Saturday, September 27, 2008

My wife's punk-ass moment

I've got to hand it to Squirrel. I've taught her well. Or maybe it's just that 10 years of eventual osmosis has done the trick. I have no idea. But anyway, here's the story:
I used to wake up at 9 p.m. every working night, but now that I want to get to work even earlier, Squirrel insists that I get up at 8:30.
Now, if there's one thing you must understand about me, dear reader, it's this—I do not like waking up. The only times I can remember rising from bed in a reasonably bright and active mood are those rare and lucky times when I've slept over twelve consecutive hours.
But when I've had only a standard eight or nine hours, I'm grumpy as hell when getting up. Squirrel knows this as well as anyone else, though she still insists on dancing around the room and singing my name and calling me her "drag" while doing so, even though she knows damn well that this will surely not put me in any better frame of mind.
And so, as you can guess, I've had plenty of opportunity to sound off about this routine in the past, and I have done so. Sometimes I've been so blisteringly sarcastic about it—such as stiffly saluting her, military-style, when awakening at 8:30 or 9 on the dot—that Squirrel wouldn't even speak to me.
Well, to quote Britney Spears: Whoops, I did it again, last Tuesday night. Squirrel woke me up at 8:30—on the bloody split second, as always—and I had several things to do before joining her in the living room. What Squirrel wants is to "spend time with me" for at least an hour-and-a-half every night before I head off to work, which involves me parking my ass on the floor in front of the TV and either watching something on DVD that I've already seen 1,000 times before or watching some documentary-like show on the television which always seems to be narrated by the same guy and always directed in the same style or some painfully left-wing comedy current-events programme (British television, in a nutshell). She actually considers this "quality time." Personally, I'd rather she just cuddled up to me in bed and talked every night as she occasionally does, but no—we've got to worship the idiot box on most nights.
So, getting back to Tuesday night, I heard Squirrel calling me at several points after I rose from the bed chamber.
"Hon, where are you?"
"I'm on the toilet, hon!"
Two minutes later: "Honey? C'mon!"
"I'm just getting a fresh pair of running pants for my workout this morning! I'll be through in a few."
One minute after that: "Hon?! What are you doing now?!"
"I'm making a cup of tea so I can wake up. Will you just hold your horses, for fuck's sake?"
Eventually, at 8:39, I walked into the living room and announced, "OK, break out the streamers and the party hats, I have arrived!"
Squirrel didn't say a word about it. I thought she'd just shrugged it off. We had a normal evening—or as normal as things are ever likely to get in this particular household.
The next night, upon waking up, I stumbled into the kitchen and discovered a party hat, still in its plastic packaging sheath, on the linoleum floor. I really didn't bat an eye at it, because I'm used to Squirrel buying strange things. But then I walked into the living room and saw her sitting on the couch and wearing a party hat. I stopped in my tracks.
"Uh, hon, can you tell me what's up with the party hats?"
"Well, I wanted to break out the party hats to greet the arrival of my gorgeous husband. I'm sorry that I couldn't find any streamers."
I was gobsmacked. I just stood there for a few moments, open-mouthed. Then I started chuckling.
I wasn't angry. I was impressed. My wife had just beaten me at my own game. I was proud of her, even if begrudgingly.
She even had the nerve to ask me the next morning, "Shall I break out the party hats again tonight?"
"No," I said. "You've had your little punk-ass moment. Now let it rest."
When Squirrel and I celebrate our 10th anniversary in Gothenburg, Sweden this coming weekend, I will be thinking of that. I can't imagine her having played this joke on me years ago, but now she knows how to fight fire with fire. I've taught her only too well.
But I'm proud of my girl. I love her.  I'm glad to have her in my life.
Happy 10th, hon. I'll be by your side for another ten, and another ten after that, and so on for as long as we both shall live. And it will be a pleasure, because you mean more to me than I think you even realize.
I adore you, even if you do never give me even one second's grace come waking-up time.


kristen said...

Ahh, Dragon has a sweet side. ;-)

I don't do mornings either. I loathe them. Seriously.....on Sat mornings it's nearly noon before I actually get going.

East of Eden said...

Sweet! Yay Squirel!

Beth said...

That was an awesome tale. For the record... we don't do mornings in our house either.

Happy Anniversary.

Mouse1972 said...

Happy 10th anniversary!