Once upon a time, I was a young, single person. Seems like a century ago.
When I was in college, I was a six-hour drive from everyone I knew. I worked, I went to class (sometimes) and I managed to keep myself functioning (meaning I knew how to feed myself, wash my clothes and go to the doctor.)
Then, after college, I moved to Franklin. I had my own apartment, a few jobs and I didn’t know a soul. I still had clean underwear, I got the oil changed in my car, I paid my own bills.
Hubby still tells me that one of the main traits that he always loved about me was my independent nature. He always knew that I didn’t start dating him because I needed to, but rather, wanted to. And I didn’t have to keep him around because I needed him either.
You know, kind of like that official line about how people “serve at the the pleasure of the queen.” (Don’t tell Hubby I said that.)
Likewise, Hubby was a dude with his own interests and he wasn’t looking for a Mama, so our relationship was two self-reliant people getting together because they enjoyed each other’s company and had a lot in common. NOT a girl who wanted a man to take care of her and a boy who wanted someone to do his laundry.
I feel like our independent personalities were a great foundation for a relationship, but I’m sad to admit that Hubby and I have been slipping lately, and we might even be veering into codependent territory.
Over the 18 years we’ve been together, we have definitely established some clear cut responsibilities that we each do exclusively. If Hubby decided to join the circus tomorrow, there are several things that I would be totally lost on.
Like technology. He’s the guy who understands how the TV and connected devices work. Router, modem? No idea what those things are. Reset wifi? Lolol. We’ll be fine without the Internet, right?
I don’t know our Netflix password or how to update any device other than my laptop, and that’s only because Apple knows I’m a dummy and they make one button pop up for updates.
Another task I’ve surrendered entirely to Hubby is trash day. I don’t know what can go in which recycle bin, or when it’s trash pickup only versus trash and recycling day. And heaven forbid I should need to take large item to the dump. (Wait, I forgot we’re fancy here in WillCo, it’s not the dump, it’s the convenience center.)
So, if Hubby ever perfects his carnival barking skills and goes on the road, we will live in piles of trash with no connection to the outside world.
But I’m not the only one who has been slacking. Hubby has also handed over some duties to me that he would fail at if I went to jail for regularly admitting to handing out whoopins in this column.
The food situation would be dire. Hubby exists solely on protein bars Monday through Friday from the time he wakes up until he gets home, at which point supper is usually on the table. He used to be a great cook, but usually I have more time at home to prepare our meals so he doesn’t have to keep his skills sharp.
And let’s not even talk about grocery shopping. I’ll give him a list and he will come home with items I’ve never seen before. Even if I’ve been buying the exact same sliced cheese for 15 years, and he’s been eating that cheese, when he gets to the store, he doesn’t know which one to buy! Now apply that to the very particular and detailed snack and meal requirements of two picky kids plus one foodie kid. Packing school lunches is a mystery to him, and adding money to a school lunch account would be like breaking ancient Egyptian code. So this is my plea now — if I go to jail, y’all come feed my family, please.
I know my 22-year-old self would cringe at my reliance on anyone else for such basic needs as tech support and sanitation, and my husband’s ineptitude at food supply management and preparation. But you know what that smarty-pants didn’t know? Finding the peanut butter to your jelly is WAY better than being Wonder Woman.
Overheard at the Salon: I am now referring to you as my sweet friend who ABANDONED me.