My husband, Don, glanced up from his computer, which he’d set up in our kitchen. “That’s not how I’d do it,” he said.
I stuck my cereal bowl in the dishwasher, using perhaps a little more force than strictly necessary. “Didn’t realize I’d been loading it wrong all these years,” I said. “Thanks for letting me know.” If looks could kill, I would’ve spent the rest of my day burying Don in the backyard.
And this was only Week Two of the Covid lockdown.
I beat a hasty retreat to my home office. Lord, I prayed, now it’s the dishwasher! Please make Don lighten up or we’ll never get through quarantine.
Don’t get me wrong, Don and I have been married for 38 years—happily. But we’re polar opposites.
A Marine veteran and career accountant, Don has never met a spreadsheet he didn’t like. I’m artsy, more into painting a picture than balancing a budget, though I run a collectibles business on eBay. He might be hard of hearing these days, but Don jumps out of bed at the crack of dawn. He used to wake me up by imitating the bugle cavalry charge. I broke him of that by refusing to tell him where I hid his coffee. Not that he needs caffeine. Don’s brain is on overdrive practically from the minute he wakes up. I stay in bed until he kisses my cheek at 7:45 and leaves for work. Then I fumble my way to the fridge to grab a diet soda, downing it on the couch in bleary silence.
When Don and I started dating, I liked how different he was. He seemed so put together. Not like the aimless guys I had been dating. We met while I was in art school and working at his parents’ art store. Don was their bookkeeper. One day, I visited the supply warehouse, which was also Don’s office. By the time I got home, I had a message on the machine from Don asking me out on a date.
His type A personality balanced my type B. Early in our marriage, I made a name for myself drawing landmarks around Oklahoma. Don framed my pictures and helped set up exhibitions. Later he encouraged me to pursue other passions. “You should try writing stories,” he said. “You’d be so good at it.”
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