Tag Archives: marriage

Furniture Fracas

I’ve never been a big believer in fine furniture. I like to sit on my chairs and couches, walk on my rugs and put food and drinks on the end tables. Consequently, my furniture is not always the most attractive or the nicest, but I at least am familiar with it. I’m not sure I can say the same for Roy after this weekend.
My good, overstuffed rocker, which matched Roy’s, had finally given up the fight. While Roy’s chair held up well, mine had slowly, gradually broken down over the years. I tend to sleep in it when I’m having a restless night and working as a pseudo-bed for a woman my size had caused it to send in its resignation by dropping closer and closer to the floor while spitting mysterious bolts out of every orifice. When it began to overturn randomly and spill me onto the floor, I knew it was time to find something else.

I brought up the idea one night when Roy was tired from working late and not in the mood to discuss furnishings.

“I need a new chair,” I said as he was shoveling in his supper in a hurry. 

“There’s nothing wrong with my chair,” he answered in a distracted fashion, tuning in to the news.

“I know that. It’s my chair,” I answered testily.

“Your chair is fine,” he was no longer interested in the subject, I could tell.

“My chair is a broken-down ride at the amusement park from hell,” I whined. “It tips and rocks and dumps me out in the middle of the ride. I need something new.”

“Fine, go ahead, go shopping,” he muttered, his mind on the newspaper now in front of him.

It was what I had been waiting to hear. I was being turned loose with the family checkbook and permission to get extravagant. Okay, okay, so he never said get extravagant, but I can interpret it any way I want, right? It was time to be bold.

I looked and considered several dozen chairs at the store. I made the salesman a little edgy I think, because I kept going from chair to chair, searching for the perfect one. I know nothing about chairs so I kept asking questions like, “How much weight does the foot rest on this one hold? I have fat feet you know.” On the leather one, I inquired, “How many cows died in order for this chair to live?”

Finally, I found it. It was the perfect chair. It was dark brown, plush, overstuffed and had a foot rest that I could actually operate. The problem? It was a little expensive. Okay, it was very expensive. But it was the one I wanted, so I shut my eyes and got it.

Roy was still busy so I didn’t bother him with little things like the price or the fact that I had to haul it home. I put it in the pickup (or rather, they did) and I drove on my merry way home. But while I was at the store, I picked up a large, very pretty cover for my ugly old couch and brought that home at the same time.

By swearing, sweating and sometimes dragging the thing, I managed to get the chair into the living room and all set up. It looked beautiful…expensive, but beautiful. Then, for good measure, I put the new cover on the couch and  it looked pretty good too. Then I sat down to wait for Roy to come home and admire my new chair.

I was honest; I met him at the door and told him the price first thing. “How much?” he hollered, “that’s ridiculous.”

He was still blustering when he walked into the living room. He walked right by my brand new chair and ran his hands over the new cover on the old couch.

“Oh, this is really nice,” he said. “I thought you were getting a chair, but this is really a bargain for a couch.”

And now for my dilemma: Do I tell him the truth or do I just sit in my expensive new chair and let it go?

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Dinner at 8…or got ate, or something

When it comes to meal time at my house, Roy and I have somewhat differing views on the subject. If it was up to me, we’d eat every meal out…but of course, I don’t usually pay for them. If it was up to Roy, we’d eat every meal in…but of course, he doesn’t usually cook them.

So, we nightly perform a little dance we like to call the “what are we going to do about dinner?” He can come up with a ton of excuses for why we should eat in and I can come up with an equal number of excuses for why we should eat out.

First, it’s a waiting game. Roy waits until the last possible hope he has of me cooking before he says, “Uh, what’s for supper?”

I, on my side, have been waiting as long as I can for him to offer to take me out. “Well, I don’t know, perhaps I could defrost something and we could eat in a couple of hours.” I’m counting on him being too hungry to want to do that.20151116_093656

“Well, okay. Maybe I’ll have a piece of jelly bread while I’m waiting,” he’s affable and agreeable if he thinks I may fix something.

“There’s no jelly and no bread,” I snarl, “and if we don’t go out to eat, you’re getting oatmeal and not with a smile.”

Then, there are all the holidays I can come up with for going out to celebrate.

“It’s Restaurant Appreciation Day,” I announce as we both come in the door after work.

“What’s that?” he’s suspicious immediately.

“That’s where you are supposed to show how much you appreciate your favorite restaurant by going to it to eat,” I reply hopefully.

“And which restaurant is your favorite,” he asks, but he already knows the answer.

“Oh, I’m not fussy, I like them all. You pick one,” I am so delighted I may get to go out.

“I really like Fauth’s Kitchen, that’s my favorite,” he answers craftily.

“I wouldn’t eat there if I was you,” I say between my teeth, “because the cook there is very likely to spit in your food.” So much for being subtle!

I’ve tried everything. I told Roy one night we had to eat out because I had sprained my wrist and couldn’t handle the pans. He very obligingly came out and moved the pans for me every time they needed it.

Another time, I told him that I was just too tired to cook right then. He generously volunteered to take the phone off the hook so I could have a nap before I cooked dinner. He said he would have some jelly bread to tide him over.

Then there was the time I told him it was “National Give your Kitchen a Rest Day.” He fired up the grill for me.

Tonight, I tried a new tactic. “Honey, I spent so much time washing and ironing your shirts so that you will be ready for work, that I just didn’t get anything started for supper. I don’t know how soon I could get a meal going and I’m sure you’re starving.”

“I’ll get something out of the freezer for you,” he answered calmly. “You can get out the bread and jelly for me.”

© Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In the Well, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In The Well with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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My Nursing May Be Hazardous to your Health

For those who know me well, the following statement will not come as a surprise: My nursing skills could be fatal. You need a band-aid? I might be able to help—provided its not bleeding or icky. You need someone to tend you while you’re sick? Forget me; you’d be better off with a construction worker using a sledge and a jackhammer.

Just to give you an idea, let’s explore Roy’s last illness. He doesn’t get sick very often because he knows what kind of nursing he will get and he wants to live. But, one day he came home with a scratchy throat. lozenge-462867_1280When he was foolish enough to admit to it, I followed him around the house for a day holding out orange juice and some throat lozenges I found in the back of the medicine cabinet. The orange juice burned his sore throat and the throat lozenges expired in 2010, but he took them both just to get rid of me.

Then, the poor man developed a cough. Now, I have to admit that when it comes to other people coughing, I’m selfish.  At the first cough, I fling my hand, my sleeve or the nearest gas mask over my face. I’ve seen all those epidemic movies, you know. All those diseases that wipe out whole populations always begin with someone coughing. Roy is on his own with a cough, because I am not dying of some mutated plague that begins with him coughing!

The fever came next. He dragged himself home from work and went straight to bed. Of course, plenty of rest was what he needed. I did my nursing  job by flinging open the bedroom door every ten minutes and inquiring, “You okay?” The first time I let the cat in. She climbed on top of him and he was forced to get up and  throw her out. The second time I checked, I found a spider on the door. My shriek caused him to sit straight up in bed, convinced, I’m sure, that we were under nuclear attack at the least.

At that point, he was ungrateful enough to request that I leave him ALONE. Of course I could do that. All he had to do was ask.  I left him alone  for an hour, then tiptoed in and whispered in his ear, “You any better?” He wasn’t, especially after he jerked his head up in surprise and cracked it on my jaw. I left him for another hour, then opened the door so slowly that it made that weird, creaking noise. He turned over in bed with a sigh. “I still feel lousy,” he muttered.

“I’m so sorry, what can I get you?” I asked in my most understanding nurse’s voice.

“I would love some takeout from HuHot,” he said.

“But honey, I’d have to drive for four hours to get you take out from there,” I protested.

“Good; maybe go twice then,” he punched his pillow, pulled the blanket over his head and rolled over on his other side.

For those of you who think it couldn’t have happened that way, you’re right. I did leave out some parts, like when I brought him aspirin and water and dropped the aspirin under the bed and spilled the water on him. Then, there was the cold pack I put on his feet while he was sleeping, because they told me it would help with fever—it didn’t.

If you’re worried about Roy, though, he did recover his health. But I think it might have been in spite of my nursing efforts; not because of them. My nursing skills should probably come with one of those government hazard warnings!

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Nailing It!

Photo Credit: saferbuild.com

Photo Credit: saferbuild.com

Back in the heady, early days of our marriage, Roy and I had a dream of building our own house. We would let someone else frame up the outside, we fantasized, and then we would work together, using the labor of our hands and the rhythm of our own love to build the inside.

Then we woke up and realized that our marriage would never survive a full-out, building your own house experience. We learned this through painful experiences in remodeling or repairing things in our existing home. The pain, the tears, the whining—and that was just Roy, whose idea it usually was! To put it in Roy’s own, sweet words, “One of us would have gone off the roof; and it would almost have been an accident!”

It isn’t that I’m a poor assistant. It’s that I have to assist at all. Roy is one of those perfectionists, who measures everything to the exact second and I am a “slop-it-up-and-call-it-good” type. So, while I am standing there, holding it against the wall, Roy is standing back, measuring, trimming, leveling, to make sure it’s right. Frequently he attaches it to the wall to the phrase, “Put a nail in it, for pete’s sake, before I let go and drop it on your head!”

It isn’t just nailing things up which creates a problem when Roy and I go into construction together. We don’t play and paint well together, either. I need drop cloths and tape around the edges and I still make a mess. Roy can paint anything without a single drip or smear. The biggest fight we have had in recent history was after he carefully edged and painted  the white ceiling and then left me to roll paint on the yellow walls. When he arrived home from work, I pointed proudly to my finished work.

“What’s that spot up there?” he pointed at a spot on the edge of the ceiling.

“Oh that? Well, I got too enthusiastic and the roller hit the ceiling a little, but I painted it over with white, again,” I was a little defensive.

“I can see that, because now there’s some white on the yellow wall, and by the way, the white didn’t cover the yellow on the ceiling.” It goes without saying that there was no compliment on my painting job….or further conversation at all….or supper, for that matter!

Varnishing has always been one of the biggest issues for us, because we have re-done so much furniture and worked on cabinets. I am pretty good at sanding although I’m not a fan of it. I can even stain, when it becomes necessary, although Roy is much better at it. But varnishing with the perfectionist is not fun.

Varnish is thin, and clear and drippy. Roy is pretty good at applying the varnish well, but one of these days he’s going to get a face plant with a full varnish brush when he follows along behind  me and cleans up the varnish drips I leave.

He’s a firm believer in three coats of varnish. You know what that means: put on the first layer, wait forever for it to dry, sand it lightly, apply the next coat and etc. By the end of the application of the second coat I’m ready to be done, but Roy is still lightly sanding and wiping down on the third coat three days later. I tried to help with the sanding once, but he got upset because I may have sanded so hard I took off all of the varnish and some of the stain. Some people are so picky.

Roy, prepping for hanging drywall

Roy, prepping for hanging drywall

So, as you can see, the dream of building our own home quickly faded on the horizon of our lives and because of that, we have for the most part remained happily married (don’t check this fact with Roy when we are doing repair work). However, this week, we are hanging sheetrock in a room in the basement and so, it probably means that you don’t want to ask about the status of our relationship. Roy has elected to use a manual hammer for this project rather than a nail gun. I think that’s probably a lot safer, don’t you?

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