Every once in a while, I have to work a weekend shift. When that happens, Mr T takes the opportunity to schedule one of his maintenance projects. Of course, I have no idea what my computer-genius husband's weekend projects entail. They are of the highly confidential, extremely important, technologically advanced type - too complicated for me to ever understand. I tend not to ask for explanations, as long as he makes the most use of his time when I'm not around.
This past weekend, for the first time since I've met him, Mr T had a two-day project scheduled at a time when I didn't have to work. His project may or may not have had something to do with a complete overhaul of their IT system at work; regardless, it involved long hours and the entire weekend.
I panicked days before the weekend even set in. What in the world would I do without my husband around? My usual tendency, when confronted with similar moments of panic, is to revert to my most trusted and calming of activities. I made a list.
As luck would have it, there was not a single friend in town for me to spend time with, so all the suggested activities I jotted down on my list left me to my own devices. I planned to get done all the things I can never do with Mr T around, seeing as he is a firm believer in enjoying our weekends and ignoring errands and chores.
The list began quite pleasantly enough. Get a manicure and pedicure, take a book and sit on the beach, catch an early chick flick, shop for a rug for the living room and buy canvases from Magrudy's to attempt a DIY piece of art for our home: all items that made me feel like I'd be off to a good start. But inevitably, dreaded pragmatism took over. Before I knew it, the list was populated with items I felt too guilty to ignore: do four loads of laundry, reorganise wardrobe, clean out storage room, load and run dishwasher, grocery shop and cook healthy meals for the week, go to the gym, decide which DVDs to donate, vacuum, dust, clean.
I hate doing these types of chores with Mr T around, despite his repeated pleas to allow him to take part and help. I am terrible at delegating household chores to him, convinced he'll never be able to get a surface as gleaming as I want it, so I would rather not bother. More importantly, I hate the idea of him seeing me huffing and puffing with all the effort exerted in vacuuming; I always turn into a sweating wreck five minutes into the dreaded chore, which is not exactly the most attractive of sights.
Plus he is such a distraction, with his joke cracking and music blasting and random twirls around the kitchen. Thanks to him, we end up having too much fun to finish the dishes or get started on scrubbing the tub, and we abandon the to-do list without a second thought, always with several items pending. Household chores should be anything but fun, right? I need focus and determination to get that stuff done; Mr T just doesn't get that.
So I buckled down this weekend and crossed each item off my list with a proud, forceful pen stroke. The result was an aching back, sore limbs and a house that, although clean and organised, is really too quiet for my taste. My sense of accomplishment pales in comparison to the camaraderie I have when working alongside my distracting husband.
Which is why I finished everything except the dishes in the sink. I think I'd rather do those with Mr T there to help me rinse them. That will definitely result in a few laughs.