Shake Em Down

I don’t like the way things are going, so it’s time to shake things up and then shake em on down.

I have become predictable. He has learned my ways. I am also too sweet, too kind, too generous, and way too nice. I neglect my own needs to take care of others. It is time to break my patterns, to act instead of react, and start by doing something unexpected.

Who knew belting a few songs out in the kitchen would be an excellent alternative stress reliever when you feel like slamming a few pots and pans?

Oh yeah, I sang my heart out with complete abandon, as if I were home alone or out doing something like cruising down a highway in a convertible with the top down (oh, do I miss that car) where no one else can hear me except God and maybe a few cows. I started with Janis Joplin’s Mercedes Benz, followed by hymns, and kept going. I had just finished singing an old favorite, Blues Traveler’s Run Around, when I noticed him standing in the doorway.

“What are you doing?”

“Cooking.”

The man had never heard me sing, at least not like that, as I’m very self-conscious of my singing voice. It’s lower than his and some songs come out a bit gritty. He’s told me that I sing in my sleep but I imagine that’s very soft, like when I sing to babies. This was full throttle at the stove.

Singing might have caught his attention, but I’m thinking it’s what I did next that opened his eyes. Or, what I did NOT do… being so predictable and all. He knows that when I cook, I always cook enough for both of us and I always, ALWAYS, ask if he would like me to make him a plate. For the first time ever, I didn’t even tell him that it was done.

Bit mean? No… he had his own pot of nasties simmering on the back burner.

Besides, he does not tell me when what he cooks is done… if he says anything at all, he says it AFTER he eats, like when he is walking to the sink with his dirty dishes. I won’t touch his leftovers as that hits me crooked. I’m not a dog. I don’t want his scraps.

LATER

Well, its true… actions do speak louder than words.

The man woke up the next morning and surprised me with ham and eggs. Yes, he cooked breakfast for both of us AND he brought me a plate. Then he thawed out one of his gorgeous steaks just for me. That totally blew my mind. The kicker came two days later, when he fried chicken for himself and he brought me a piece, saying something about how “it wouldn’t be right” not to share with me.

Oh yeah, he got the message. I’m still like wow… just when I think we are doomed, that we might not survive 2018, he shows me that he really does love me, that it’s not just words.

Is love enough?

I don’t know… it’s been one hell of a year and we are only into April. Jaded sisters think I should change the locks but I’m not ready to toss the babe out with the bath water, so to speak. Oh yeah, I’m not done. And I’m not done shaking things up either.

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April Fool

One should be careful of what is softly spoken aloud on the way to the bathroom in the still quiet of the morning as words to the wind can alter the course of life. The witch in the bed was awake.

I know his “I’d rather sleep downtown” was in reference to me turning off the fan when temps dropped to 62 degrees in here. He was sleeping off booze with just a thin blanket and had that fan on full blast aimed at the bed. I had extra blankets piled on just me, with a chenille throw up around my head, but breathing in that cold air was too much. I got up around four, cranked up the heat, and turned off the fan. He woke up sweaty when I was just getting warm enough to doze off again.

I can rationalize it, but I cannot let it slide. Not when we are coming off a March madness in the kitchen that almost sparked a grocery strike. No ham for Easter would have been the first clue, but my best friend suggested going overboard to give him a fresh reminder of what he will be missing.

Oh yeah… the man suddenly started cooking his own meals and cooking only enough for his own self. At first, it was foods I did not like so it was no big deal. Then he came in with ONE very nice porterhouse steak, cooked it to perfection, and offered me a taste. I said thank you, that’s fantastic… but did not beg for more. Being oblivious, who was I to begrudge a man his special treat? For all I knew, he won it in a poker game.

I realized later that steak was straight out of his daddy’s playbook… advice to teenage boys… learn to cook so if your wife ever gets mad at you and refuses to cook, you can get back at her by making something absolutely fantastic. Let her smell it, make her want it, maybe give her a little taste… but only make enough for your own self, yeah… that will straighten her up, she’ll know that you don’t need her to cook for you.

I think he has a burr up his bum about a night he came in late, three sheets to the wind, and stared into the fridge as if a plate would magically appear if he waited long enough. Was I supposed to crawl out of bed and fix him a meal?

I think he’s trying to evoke a certain reaction to spark a conversation that will play out exactly as planned in his own imagination. He’s the strong silent type who avoids confrontation, absolutely refuses to argue with me. It’s like when I purchased used appliances. It took him a few days to tell me, in what sounded like a prepared statement, that he feels slighted when I make household decisions without consulting him.

Sometimes, HE forgets that I’m not his wife and he doesn’t really live here.

Easter might have turned the tide… we cooked together like old times before friends and family arrived. My resolve melted. And then, he uttered those words just before dawn.

He still does not know that I heard him… I packed up a bag of leftovers, tucked in every slice of the leftover pies, and he hopped the Monday 9:45 to his downtown apartment.

I knew his “see you in a bit” would be at least a day or two.

The ham and potato casserole that I threw together after he said “I’ll be home in a minute” on Tuesday night still sits in the toaster oven. Oh well, that’s exactly what started this nonsense… only then, I didn’t cook because I did not expect him to come home.

Babe, you are home.

A little birdie whispers, dares me to put those words, my own words to the wind in the still quiet of the morning as the vet sleeps in his own apartment downtown. I hesitate because I love him. Words spoken aloud can alter the course of life.

LATER:

I over thought the situation, assumed cause and effect, looked for a reason why he started cooking his own meals…. in other words, he’s not doing it to get back at me. Yeah, I flat out asked. His response was “Huh? You don’t eat what I like” when I told him that I noticed he’s been cooking for himself a lot lately. Which is true… he was boiling down the stinky neck bones that he brought home into a pot of nasties so okay, this can wait for another day.

Jump Start

Forget New Year Resolutions… I’m starting now. This “Weigh on Friday” chart went up on the fridge December 1st. My goal is to drop 24 kg in 2018. I’m starting now because (1) hey, a jump start gives me a whole extra month to get it done,  (2) I really, really hate ending a year with a gain, and (3) to remind me not to nibble too wide of a path through holiday goodies.

Am I dieting?

Hell NO… I can’t do that. I have a history of binge eating disorder. Dieting is like Trigger #1.  The chart is just to remind me to eat like a “normal” person who can be satisfied with one serving of anything, where nothing is off limits… normal people eat cake and pizza or whatever. Oh well. The theory is, just eat like a “normal” person and all the excess weight will slowly vanish. Yeah, just magically disappear.

I’m weighing in kilograms because the scales are not mine. Thankfully, it does not have a memory function as I like to pretend my digits on the scale (and in the bank) are lower than reality. One kg is ye 2.2 lbs, which yields nicer numbers. It sounds better when the bitch announces my weight in a voice loud enough for anyone in the house to hear, even without his hearing aids. I can’t shut her up, so I flipped the switch to Spanish. In kilograms, the first number is ONE and by the time his mind shifts past the “huh?” of hearing an unexpected language, the weighing is done and over.

Okay, so I’m weird… odds are, he won’t be here anyway. I wake up alone ye 44% of my days now but no longer fret about things I cannot control. It is what it is, come what may.

It’s okay. I’d walk away but when I fall asleep in his arms, snuggled all safe and warm, feeling his heart beating next to mine… those other nights don’t matter. I’m with the man I love and he is a good man, a kind man, a loving man who also happens to be a flawed man. He’s a strong man with a weakness, and that’s just how it is. I’m flawed, too.