Posts Tagged ‘Marriage’

Sitting on the couch watching telly, M turned to and very casually asked, “So, what do you want for your birthday then?”  It was Wednesday of last week, and my birthday — a very Significant Birthday — was only a few days away.  The sound of the telly faded from my consciousness abruptly as I looked at him, dumbfounded.

M has not had a good track record these past few years when it comes to my birthday.  He started out just great a decade ago, when love was fresh and the stakes were high, but these days… Well, I haven’t had a birthday or Christmas present from him for about three years running now, except for one book that he grabbed at the grocery store on Christmas Eve.  And not wanting to continue this trend, I have been reminding him of the Significant Birthday almost every day for the last four months.  So it really did stop me cold when he asked his question.

“Youuuu… ummmm…”  Paused, dumbstruck again, and then found my words, “You haven’t bought me a gift yet?!?”  It was said with calm control, but with a rising irritation he could hear plainly.

He decided to play with fire.  “When have I had time to go shopping for a gift?!?”  It’s true that he works practically every hour God sends, but if he thought that kind of logic was going to help his cause in any way, then he clearly did not understand what he was walking into.

I will spare you the full transcript, but suffice to say I flew almost instantly into a full-blown rage, and proceeded to tear strips off him in a manner that he never saw coming.  Honestly!  When did he have time?!?  He’d had the past four months that I’d been reminding him every other day!  No, he’d had the past YEAR, because — conveniently enough — my birthday rolls round with stunning predictability.  I’d even made a wishlist for him and emailed it to him, as well as my sister and my mother.

He made more feeble attempts, pointing out that he barely knows how to use the computer, let alone how to buy off a wishlist…  and I blasted back that he could have asked my sister, my mother, or even ME to walk him through it.  He made noises about me maybe helping him now…  and I nearly spat that it was too late — most everything on my list was obscure enough to need to be back-ordered, almost nothing could be bought now, with my birthday only a few days away.  He’d blown it!  He’d blown it AGAIN!  And that realisation motivated me to really rip into him in earnest, at full volume and with hands waving wildly, and — I’m quite sure — steam blasting out of my ears.

There was no stopping me and he didn’t fight it.  He sat quietly and let me go on and on and on.  And then, at a moment when I paused to draw breath, he said quietly — so quietly I barely noticed he’d spoken — “Could we…  could we just forget this happened?”

I stopped at that.  This is what psychologists call the “rescue moment” — he was trying to rescue this, to claw it back before it really went too far.  He was presenting me with a fork in the road and I could choose which way to go: to follow his lead and rescue this, or to carry on tearing mercilessly into my husband’s psyche.  I thought about it for a moment, and the sensible part of me decided to stop now, to go with the rescue.

But then, just as I opened my mouth to say something mature and calm, I realised what was about to happen.  I would forgive and forget this ever happened, he would rush out the next day and try to buy something… something…  some little trinket or maybe the easiest thing on the wishlist or, heck, a book from the grocery store again…  And on my birthday I’d stick by the bargain and say, ooooh thank you, thank you, and give him a kiss…  And the whole time — the whole stinking time — I’d know that, actually,  he’d forgotten.  Actually, he’d forgotten my birthday again.  So there was no “forgetting this had happened”. It couldn’t be done — the cat was out of the bag, the truth was told:  he  had  forgotten  my  birthday  again, even though this was an Important Birthday, even though I’d been reminding him, even though I’ve been a GOOD WIFE, DAMMIT!  He hadn’t cared enough about me to make as much paltry effort as was needed to just remember my birthday long enough to order a present off a wishlist.  And now I knew it, and there was no “forgetting” that.

And so when I opened my mouth, instead of going with the rescue moment, I let all of that fury and frustration  fall out instead — very loudly and for a very long time.  And when I was done, I turned back to the telly and just sat staring in its general direction and so angry my stomach ached.

M let out a little groan and I looked at him.  His face was twisted, his jaw clenched at an odd angle, and he was looking at the floor.  Then a glance at me.  And then, “No… wait.”  A pause, a deep slow inhale, and then very quickly, all in one breath: “Look, something’s been done.  It’s… it’s been taken care of.”  And then his eyes back to the floor, and an uncomfortable silence.

Suddenly I understood.  He’d got me a gift.  He’d remembered my birthday — not forgotten me at all.  And he’d just been winding me up and it went too far and he’d not known how to pull it back.  But he hadn’t forgotten me at all.

And it was only then that I felt the full strength of how hurt I’d been by his question.  The feeling took me completely by surprise, and churned violently in my stomach, and mixed with the relief and the regret that were washing over me like waves.  I felt suddenly nauseated.  And all that emotion rose up from my gut so fast that I couldn’t contain it — up through my chest and spilled out across my face, mouth open and pulled tight, eyes closed.  And I managed a soft  “oh no!” before it all escaped from me with a sound a little like belch, and I burst into sobs that racked my whole body and revealed, there for him to see, just how much the being forgotten has hurt these past few years.

“Oh no,” he repeated back, so lost for words that he could only borrow my own, and then sat there, helpless beside his blubbering wife, no idea what to do with her.  This what never what he’d intended — he’d only been taking the mick — and now he wasn’t quite sure how it had gone so far.  He’d never meant to hurt me.  He put his arm around me and pulled me in.  I needed that desperately, but there was no outward sign that it help — I couldn’t stop crying.  He let me go, except for one hand that he held, and stared at the floor.  Eventually, I calmed myself down.  We sat for a while, both a bit shell-shocked, and neither of us knowing what to say.


My birthday was absolutely wonderful.  There were balloons and singing and three cakes and my family all around me.  My children presented me with hand-made gifts.    It was not a big celebration, but it was exactly what I’d hoped for.

Led by M into the next room, I spotted a bouquet of balloons first and then, underneath it, a huge box wrapped in flowered paper.  I knew immediately — there was only one thing that would be in a box so big — and the realisation made my lip quiver.  I tore the wrapping off and spotted that I was right.  “Oh sweetheart, look!” my mother exclaimed to my father, “She’s crying!”,  and her announcement embarrassed me sufficiently to stop the tears before they really started.  But the emotion was the same, and I was overwhelmed.  “Something’s been done,” he’d said and, indeed, something had.  It was the Lendrum spinning wheel I’ve been coveting for a year; the wheel with an 18-month waiting list, and my mother had had to ring a dozen places before she found one in stock; the wheel we couldn’t afford.  I pulled to from the box, put it together there and then, treadled and felt the silky movement of the mechanism, wished for fiber and spun air instead.  Over the moon!  Over the bloody chuffing moon and not knowing how to really tell them all properly and just hoping they could tell by the trance I was in.

Later, after my family had gone back into the kitchen to pick at the leftovers and I was still sat treadling, M came in and knelt next to me.  “Do you like it?”

“Yes!”, with shock and incredulity plain in my voice, feet still treadling, hands spinning air.

“The thing is…  we, um…”  He took my hands.  “I have to pay my portion of it.  Ummm…  I owe your mum.  I don’t really know where that’s going to come from.”  He had to tell me, because I handle the finances and, when money has to be found, I am the one who finds it.

But I didn’t mind, because he hadn’t forgotten me.  He’d got me my heart’s desire, taken that plunge even when he didn’t know how he’d pay for it.  He could have been sensible and bought a book from the list, but he hadn’t.   He’d bought me what he knew I really wanted because he loves me, and love is not sensible.  It was never about the gift — it was about being remembered.

And that was what I’d needed — what I’d been needing for a long time.  And now, to his surprise, I could offer back a little of what he needed.  “I have something we can put toward it, ” I said, as he looked up with surprise.  “About half of it.”  Because I’d gone to my knitting group earlier in the week and cards had suddenly appeared, and some of those cards contained money from new friends who had read my previous post and had taken the opportunity to act like old friends.  “It’s for your Lendrum fund,” one had said, and I nearly cried there too, stunned by their generosity.

There were loud voices from the kitchen and then laughter, and I felt a warmth rush over me.  There is much in our lives that we have to worry about but, at that moment, none of it was touching me.  I had my family gathered around me, a husband who (secretly) loves me, and — after a long time — I have some friends.

And those things alone were gift enough.  But then, there was also the brand new Lendrum, whirring away softly at my feet.

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The snow, which has held us captive for over a month now, is slowly beginning to loosen its grip at last, revealing random patches of bare ground where the grass appears so yellowed and flattened in submission that one wonders that it will ever come back to life.

“Weather’s turning,” M observed as we pulled into the driveway.  “We’d best get some of that trimmed back now before Spring hits in and it all goes crazy again.”  This garden had taken us by surprise last year: the shrubs grew alarmingly fast, the ornamental trees at the back had seemed to double in size in one summer, and the grape vine had threatened to push its way right through one window.  This year, we had decided, we’d be on top of it.

Almost immediately we got in the house, the girls wanted to go out again.  They also know the snow is disappearing and are desperate to spend every day it’s still here enjoying it.  But getting them out there is a chaotic process that I don’t enjoy: changing into jeans, jumpers, coats, scarves, finding hats and wayward gloves, digging out socks, fighting reluctant boots…  There is tripping, falling, stuck zippers, shoes on wrong feet…   I slunk down to the family room and left M with the madness, with the good excuse that my ankle was hurting — which it was — but also with the enormous relief that I did not have to be on duty today.  The noise and chaos was just more than my head could bear today.

Eventually the din died down , and then I heard the door shut and the house fell quiet.  I sat for a moment and soaked it in.  Quiet.  Nothing.  Silence.  Even better than the silence of a nap, because that might be rudely broken at any moment.  This was the sure silence of emptiness, something I hardly know any more, and I was going to enjoy it.

Tea first.  A silent house called for a cup of tea.  And then, perhaps I would write an email to an old friend.  I smiled to myself — this was going to be really nice.

I had been sitting at the computer for only a few minutes — my thoughts only just beginning to gather — when the house rumbled for a moment.   Startled and not quite knowing what to think, I just stopped still, fingers suspended over the keyboard.  It came again, the whole right side of the house rumbling and shaking and sounding like it was about to come down.  I grabbed my coat and hobbled out the back door.

The girls stood with the neighbour-kids in a semi-circle around M, who was crouched by the side wall at the base of the grape arbour and cutting through the main vine with the electric reciprocating saw from his truck.  The arbour was shaking violently, the vine was resisting as much as it could.  I cleared my throat.

M looked up and grinned, proud of himself.  “I’m nearly done!” he announced, and pointed to the vine on the other side of the arbour.  “I’ve got through that one already, and I’ve done all the smaller ones on this side.  Just this last one to go.”  And then he spotted the shock on my face, and his grin slid away.

“Ohhhh…” he began, and the shape of the word lingered on his lips for a moment.  “Oh, I thought we’d agreed on this.  We… we had discussed this, hadn’t we?”  He pressed his finger to the trigger of the saw, and it whirled a little, hesitantly.

We had, but my recollection was that we’d settled on perhaps digging up the vines and moving the arbour, and then we’d left the matter unsettled…  His recollection, my recollection…  Husband-wife miscommunications are the stuff that marriage is made of.

“I’ll… um…  I’ll leave this for now, shall I?” he said, a bit sheepishly.  And then pointed to the sagging limbs on the snow-battered lilac tree.  “Should I…  well, how about those?  Should they come down?”  I nodded, and he turned away from the vine — a stay of execution at the last moment — and headed for the lilac.

The children had wandered back to the snow, all but the neighbour boy who, at the age of nine, had spotted the undercurrents in our conversation and was now watching me intently to see where this would go.  I looked at him and smiled.  “Jay, when you get older and get married… and you think you know what your wife wants you to do…  just be sure to go back and double-check with her, ok?  And then… double-check again.”  I winked at him, and he laughed.

And I turned and went back into the house, where everything would be quiet.

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M’s operation was a worry, a relief, and a financial nightmare all in one.  There was the worry, of course, about whether he’d be alright, whether the operation would go well.  And relief that the operation was finally being done.  And a financial nightmare because, although there was money meant to be coming to get us through his time off work, there was hiccup after hiccup that meant we didn’t actually get the cheque until he was actually back at work again.  We stocked up like squirrels, kept our heads down, and got through it — uncomfortably close but ok in the end.

But what surprised me was how M’s operation turned out to be a real godsend for us — him and me — and us as a family.  When couples go through tough times — and I think it’s fair to say that the last two years have been pretty stressful, to say the least — it’s cliche for one of them to say, “Let’s get away, just the two of us.”  I’ve always been suspect about what “getting away” accomplishes, whether any gains made whilst on holiday can translate well into the mundane of life back at home.  But, cliche or not, M’s four weeks at home consitituted something of a “getting away” for us.  We got away from the grind.  We got away from him working until he had nothing more to give, coming home and wishing he were alone, and resenting the burden of we three.  And we got away from me being home alone all day, deep in the chaos of two little girls — screaming, destroying, dancing, flailing, flinging, falling, breaking, crying, whinging, charming, mess-making, and wantingwantingwanting  — and with no real friends to break the cycle, except the oft-troubled company of mum.

He was home for four weeks in the end — a longer time than any getaway could have afforded — and, though the first ten days were exhausting for me (as the only capable person in the house and so doing everything for everyone), once he got enough strength back to start doing things for himself, we settled into a lovely rhythm.  He got into the habit of getting the girls up in the morning and making their porridge.  The girls were thrilled to start the day with him like that, and adored having him home.  They adored it so much that he quickly became the preferred parent, and I sat back and watched in satisfaction as they asked for his help with every task, sought his attention for every achievement, and wanted to crawl into his arms at every bump or scrape.  I should have kept my mouth shut, but I couldn’t: “You see? You see?”  But he kept his humour, bless him, and only nodded.  He was, despite his best intentions, enjoying being with us — really enjoying our company .  And we were enjoying his — all three of us.  For four weeks, real life seemed to be on hold, and we were all in a wonderful kind of limbo.  We’d got away.

And now he is back to work, and everyone is back to the grind.  He comes home exhausted, I am alone with the all-day chaos.  And suddenly, there seems to be so much to do!  I have to make up for lost time and all the stuff that didn’t get done while he was home.  I have a list as long as my arm — which should be frightening me, overwhelming me, but instead I feel energised by it.  I want to get to it, I want to get through it and, what’s more, I believe I can.  Things feel different.

E2 woke me up this morning, singing to Pink Lamb.  “The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and…”  I listened for a while, sleepy under the duvet, warmed by the happy voice floating down the hallway.  Suddenly it changed, rising in mock panic, “Daddy!  Daddy, HELP!  I’m a banana! A banana! HELP, DADDY!”  I was confused for a moment, and then remembered: we’d put her to bed in a yellow sleepsuit.   I began chuckling so hard my shoulders shook the duvet.

Loud, urgent, and utter nonsense — this is the stuff of my days and, oh yes, we are very much back to normal on that front.  But… she was calling for her daddy — hopeful that he might be home, he might be the one to open her door and start her day — even though he’s been back to work for over a week now.   Those four weeks made an impact on us.  Those four weeks are still with us.

Long may they remain.

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When I woke yesterday and sat up in bed, I had to stop for a moment and think where I was.  It just felt like England.  Something… something… I couldn’t put my finger on it, but something was giving me the most intense feeling of being home…  What was it?

I got out of bed and padded downstairs, barefoot and in only my PJ top and knickers, to check that the gas stove hadn’t been left on — the smell of a gas cooker always takes me straight back to my grandmother’s house in Yorkshire — but, no, the knobs were all set firmly to “OFF”.

Perhaps it was a new soap?  Something M had opened that morning that smelt as quintessentially British as English Leather…?  I checked, but no new soap.

And then I suddenly sussed it.  Our house in Britain didn’t have central heat, just the two gas fires downstairs, meaning it was entirely unheated whenever we went out and each night while we slept.  This prospect had struck fear in my heart when I first moved into the house, but when I demanded the landlord put in gas radiators, he refused and suggested instead that I “try it for one winter” and see how I got on.  With no bargaining chip to call on, I gulped hard and gave it a go — and found that, except for a few bone-chilling weeks in February when I was forced to spend the night on the couch in front of the fire — it was surprisingly bearable.  The fires were actually quite amazing in the way they could heat the house from cold-soaked to toasty in a matter of minutes, and I came to love the way they gave the house a warm focal point — albeit dressed in some serious 1950’s ugliness.

But though the heat would radiate quickly from the living and dining rooms into the kitchen and then up the stairs to the bathroom and back bedroom, it never really managed to travel all the way into the front bedroom — my room.  All year round, that room stayed cool at best and downright freezing in winter.  It helped enormously when I married a man who himself puts out 20,000 BTUs/hour, and I could sleep so much more comfortably smooshed up against him.  But even he was no match for the dead of winter, when the wind howled through the cracks in the old sash window frames and blew the curtains about, and ice would form on the glass.  Those nights, we’d strip off as fast as we possibly could, breathing heavily — visibly — as the cold shocked our naked bodies like a hard slap, and then we’d pull on PJs, cardigans, bedsocks, and — yes — nightcaps with blinding speed before diving under two duvets and tensing ourselves against the icy-cold sheets until they finally, slowly, began to warm around us.  Those nights, we fell asleep watching frosty white columns rise up with each breath, and trying to keep our noses covered with the duvet.  Those were the nights when I wondered why I ever bloody agreed to “just give it a go”.

But most of the year was not like that.  Most of the year, the bedroom was just slightly chilly — a little unpleasant, but not unbearable.  And it was hardly worth noticing — it lasted only a few moments, only as long as it took to get from the safe haven of the duvet to the back of the door and to grab a dressing gown, and then hop downstairs and turn on that lovely fire.  Tick tick tick whoosh. Arms outstretched, goosebumps receding, fingers and toes warm in no time.

The day before yesterday had been beautifully sunny and warm, and I had opened every window in the house to enjoy the fresh spring air.  When the furnace misunderstood my intentions and burst into life, I had turned the thermostat as low as it would go — and then forgot to reset it when we closed the windows and went to bed.  The house had cooled all night, until it finally settled to a more… a more natural temperature.  And so, as I stood there in the hallway outside the bathroom yesterday morning, and looked down at my goosebump-covered legs, I realised why this particular morning felt so strangely familiar.

I’d woken up chilly.  And it felt oddly nice.  Don’t get me wrong, I love having central heat and I wouldn’t want to go back to freezing nights without it.  But for that moment, waking up to that fresh chill… it just felt like home to me.

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It started with a knitting group on Friday night — a chance to get away for a couple of hours, to sit amongst adults, with busy hands and lively chatter, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I came home fresh and energised.

And though I would be up later that night three times with one child and twice with the other, it mattered not one jot to me.  Because later that next day, I headed off across the city, with my wheel in the boot and the wind at my back, to sit in the company of other spinners — accomplished, inspiring fibre artists — and spin until I had…  well, not my fill — I could have spun all night — but as long as I dared stay away from the chaos that I was sure was in full swing at home.  But though I wrenched myself away early, I walked back to the car newly calm and feeling so empowered that I was almost high.  And when I got home, I found — to my utter shock — a happy husband playing happy children, who never got their nap because, as it turned out, he was enjoying being with them.  I glanced out the window to check that the Earth was still spinning on its axis.

And then he surprised me again: my mother would be arriving in an couple of hours and we — he and me — were going out to the pub, where we drank and chatted and laughed as if…  as if we remembered who we were again.  And I remembered that I really do enjoy his company — and realised how much I’d forgotten that.  And I remembered that we are each other’s best friend.

For the first time in months, I felt like myself again.  I felt like I knew who I was again.  And just like that, I have hope and enthusiasm and energy — even through the kids playing up, even when I sat down to balance the bills against the bank account…  Just like that, I feel like I can take on the world.

So if that is being myself again, then who have I been this past year?  Who has M been?  I don’t know, but I know I’d be glad to see the back of both of them.  Because being in my own skin again this weekend just felt so good.

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It feels like I haven’t seen my husband in weeks — it’s not true, but I haven’t seen much of him in a long time.  His work has been… crazy.  He had all of three days off in January, and February has followed course, which is exhausting for him — and, by extension, for me.  And you’d think the upside of that would be that we’d be banking some big paycheques but…  no.

The thing is, at the moment (at the moment? for months!), there’s just no predictability from day to day what his hours are going to be and, thus, no predictability what his weekly paycheque will be.  One day can be a bumpercrop 12 hours and the next day can be a barren two.  It’s literally that up and down, and we have no idea from day to the next how it will go.  Whenever I hear the truck pull into the driveway, I instinctively shoot an anxious glance at the clock — is it late enough?  Did he get enough hours today?  Everything is depending on what time that truck comes home.

And you might think there is some plus-side to those days when he only has to work a couple of hours — I mean, he gets downtime, right?  A day off,  doesn’t he? — but… no.  He stays at the shop waiting to see if a call comes in: there, but not paid.  And the whole time, I think he’s out there working and all is well, until he comes home (what time? Oh it’s 5 — thank goodness! All is well!) and tells me, no, it was only three hours today…  And my heart sinks.

But when he does get the hours — when the weather cooperates and sends frigid temperatures and ice and misery that has people running to the phones — he’s gone all hours, working to the point of utter collapse.  And then getting another call at 11pm, just as we are settling down to our end-of-the-day cuppa  — could he?, they ask — and he looks at me and shrugs.  It’s money…  it’s all money, and we have to take what blessings come however they come, so he sighs and drags himself off the couch and changes into his work clothes and heads out again.  And I go up to bed alone.

So when the hours are light, I am just terrified, but when they are long, we don’t see each other for days on end, and he is exhausted, and I am lonely and taking care of the kids on my own all the day and night.  And even when the hours are bang-smack on normal — when he comes home and answers my perpetual question with a smile and “eight!” — I worry that eight hours today will not be enough if the rest of the week doesn’t match.  Every day, we start each day as a complete unknown and it’s been this way for months.  And it’s incredibly stressful — incredibly stressful.

Just lately, everything’s been swirling about inside me — too much, too much — and I have felt so overwhelmed.  It seems we’ve had one health crisis after another since the new year, and each one knocks us out for nearly a week or more, and pushes the stress levels up higher.  And  E1 has just gone into a new phase of  “No!” that is stretching my patience past its limits.  And though I appreciate my mum’s help enormously  and she appreciates spending time with the girls, we have — just by necessity — ended up seeing each other nearly every day, and that is really too much for either of us.  And then there is the trying to stay in the red.  And those crazy hours.  And it’s time for me to tackle our bloody taxes again, and there’s almost nothing on earth that gets me more panicky and overwrought than trying to work out taxes.  And all this stress rouses my old friend Failure from his slumber — he’s really never far away — and he comes out cackling with fingers pointed and condemnations flying, to taunt me and poke at me and slap me and…  and…  what can I say to deflect it?  It’s all true.

I feel  so strung out, so tired, and this week it’s all just gotten on top of me.  I can’t stop crying.  I miss having friends nearby that I’ve known for years — the people you need round you when you’re feeling overwhelmed.  And though it sounds odd to say, I miss my privacy — just the simple pleasure of going where I go and doing things the way I do them without observation.   And, oh I miss my husband, I really just miss my husband — it feels like I haven’t seen him in weeks.

In the post yesterday, there was a tax bill from the county that I wasn’t expecting — it was startlingly huge and I didn’t know what was, didn’t even know what it was for. Fortunately, it turned out to be an error, but too late — I was over the edge, blindsided by a such a surprise from some entity I didn’t even know existed.  It ripped the last bit of bravado from me, and left me slumped on the floor and crying, hardly able to get control over myself for the rest of the day.

But this week was turning out to be different from the rest.  The hours started rolling in, like we’d never seen before.  M was on call over the weekend and the calls just kept coming — he racked up three days’ worth of normal hours before the week had really even begun.  And every day after followed suit — by Tuesday, he was already well over forty hours, and I was astonished to realise we were on track for a bumper paycheque that would start to make up for the difficulty of late.  And boy, do we need it!  The car insurance is due next month, and there’ll be another one of those panic-inducing gas bills…   Oh, yes, I’ve been watching those hours clock up with a growing feeling of excitement.  And poor M has been looking forward to nothing more than dragging his weary body into bed at the end of each day.

When I spoke to M last night before he headed off to night school — did I mention he fits night school in twice a week as well? — he could hear in my voice all the raw aftermath of that tax bill panic.  “Sounds like it would be a good idea for me to stay home with you tomorrow.” he said gently, “What do you think?”

NO!!!!”  I panicked — had he done something?  Had he taken a day off?!?!?  We need him to keep going  and rack up as much overtime as possible before the end of the week.  We were on a roll and we need that money!

“Oh…”  He had been hoping for a different answer, I could tell, and so I panicked afresh.

“What??? WHAT?!?”

“Well, work’s slowed down, so they had a look at who had the most hours this week,”  Oh, I see. “…and that was me, so they told me they didn’t have anything for me tomorrow, so that the other guys can get their full hours.”  Yes…  yes…  that made sense.  And it was only right — if the situation were reversed, I know I’d be grateful.

And so we had a day together today — and it was really wonderful, it really was.  A quiet day together as a family — nothing particularly to do and no where to go — like we haven’t had in…  well, months really.  It was exactly what I needed, a balm for my anxiety that did no end of good.  A quiet family day, a day with my husband, on a… Thursday.

And it will still be a better-than-normal paycheque, and for that I am very grateful.  But it won’t be that bumpercrop now. 


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M popped out to the pub for a pint on Sunday night.  “Sarah…” is what he said when he got home, “Sarah…  I don’t know what she did tonight, but she looked really good, really amazing!”  This is one of the barmaids, and I know he secretly quite fancies her.  “She must have done her make-up differently tonight or something…”

“Did you tell her?” I asked.  I couldn’t help smiling, just a wee bit.  It wouldn’t have bothered me if he had.

“Nah,” he said, looking at the ground, and then glanced up and grinned.  “I’d rather tell you.”

Atta boy!

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