Tuesday, October 9, 2012

It's Pam's World. I'm Just Living In It.

Like so many members of the human race, I am a creature of habit. In particular, my morning routine has taken on epic levels of monotony. I rise at 6:30. I walk down the stairs and let Molly out the back door. While she performs her own morning ritual, I begin a pot of coffee. After loading the machine, I reach into the middle jar on the counter and remove one dog biscuit. I open the back door where Molly is patiently, knowingly, waiting, slip the biscuit into her mouth as she comes back into the house. Then I sit on the love seat browsing the internet on my iPhone waiting for the coffee to brew. It’s the sort of rhythm that I have built into my life and it is oddly comforting.

I say all of this to demonstrate for you how dependable and reliable these routines are to me, and also so that you will then understand how remarkably pliable an attitude I have adopted when my wife chooses randomly to throw me a curveball.

Roughly 6 weeks ago I awoke one day and was effortlessly trudging through my morning rituals. I stepped into the shower and began shampooing my hair, then moved on, dreamlike, to shaving, then to rinsing off. I stepped out of the shower, grabbed my towel from the hook on the back of the door where it always hangs, as inflexible as the laws of physics. Then I reached for the blow dryer where it hangs from the suction cup hook on the large mirror. My hand grabbed air. Startled, I stepped back and noticed that the blow dryer along with the hook was gone. I must have stood there, mouth agape staring at the mirror for a minute or more. What could possibly have happened to it? I was at a total loss as to what to do next. Pam was still asleep and doesn’t do well when abruptly awakened. I searched the cabinets under both sinks. No blow dryer. We hadn’t just returned from a trip so she couldn’t have left it in a suitcase. It was just gone.

Then I remembered that two days ago, after Kaitlin had returned back to graduate school, I had found Pam in one of her scorched earth style cleaning jags. She had taken everything out of the kids bathroom down the hall and scrubbed the place within an inch of it’s life. The idea occurred to me that maybe she had taken the blow dryer into the kids bathroom and left it by mistake. I walked down the hall and around the corner and discovered that Pam hadn’t merely left the blow dryer there, she had found it a new home. There it was in all of it’s 2000 watt beauty, hanging smartly from my missing hook in it’s new spot on the mirror over Patrick’s sink.

That was 6 weeks ago. It’s still in there. Pam hasn’t said a word about it and even worse, I haven’t either. So each and every morning after toweling off, I walk naked down the upstairs hall past our giant palladium window hoping there’s nobody standing on the front porch with their hands cupped around their eyes peering inside to see if anyone’s at home. I should say at this point that I’m not a robe type of guy. I mean I’ve tried them but they’re not for me. So every morning I pause at my bedroom door, peer around the corner to make sure the coast is clear, then I walk down the hall to use the blow dryer.

How did this happen? How did I sit passively by and allow my wife to alter the physical reality of my daily routine without even a whisper of protest? Well, here’s the thing, this house belongs to Pam. Yes, I know, I had it built, and I’m the one basically paying for it, but this place is her domain. After 28 years of marriage I have learned a few things. First of all, if she decides to move the location of the blow dryer, then…well, there must be an awfully good reason for doing so. Asking her to explain her reasoning would be like asking your mother why the sky is blue, or why it is that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west and not the other way around. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter!

So, now I have a new routine. Honestly, I’ve already gotten used to it. If after a few months I wake up one day and she’s moved it to the mirror in the downstairs bathroom, then I’ll know that she’s just messing with me. For now, we’re good. It’s all good.