By Ryan Berry
I don’t like to brag on myself, but I must admit that I am an incredibly compassionate and caring man. My wife says she knows how fortunate she is, but sometimes I wonder if she really knows the extent of the fortune she was blessed with when she said, “I do.” Hmmm! What do you know? I do like to brag.
I do all the things a typical husband does – cooking, cleaning, laundry, yardwork, etc. At least those are the things she tells me a typical husband does. It does make me wonder why she tells her friends she has a good wife.
I really care about her health and well-being and not just because if something were to happen to her, I’d be stuck with the kids. That really sounded negative. Let me rephrase it. If something were to happen to her, the kids would not have someone as attentive to their needs, wants, and/or desires. I can show them how to fold and iron clothes or make dinner, but that is about all. After nearly 26 years of marriage and two daughters, I still haven’t even come close to figuring out women. I am definitely not equipped to hand out relationship advice.
If they were boys, I would tell them to agree and avoid arguments because you are not going to win. Your logic has no part in any argument with the opposite gender. When you are right, you are most definitely wrong. Once you recognize that, you will have a happy relationship. The same advice does not work with the fairer sex.
My ineptitude and the fact that I really love my wife a whole bunch is why I don’t want her leaving anytime soon. I was a little concerned the other night when she was in some discomfort.
It’s one thing to tell me she thinks she pinched a nerve or tweaked her neck. It is something completely different to hear, “I’m sure it’s just a pinched nerve (pause for effect here) but it could be a heart attack.” That was quickly followed by, “If I die in bed could you carry me downstairs so they don’t have to see our messy room?”
I immediately started to get up from the couch and asked if I needed to take her to the hospital. “No, I’m sure it’s just a pinched nerve,” she said.
The whole conversation really disturbed me. I was really wondering how I was going to get her down the stairs. I would really like to honor her final wish because it might help atone for the wishes I didn’t honor in the nearly 26 previous years.
My brain kicked into overdrive. Maybe I could call our daughter. She interned at a funeral home and picked up clients and might know a few tricks. Then again, she and a co-worker did drop one once. Drop might be a little harsh. The client kind of slid when they were putting them on the stretcher.
If I did it myself, would I cradle her like a baby? I would run the risk of banging her head against the wall or falling down the steps and then the police would get involved. I also thought about throwing her over my shoulder. That just really seemed impersonal and icky.
I figured since I had already ignored so many of her previous wishes, she wouldn’t be all that surprised if I ignored the last one.
The concern was still there when I climbed into bed. After about five minutes of not hearing her snore, move or do anything, I decided I’d better check on her. It was extremely dark and I wasn’t sure which way her face was facing. If she was sleeping, I didn’t want to do anything to startle her, which could have made her jerk her neck. I was trying to be compassionate.
I don’t always receive the same consideration. She has occasionally pulled the pillow out from under my head, shoved me or stuck her fingers over my nostrils to stop me from snoring.
I tried to position my ear over where I thought her face was to determine if I could hear anything. As I got close to her face, I could feel heat radiating from her body. I was relieved. With my ear still inches away from her face, she unexpectedly yelled, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” To say I was startled is an understatement. She nearly scared me to death.
I’m now wondering how she would have gotten me down the stairs to avoid people seeing our messy room. All I can picture is something out of a Three Stooges movie.
To reach Daily Advocate Editor Ryan Berry, email [email protected]