, four cramped hands and one bruised kidney later (that’s what happens when a guy turns his back within striking distance of my shovel) the driveway was once again cleared for use.

The husband left for his beer, and I was back on the couch contemplating my life before marriage and home ownership and wondering if The Guy was married....

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