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Day 23 – Vada Advent Calendar
It’s Christmas, Honey!
My hubby has just reminded me that it will be Christmas soon. My hubby says I ought to write something heart-warming for the festive season. Alright!
My man and I have been together for fifteen years. In all this time, we’ve had only two fights that almost broke us up: one over another man, the other over keeping order in the laundry closet. But that was early on in the relationship. We haven’t had an argument in six years. He says four, because there was that time … No honey, it’s six, six years, that time didn’t count… OK, four it is. We haven’t had an argument in four years!
In fifteen years you get really used to a person. Certain questions I’ve stopped asking, such as, “you need any ketchup with that?” I’ve stopped making the Sunday morning eggs the way I like them, because it’s too much hassle—I eat them his style now, easy over. Even in restaurants, I go ahead and order for him. “No mayo please!” “Sir, your gazpacho doesn’t come with mayo!” “No—I mean for him, he doesn’t like mayo.” Sometimes we forget, and hubby ends up scolding me: “Why didn’t you tell the waiter I want the meat medium well?”
As for Sunday mornings, Sunday is laundry day, which is his job. He washes, hangs up, dries, and irons all our clothes. I watch him from my writing desk. Is there anything sexier than a man in briefs behind an ironing board? When his back starts to hurt, I offer to finish up, but he just laughs. “You? Ironing? Get lost! Go write your books.”
I can tell from the way he sits on the couch when he has a headache—and I get the pills without a word. So much goes on between us that doesn’t need words any longer. He knows when to leave me be, and when I need a hug. He reaches up to straighten my tie in the elevator. He kisses my ear before I get up to speak at a conference.
When he is on a business trip, I am in trouble. I simply cannot fall asleep when he is away, no matter how hard I hug his pillow or sweater. What’s worse, I hear his voice, or his telltale noises in the apartment. I hear his house keys jingle, and see the shoes in the hall long before he returns; I hear him curse when he loses a fight on his PS3 game, even though the TV is off.
I can tell what he is up to merely by the tiny sounds he makes. I hear the refrigerator door and the milk bottle being returned, and I know his next question will be ‘you want coffee?’ So I answer before he asks. It feels like we are an elderly couple on a park bench. No words necessary. Sometimes a smile or nod replaces a whole conversation. Sometimes a single facial expression speaks volumes, or makes everything alright again.
He knows everything about me. For a while I used to close the door to the study at a certain hour ‘to write.’ After a few months he smiled at me one day and said ‘have a good wank?’ I forgot he has a good nose. I’ve stopped trying to hide anything from him.
I love his smell. When he crawls into bed and nestles into my arms, I usually get immediately turned on. Even after fifteen years, the smell of the skin around his nape, his backside pushing against me, the way he slips his legs between mine before we fall asleep… Often when I touch him, well knowing that he is tired and not in the mood, I only do it so I can hear him say “go to sleep, baby.”
Last year he had a minor operation and was in hospital for two days. I spent every minute in his room, reading, and sleeping on an uncomfortable chair. The nurses kept wondering who I was and what I was doing there. I filled in all the registration forms, and answered all the medical questions about him. Nurse Julie said we must be “very close friends for me to know so much about him.” Yes, Julie. Very close.
So close, that I have absorbed his accent, and his idiosyncratic speech. People say there is something funny now about my English, something Taiwanese. It’s not true, I don’t have a Taiwanese accent. I have his accent. Oh, and I have also begun to start sentences with “My husband says…”
Well, enough about my man and me. He says I ought to end the post with an inspiring message.
Ok. Here it is.
In the light of all the above, now, if one more conservative manic, one more Russian skinhead, one more Bible-touting American zealot, one more Bachmann or Perry or Coulter, whatever their bigoted names are, one more child-molesting priest in a frock, or a mob of mad women in defense of traditional marriage tells me, to my face, that what my man and I have is a perversion, a sin, a correctable behaviour , the end of civilization, a threat to humanity, or ‘just a phase,’ I swear, one more disrespectful, ignorant post or YouTube video along those lines, one more challenge from these conservative pricks, AND I WILL RIP THEIR HEADS OFF!
Happy Holidays, everyone!