My husband and I have been married for almost 21 years. That’s a lot of time—in fact, I was married at 21 so I’ve been married nearly half my life. You’d think I’d be used to all my husband’s endearing (and not so endearing) quirks.
We’ve learned to deal with the clothes-on-the-floor habit. For me, clothes on the floor is the visual equivalent to fingernails on a chalkboard. For Calvin, it’s an old way of life. Normally, all clothes go into the hamper, but occasionally there’s a small pile on his side of the bed where I can’t see it. When I ask him why, he responds, “When I was growing up, my mom was always so busy that I didn’t want to put my clothes into the hamper unless they were completely dirty.” I nod my head. “But, for me, dearest, if clothing lays on the floor it’s only getting wrinkled in which case it has to be washed, dried, and ironed again anyway.” He says, “My mom didn’t iron.” “Yes, sweetheart, but I do.” Then, the clothes begin finding their way back into the hamper again. I can live with this.
However, there is another habit (one I can’t blame on his parents). Calvin breaks things. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate his ability to move anything. He can pick up a hide-away bed couch and carry it on his shoulders. He can rip siding off a house with his bare hands. Honest, I’ve seen him do both these things. And, in Hamden when there was a huge boulder that the trustees couldn’t move, Calvin picked it up and moved it out of the way. This is all good.
There is a down side. He doesn’t know his own strength. He broke the hydraulic support on the treadmill. One day I was trying to lower the running surface of our fold-up treadmill, I found I couldn’t budge it. After time spent inspecting the machine, I found that the hydraulic arm that helps lift the heavy running board up and down was completely bent. When Cal had last used the treadmill, he obviously raised the board without remembering to lower the incline.
Me: Light of my Life, when you ran the treadmill yesterday, did you have any trouble getting the board back up?
Cal: It stuck a bit, but I gave it a push and it went right up.
Me: That “sticking” was a solid steel hydraulic arm that is now bent completely out of shape.
Cal: No. That can’t be.
Me: Check it out, Dude.
Cal (after checking it out): Whoa.
In fact the situation is so bad that the children say to each other, “Don’t ask Daddy to fix it—he’ll break it.”
Yesterday, Calvin came back from a visitation.
Cal: I broke my glasses.
Me (imagining a screw needs to be replaced): Let me fix it.
Cal (pulling the multiple pieces out of his shirt pocket): That’s not going to work.
Me: How did you do that?
Cal: I was playing with Joseph’s dog so I put my glasses in my shirt pocket because I didn’t want to get them scratched.
Me: Right, the dog’s a little terrier, so how did they break?
Cal: I squeezed the dog.
Me: Cal, one of your lenses is broken into three pieces. Is the dog dead?
Cal (laughing): No. I’m not sure how it happened. I just held the dog and flexed my arms.
Cal: Are you going to blog about this?
Me: Oh, yeah. If I’ve married the son of Samson, I will blog about this.
(BTW, did you notice I found a way to blame my in-laws.)