July 20, 2018

thank fuck breathing is an autonomic function

Every couple has a pretty good hit ratio on areas of compatibility.  Take P.J. and me.  We both hate centipedes, olives, and the entire Republican administration.  We love taking boxes to Goodwill and heavy cursing.  We both have memories that suffer as a result of various medications, mine for being bat-shit crazy and hers for back pain.

Me:  "How much dog food did you put in her bowl this time?  Because this is the second day she ate most of it but didn't finish the last little bit in her bowl.  Are you just putting too much in there?"

P.J.:  "I fed her yesterday.  Did she do it again today?"

Me:  "Yeah.  And you fed her both times."

P.J.:  "I did?  I don't think I fed her tonight."

Me:  "Yes, you did, I remember you doing it.  You fed her."

P.J.:  "Okay, I did.  Maybe she doesn't like that food.  Is it a new kind?"

Me:  "Oh, wait, I fed her tonight.  So I put too much.  Or she doesn't like it.  Yeah, you fed her yesterday.  I thought I did."

P.J.:  "It's a wonder we even remember to breathe, you know?"


I cannot stress enough here the relief that comes from knowing I'm not alone, or being judged by the one person whose opinion I value most, for having a memory like baby Swiss at this point.  I think she feels the same.  But we do remember to breathe, and pay the bills, and take out the garbage (usually), and make important phone calls (occasionally), and deal with unpleasant things in the garage (that happened this one time).  We muddle along all right.

The one glaring area of incompatibility, exempting all of the ones that come from our mental illnesses either clashing or perpetuating each other, is time management.  Most couples probably have this, the thing where one person is an approval junkie and really values punctuality and tries to push and prod and make sure everyone gets out of the door on time, while the other person is rebellious and resents being asked to get up early, or even at a particular hour that isn't early, and to be ready to leave or stay and do a thing at whatever o'clock.

I suspect this is the underlying cause of some divorces.  It isn't a small thing.

I'm the punctuality junkie in our own little corner of life here.  P.J. thinks deadlines and schedules can and should go fuck themselves with a cucumber.  She chooses a cucumber because I'm allergic to them.  It's passive-aggressive.  I give her major points for this.

Alas, it often falls to me to wake her on mornings like this, when we're about to hit the road on a five-hour drive to go visit family.  And here I experience trepidation.  Earlier, I steeled myself and walked in to initiate the first part, which is always the "five more minutes" bit.  Accomplished that.  Returned to my coffee, waited ten minutes, returned for the real deal.  I put my hand on her elbow until she woke.

Then I quickly backed away a bit, toward the dresser.  She just looked at me and there was this pregnant moment of uncertainty about whether it was going to be a Whimper Day or a Growl Day.  It was a Whimper Day.  I don't like those.  They make me want to stab myself in the eye with a corn cob holder for disturbing my dear one's peaceful oblivion to the world and bring her back to an awareness that there are spiders in the world and Trump will irreparably fuck up something international today* and the kitchen floor is dirty.

But we're up and about now, and I should be packing instead of blogging, but to hell with that because no matter what, I know I'll be ready on time.  And that I'll forget at least two things.  Making a list doesn't help.  I leave things off, and then forget where I put the list.

She's making coffee.  The Keurig is squeaking and sort of wheezing while brewing the coffee.  "Is the Keurig supposed to be making that noise?" I just called.  "Um, I doubt it," she said.  "Oh.  Okay."  Whatever.  That's for when we get back home.

Road trip!

I think I forgot to put gas in the van.  Or maybe she did.  Who cares?

*This, too, seems to be a sort of autonomic function for him, as natural as breathing.

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