Marriage, from what I can tell, is about reciprocity. Helping your spouse is essential to running a smooth household; even more so when your gremlin offspring make your home look like a Jackson Pollock painting. Jeremy makes sure important things like the furnace and vacuum are working, and I scrape peanut butter off the ceiling fan. Talk about a great team! There are certain things, however, that make me want to rip my nose hair out. It’s not that I don’t like helping my husband; I do. It’s just that all the things he asks me to do are very, very hard. And I don’t just mean they’re annoying (they are) or that I’d rather be napping (I would), but Jeremy’s idea of “helping him” is very different from my own. For example, I might ask him to empty the dishwasher, or fold the laundry. Jeremy, on the other hand, asks me to do things I’m simply not capable of doing. “Babe, can you help me outside for a minute?” he asked the other day. Grumpily, I headed into the yard. “Just grab that end and move it over here,” he said, pointing to a table laden with lumber. FIVE HUNDRED POUNDS of lumber, to be precise. Either he was joking, or he thinks he’s married to Wonder Woman.
“What do you mean, ‘grab the end?’” I asked, “the end of what? My sanity?” Jeremy rolled his eyes, unimpressed. “Just pick up that end and move it over here,” he said, pointing to the other side of the yard. It might as well have been on Mars since it was never gonna happen. “Sweetie, I know I’ve been working out, but you’re asking a bit much of me,” I scolded. Eventually, logic prevailed: we unloaded the lumber, dragged the table over, then plunked the lumber back on top. Yes, it took twice as long, but at least I didn’t pop a hernia in the process.
I’m no spring chicken anymore. Remember the time I blew my back out sneezing the wrong way? I can’t even sit on the floor with my kids without my leg muscles screaming in agony. Yesterday I slept funny and now my ribs hurt; sleeping is my favorite hobby, and now I can’t even enjoy that! How I envy my twenty-year old, pain-free body; why wasn’t I nicer to it? And why didn’t I take more pictures of it? Curse myself for being camera shy!
Unless and until Jeremy realizes my limits, we’re gonna have to take the long way to do things. Even with copious stretching beforehand, there’s no way I can load a dirt bike onto a trailer without struggling mightily. And there’s certainly no way I can push a wheelbarrow loaded with boulders up a hill (“it’s just a small hill!” according to my spouse). Thankfully, I have a back-up plan, but it’s gonna take a while. In just ten short years, the kids will be big enough to help Jeremy instead!