Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Best Man in the World

A few years ago, I was talking to an elderly friend of our family's, and I told her that if I ever died there would be a line of women at our house door a quarter-mile long, all holding casseroles and hoping to console the widower.

"Oh, honey," the friend said, laughing, "I know."

"I'm serious," I said.  "I could name names."

"Oh, honey," she said, "so could I."

This morning when my husband's alarm went off at some horrendously early hour, I asked him to just hit snooze once for me.  "Why don't you just sleep," he said.  I protested that no, I just wanted him to hit snooze once.  During the school season we actually all eat breakfast together, as a family--we're cute that way--but it's not remotely worth waking teenagers in the summer, not unless they've got an early tee time.  But I think it completely unfair that my husband should be eating breakfast alone, when he's the one working hard while the rest of us lollygag about.  "Just one snooze," I said, burying my face in my pillow.

Yeah.  If he kissed me goodbye--which he probably did--I wasn't awake enough to know it.  When I finally swam out of a really fantastic dream involving embroidery--awesome embroidery--it was 8:07. 

Last week my husband had a cold.  He mentioned a few times, as he went off to work, that he wasn't feeling very well.  He went to bed early a few days.  Sunday I woke having caught his cold, and I slept on the couch the entire day, while he did laundry, cleaned up the kitchen, and brought me plates of food. 

Did I mention that I was dating my husband before I started riding horses?  And that one day I called him during college, where I learned to ride (we went to schools 800 miles apart--smartest thing we ever did) and said, "I'm really loving riding.  It's even better than I thought it would be," and he said, "it would be nice to live on a farm."  He doesn't like horses himself.  Or rather, he appreciates them as personalities (my mare cracks him up, the way she rolls with enthusiastic abandon in the grass) but he doesn't ever want to ride them, and it scares him that I do.  And then I go and fall in love with what's probably the most dangerous equestrian sport, and I say things like, "But we wear safety equipment!  They've just come out with personal airbags!"  And I know he's thinking that in golf you don't need a personal airbag, and when I point out that a personal airbag very possibly saved one of my friend's lives, he's thinking, in golf nothing needs to save your life, because you are not risking your life by playing golf.  But he doesn't say it. 

Did I mention that I "needed" a new, expensive horse right when it was a particularly awkward time to buy one?  That I am not the only adult in my family to be driving a 9-year-old minivan, in part because of my need for a new horse?  (Although, let's be honest:  the golf trips aren't cheap either.)  That his response was to encourage my daughter to go with me horse-shopping, and then pull her aside and say, "Don't let Mom buy it if it's not really good.  You know how much she wants a new horse.  Don't let her buy a bad one."

In Downton Abbey one of my favorite characters is Branson, the Irish chauffeur who falls in love with one of Lord Grantham's daughters.  In declaring his love for her, he says, "I will devote the rest of my life to making her happy."

That's how cherished I feel.

Meanwhile, the puppy pads are a complete bust.  I don't know why I thought that a dog too addled to know he shouldn't pee on the good rugs should suddenly understand he should pee on a puppy pad, but let's just say that yesterday there were three, count 'em, three, puddles of dog pee within 12 inches of a puppy pad.  I'm thinking of papering the entire house with them.  Meanwhile, I did paper the whole surface of the rug in my office, which seems to be unfortunately ill-placed, at least where the dog is concerned.