The Odd Couple

Whenever Paul reads one of my blog posts he invariably reacts differently than I anticipate. At one end of the reaction scale he does not find them nearly as humorous as I do. At the other end, he is horrified.

Take The “C” Word for example. I laughed out loud while writing that one. As Paul began to read it I waited for the belly laughs, the guffaws. By the time he had finished, the disappointed look on his face made me wonder if he was constipated or had just remembered that yesterday was his mother’s birthday. His response was: “You dropped a lot of F bombs in that post.” Defensively I said “Well, that was how I felt!” I had presented my precious baby to him and his response was “Uh-huh, ugly.”

After reading another post I expected his response to somehow mirror my sentiments about our lost summers of youth accompanied by a far-off wistful look. What I saw was more of a “Where did I put that suicide prevention telephone number?” look.

“Are you getting ready to check out?” He said. There was real concern in his voice.


“Pookie, I’m concerned, are you really that tired?”

“We all get tired. I’m just going through one of those phases.” I simply said

“I don’t allow myself to be tired.” Was his response.

I wanted to laugh. But he was serious. And then I began to think about it. It reminded me of something a neighborhood Mom had said when I remarked how well behaved her children were. “We do not allow them to misbehave.” I was as dumbfounded then as I was now. I had always thought that controlling children was just as futile as controlling bodily functions. Quite literally, shit happens.

If controlling my body was an option, sign me up. I’d start with my abs. “I don’t care what you say about the mouth eating all the time, I’m talking to you now little mister, so flatten it up!” And to my hair: “You’re looking a little thin and pale lately sweetie, let’s fatten you up and get some color back in those pretty little follicles!”

Paul sent me an e-mail this week that was a perfect example of how we differ. He had decided to get up early and drive from our condo in Boston to make a 9:30 AM appointment in New York. The e-mail started with “I got here an hour and a half early, so I put Wal-Mart in the GPS and shopped for our supplies for the weekend.” Number one, I would consider arriving anything other than five minutes early to be a waste of perfectly good sleep time. Number two, Wal-Mart would be the furthest thing from my mind at 8:00 AM. And finally, shopping for the weekend on Tuesday?

But this is how Paul operates. His mind and body are in constant planning and production mode. While it is generally accepted that once my work day ends, sitting on the sofa and watching trash TV is just about as industrious as I am going to get. I am good with creative thoughts, but bringing them to fruition is where Paul comes in. My off –hand comment that it might be nice to have a honey onyx backsplash becomes reality just by mentioning it to Paul. I pass the ball and he takes it to the end zone.

The second part of the e-mail elaborately detailed how he was going to borrow his sister’s truck to pick up a new bed at Ikea and swap the one in our Boston condo for the one in New Hampshire and then switch Nick’s bed for the one that we had. I was exhausted by the end of the e-mail. But it occurred to me that how we differed was also what made us strong. Each of us has his strengths. Maybe having a differing sense of humor also made us stronger.

Finally, Paul’s e-mail stated that he would stay in New Hampshire that night so he could get a good night sleep in the larger bed and give his “restless legs” a break. Even his legs are constantly moving. I wanted to reply back “Well maybe you just need to have a little talk with those legs. Show them the back of your hand and then we’ll see who stops shaking!” But something tells me that he would not see the humor in that.

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