Saturday, September 26, 2015

Spousal Uses

My “Spousal Excuses” post elicited some interesting responses, not the least of which was one from my husband. Jagdish asked me to make a list of the things I’d like him to do around the house. I’ll gladly comply, and I already told him the first item on that list: Take care of the chores on it without my having to keep reminding him.

I guess he realized that my frustration has been growing geometrically since we moved into our condo. Maybe he asked for a “honey do” list so that the “ex” in the title of my previous post wouldn’t migrate over one word from “excuses” to become “ex-spousal.” To put him at ease, I decided to delete the “ex” altogether and focus this post on “Spousal Uses.” Which brings me back to the list.

A few of the tasks were no-brainers (put out the trash, wash the dishes when I’ve prepared the meal). But this provided a good opportunity to consider what else I could use help with. I immediately put him in charge of adding salt to the water softener and changing the furnace filter. These are both on about a 3-month schedule. They’re tedious work, but not physically demanding, since I’ll carry the bags of salt to the basement. (He has too many stents around his heart to lift anything that heavy.)

The prospect of actually getting help around the house was liberating. A few hours later I came up with another item with which Jagdish could be useful. First, some backstory. I don’t put on make-up every day, only when I have a meeting. Most of what I use goes around my eyes. When I’m done, I put on my glasses to look for smudges and errant strokes that need to be removed.

On this particular day, those glasses also magnified the stubble on my lower legs. Since I planned to wear a knee-length dress, I needed to shave. I’d already showered, so I decided to use the sink for the shaving. As I hiked one leg up, I almost lost my balance. (Yet another complication of shrinking 1 ½ inches in two years.) It dawned on me that here was one more use for my spouse.

I called to Jagdish that I needed his help. I had him stand behind me, steadying my hips so I didn’t fall over. “See?” I said, when I was done. “There are all sorts of things you can help with around here!”

My husband has been wedded to his computer since we left Providence. He’s become an expert buyer for his store. He reminds me of my friend Sheryl, whom we lost seven years ago. Sheryl knew where to get anything at the best price and on the best terms. She found things the old fashioned way—by phone and through networking and as she was driving around on errands. Jagdish uses modern technology. I should tap into his Internet browsing skills for our house. Note to self: Start a “to buy” list for Jagdish.

He also has a fancy (and smart) iPhone. There must be some things he can use it for that will be helpful to me, since I still have a dumb, flip phone. Perhaps there’s a lullaby app to play music that will mask his snoring. To be fair, he’s been snoring a lot less lately. Maybe it’s all that fresh air coming up from the river and drifting across the golf course.

Here’s something you probably never thought of. It came to me when I heard a comment on The View. (Yes, I’m watching that show more often now that Joy Behar is back as a co-host.) The women were discussing Spanx. Apparently some of them wear multiple layers of this popular shapewear. One of them said that Spanx cause a problem, because the fat they push in on one area of your body has to pop out somewhere else. I gave this a mental head nod. OK. I actually nodded my head vigorously.

The solution came to me in a flash. I don’t wear my Spanx very often, but the next time I do, I’m going to make sure Jagdish is handy. I’ll have him push the fat back in wherever it pops out. Of course, with the condition my body is in right now, this will be a bit like playing whack-a-mole, but a girl’s gotta try. If Jagdish can accomplish that task, he’ll never have to worry about any floating “ex” in my blog titles. I might even take over filling the water softener again.

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