Last week I spent Wednesday night digging a hole, Thursday down in the hole, and Friday filling the hole.
By the time it ended, the hole had assumed the title of “The Hole” and phrases like “I’m going in” had become part of the vernacular around our house.
I learned several interesting things while dealing with the leak four feet under ground, where our main water line meets our sprinkler line, but one of them stood out far more than others. Namely, it’s good to have a wife.
No, really. I mean it’s, like, really good.
It’s easy to take her for granted. Married fifteen years in January. She’s always there. I’ve got dinner ready for me every day when I get home from work, and it’s usually tasty. (Just kidding, dear, it’s always tasty.) Not to mention the magic clothes hamper. It’s amazing. You put your dirty clothes in there, and a few days later they magically appear in your closet. Clean, even. I swear, it’s a miracle of modern technology.
Like I said, it’s easy to take her for granted, sometimes. I imagine every man is guilty of it from time to time.
But as I worked in the yard, and made one of six (yes, six) trips to Home Depot in three days (I have yet to master the art of planning ahead for what I not only certainly need, but also what I might need and can later return if I don’t need it), I realized on two separate occasions just how valuable it is to have a companion around.
The first time was one of the trips to Home Depot. As I stared at the myriad options of rocks, wondering what to buy, I distinctly remember thinking, “If only she were here, to help me make this decision. Heck, I’d even go for it if she just told me what to buy.”
You see, it’s good to bounce things off of other people. Rather than making decisions in the sick little world that is my head, it helps to have someone to talk with, get input from. I cannot count the number of times I’ve been working on something and turned to her to find out
what she thought on the matter. More often than not, she raises considerations that I hadn’t thought of and probably wouldn’t have if I worked on the problem for a decade.
The next day, as I filled The Hole, I decided to fix a few other things around the yard. It just so happened that my wife was gone for a little while, and I was left alone, filling in holes, cutting out grass, and laying drainage pipes. You know, really good times.
By about 2:30 in the afternoon, I was hot, exhausted, ready to give up and finish another day. I was moving slow. My back ached. My knee hurt. All very good reasons to throw in the towel.
When my wife came home, I gave her a sad look and said, “It’s lonely out here. Will you come out and work with me?”
You see, somewhere during those six hours of work, I’d realized just how craptastic working in the yard all day, all alone, was. And I figured that if she would join me, not only would it be more pleasant, but I would then have half as much work to do.
She laughed and gave that little smile of hers. If you have a wife you know what smile I mean. It’s THAT SMILE. The one that says you’re ridiculous but she loves you, anyway.
“Of course I’ll help,” she said, and turned to go inside. She said nothing more but looked over
her shoulder and gave THAT SMILE again. She did not say it. She didn’t have to. I knew it was true.
I was a sissy because I could barely handle three days of yard work, when she does all the yard work, including mowing the lawn. I spend a few days out there and am reduced to a quivering pile of goo. She’s out there day after day while I sit at some cushy desk, punching away on a keyboard.
She changed her clothes, came out, and we worked together. And I was right. Not only did my work get cut in half, but immediately the work became bearable, again. The manual labor proved no less difficult. My body had not magically rejuvenated. But having her there with me,
chatting cheerily about whatever it is she chats about (yes dear, of course I’m listening) made the entire experience much more bearable.
In fact, I’d say that it became enjoyable.
And so, here’s to all you wives out there who make life easier on your husbands–in whatever way you do it. Don’t worry. Sometimes it may feel like he takes you for granted. Maybe he forgets to always thank you for everything you do–but trust me, he appreciates it. And he
loves you all the more for it.
And if he doesn’t, you should give him a good swift kick in the pants so that he does.