I Love My Husband

I Love My Husband May 15, 2011

I just love my Ogre. I really do. Sure, he picks on me and teases me and endlessly laughs at my romance with chocolate, but he is such a gem of a guy.

On Friday, I woke up feeling awful. I’ve had either some sort of lingering, evil cold or (weirdly, for the desert) pretty severe allergies for about two weeks now, neither of which are particularly conducive to packing. But the Ogre needed to study, and the house needed to be packed, so I croaked out a hoarse “goodbye” and kissed him out the door and slogged my way through the day. He planned on being home around 4 so I could take the car and go to the store to get a few things for dinner, so you can imagine my surprise when he walked in the door at 3:45, carrying a cute little vase with my favorite orange gerbera dasies in it!

The Ogre doesn’t get me flowers often. It isn’t that he’s not thoughtful, it’s just that his mind is so occupied with philosophy and poetry and things that make me sleepy when he begins to talk about them that…he doesn’t think about it. But today, he did. “Because you were feeling bad, and you made sure I had time to study anyway,” he said, by way of explanation.

Then yesterday. Yesterday, we racheted up the packing to a new level. We attacked the living room.

Up until then, the packing I was doing was the unobtrusive kind. I’ve been packing drawers and closets, leaving out only the clothes we need for three weeks at a time. I’ve been rifling through old papers, tossing out broken knick-knacks, and generally doing small stuff. I had thought, all this time, that I was packing up the things that it was easiest to live without.

But yesterday we packed all the books in the living room. We’ve got two large bookcases in the living room, each two or three rows deep with books. Books are our life, and they surround us. Every home we’ve ever lived in has never felt like home until the books are unpacked.

After a few hours, I sank down onto a stool in the kitchen and looked at the living room. The floor was littered with books to donate and old cooking magazines to throw away. The books we were keeping were in neatly labeled boxes. The shelves were empty.

It hit me all of a sudden, as I was sitting there, that this is why I’ve been packing away closets and drawers. I didn’t want to see this. We are really leaving this place, and I’m sad to go.

It isn’t that I’m terribly attached to this apartment, or this town, or this state. I’m not. I’m attached to who we’ve become here.

This is the apartment we moved into when Charlotte was just a few months old. Liam was born in this apartment, right on the living room carpet. This is the apartment where I made peace with being a wife and mother. This is the apartment where we became a family of five, and much better family than we were before.

And now we’re going to be apart for a while, and I’m not ready for it. I won’t be ready for it, no matter how much time I have to prepare myself. I’ll just have to deal with it.

And I will deal with it, hopefully with some grace and good humor, because it’s what my family needs at the moment.

But yesterday it all seemed overwhelming. And when I get overwhelmed, I tend to short-circuit and feel that the immediate task in front of me is impossible. And at 5 pm, that task was cooking dinner.

“I can’t cook dinner,” I said to the Ogre. He offered to go to Trader Joe’s to pick up some steaks, but I didn’t want steak. “Well, what would you like?” he asked me, seeming to sense the teetering of my emotional see-saw. “Pizza” I said without hesitating. “And chocolate.”

We’ve gone back to sugar and grain-free eating this week, so pizza and chocolate were definitely not appropriate answers. So my husband said, very gently, “Calah, do you really think that that pizza will make you feel better right now?”

“Yes!” I shouted emphatically. And so my husband went to the store and bought a pizza and a brownie mix, and after dinner we put the girls to bed and watched Dr. Who.

I woke up this morning with a stomach-ache, knowing that my husband was right all along but loved me too much to insist that we not eat pizza (and perhaps wanted some pizza himself). And even though I know I’ll be fine, and that we will all survive the next few months, all morning I’ve been asking myself, how am I going to make it for six whole months without this man?

Because I really, really love him.  

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