THANKS FOR NOTHING MONTH January 27, 2012 7:40 AM
66 F indoors 37 F outdoors
TODAY’ S HAPPINESS FACTOR: 7 out of 10
Family meeting day
Jay and Annie on their wedding day – his first waffle iron
This month has given me a new perspective on Jay. In many ways our lives haven’t been any different then our everyday existence. We work together and spend our spare time together, for the most part.
But the act of shutting down the computer during the day has given Jay some new incentives to do things differently.
But I am getting ahead of myself with what I wanted to say…One of my most embarrassing moments happened when Jay and I were first going together. We had known each other a couple of months, so by now he knew that I was pretty serious about life, which he refused to accept about me, and told me so in every way possible. I went out with him anyway.
This particular day Jay taught me cribbage, and a few other card games. He won every time. Of course I was calm and good-natured about all it because otherwise he wouldn’t take me seriously.
But then he suggested we play shuffleboard. It had been a long time since I’d played so after refreshing me on the rules he offered me the first go. As I shoved the disk I let go of the stick. I don’t know what made me do such a stupid thing, but down the alley the stick and disk went without skipping a beat.
When I turned around to look at Jay he was laughing so hard – it was the sound of music, of sweetness, of tenderness and love. I’ve never stopped loving to hear that sound from him, even though he’s continued to find me quite humorous over the past 31 years.
Jay and his youngest brother Roman in front of the Geppi’s Comic Shop, Clearwater, FL (Jay’s first management job)
This month Jay has been slightly different though. Each morning around 9 AM he stands up from his computer and asks me what I want for breakfast. Then, after a brief discussion he goes to the kitchen and, I do not exaggerate, he makes me a gourmet breakfast served on the tablecloth with a napkin.
This is the guy who asked me to dinner once, and then took me to the grocery store to buy a can of Campbell’s tomato soup, which we ate out of saucepan after he heated it up. I went out with him anyway.
He’s always been a very helpful partner (even with the soup episode he shared his spoon), but this month he’s taken to keeping every dish washed as well. When I come in from chores he loves to announce in a singing sort of way, “Did the dishes…”
I had an inkling he’d be a good partner when I first met him. At the age of 23 he had no dishes in his kitchen, but he had a washer and dryer. To me that seemed to say he had his priorities in the right place. I even bought his philosophy on having one pan and one spoon – no dirty dishes to accumulate.
Last night, as we sat in the candlelight eating the supper he helped me prepare (I started the food before I did chores and he added his own personal touches so it was on the table the minute I returned) I was filled with a feeling I have had often this month.
We were eating, and talking, and laughing together. I am not sure why we never run out of things to tell each other, but we don’t. I don’t remember what Jay was saying. I looked into that face that was reflecting the candlelight and I felt so nourished by him.
Oh, I know it all sounds so silly, especially after 31 years of sharing his life. But this month has given us an opportunity to move more smoothly together. Some of that has been me, but, as usual, most of it is his patience and insightfulness into life.
I was right, all those years ago, to decide to love his laughter, rather than to be wounded by my awkwardness. If things had been done differently I would have missed this month of giving thanks for nothing.