‘Happy anniversary’ Jason announced at 7.30 this morning; as we both struggled to wake up in order to retrieve an insistent Hen from his crib. ‘It’s not our anniversary,’ I told him, momentarily caught off guard by his attempt at early morning conversation. ‘It’s not?’ he asked, more confused than he should have been, since I’d just told him the day before ‘it’s two days until our anniversary.’
In the minutes that followed, he tried to mentally figure out what date it was, and why today wasn’t, in fact, July 27th when he so clearly thought it was. I’d moved on, literally and figuratively.
Fast forward to early afternoon when we were both checking our email. He made a joke about how all of his life’s difficulties had started after August 26, 1996. A statement I chose to ignore, knowing full well he’d meant to say July 27, 1996. This time he was a month off on our anniversary date. A fact that occurred to him as he sheepishly muttered…..’I don’t know where that came from.’
On the surface, Jason seems like fairly decent husband/human being material, if you like people who are attractive, witty, creative, intelligent, involved with their kids, that sort of thing. But when you stop to dig a little past the surface, you’ll find some glaring flaws.
There’s the social awkwardness and the way he conjures up supremely dumb arguments to get himself out of having to do work he doesn’t want to do.
At church this morning, the pastor was explaining the way communion would be served. On this particular Sunday, he suggested concluding the sacrament by hugging or shaking hands with the person beside you, to signify the peace that passes understanding. At least I think that’s what he said, I don’t really know, because Jason interrupted my valiant attempt at concentration.
In a bit of a panic, he turned to me and whispered: ‘I don’t want to pass the peace of understanding with Karen,’ a woman he’d just met, who was sitting beside him. Hugging virtual strangers is just not high on his list of favorite things.
We returned from church and, after lunch and naps, I decided to treat the boys to an ice cream cone. I’d bought cones and ice cream at the store a few days before. The only problem is, I’d noticed that, within the confines of our little freezer compartment, the ice cream doesn’t tend to stay – what some might call – frozen.
‘This ice cream isn’t frozen,’ I called to Jason, after I’d taken it out of the freezer the first time. ‘It’s all soft and mushy…do you think the freezer isn’t working?’ He stuck his head in the freezer and looked around. ‘Everything else seems frozen….maybe it’s a problem with the ice cream..maybe it just doesn’t freeze well.
He delivered this statement as if it was the most plausible thing man has uttered in recent history. That, in fact, there’s now a new kind of ice cream available on the market; a special kind that requires you to consume it immediately…because it just doesn’t stay frozen when placed in the freezer.
And the thing is, he was so insistent about it that I started to doubt my own common sense.
(Me, mulling the conversation over in my head) ‘Yes, maybe it is the ice cream. Everything else does seem to be frozen. Sure, when I bought it at the store, it was hard as a rock. And sure, the freezer doesn’t feel very cold when you put your hand in it, but maybe this weird, cheap Lucerne ice cream is just really bad at staying frozen.’
To prove his point, he took the ice cream downstairs to the basement fridge/freezer, which we’d never turned on, or used, since we don’t need two refrigerators. Sixteen hours later, I retrieved the containers, only to find the ice cream had leaked all over the empty compartment. And had morphed from a consistency of ‘glop’ to ‘mostly liquid’.
As I poured the dairy treat into the cones, Jason muttered: ‘fine, I’ll email her (our landlord).’
When our anniversary rolls around – tomorrow – it will mark thirteen years since we looked fancy standing in front of a bunch of people, timidly repeating the vows our extremely nervous pastor recited.
What a crazy adventure it has been, and, truly, I wouldn’t want to be married to anyone else, even if they would agree with me – the first time – that the freezer is broken.