There are subtle changes, here in our post-remarriage lives, that I rarely think about. The big changes are easy, of course. But the little things sort of creep up on a person.
Like how I never put away laundry anymore, fully believing that the Laundry Fairy will be along to tidy up after me. Or that I can wash everything and fold it and declare, “Look! I did the laundry!” and then after it sits in our bedroom in the baskets for three days, Otto will put it away for me. Whatever.
Or like how I plan certain meals and buy certain foods because I know Otto really likes them. I mean, it’s not that we never ate pork chops before (mmmm… hog fat…), it’s just that it wasn’t typically something I’d seek out. But he likes them, and so now I look for them. (Last night we had apricot-glazed chops and all approved.)
So last night after the kids had gone to bed, Otto and I were here in the office, each toiling away at our respective computers, when it became clear that my typing was aggravating Otto. Okay; in fairness, he needed to record some audio. So it wasn’t OHMYGOD YOUR TYPING IS ANNOYING but a matter of needing silence for what he wanted to do. And once this was pointed out, I told him that I had just one thing to finish and then I’d be done in the office and he could do his recording.
And then a minute later I asked him for some photos I need for a project, and he sent them over, and I finished what I was doing and started working on another project. After a while, Otto got up and left the office, but I was working and not paying any attention.
Until I realized that he’d been gone for, like, an hour.
I got up and found him sitting in our bedroom with his laptop, recording the audio in the silence. And then I got all huffy because he didn’t tell me (or ask me to please relocate), and I felt badly that I’d completely forgotten that he was waiting for me to finish, and all of this caused me to sputter something about how HE SHOULD’VE JUST SAID SOMETHING. And he said no, it’s my office, and I should be able to keep working in there; and I said no, it’s OUR office, and I could’ve moved into the living room or the bedroom.
Then we realized that actually, this wasn’t argument-worthy. (Few things are.)
By that time, it was late, and so we got ready for bed and lay there in the dark chatting, as we do, and Otto brought up an event he’d like to go participate in next month—a road rally, and if you know what that is, you can be a car geek with my husband—and I said that sounded fine, and then he said “I haven’t done a rally in almost two years.”
And I said, “No, that’s not right. You’ve been to several events since we got married!” And I struggled to remember, first bringing up a couple of events where he worked rather than ran (oops) and finally, triumphantly, pointing out a race I KNEW he’d run in Vermont.
“Um, that was before we got married,” Otto said.
“No it wasn’t! It was…” I did some mental math, while Otto calmly pointed out various surrounding events as a time reference. “… before we got married. Wow.”
“Yep,” he said.
“Wow,” I said again. “Time sure flies when you’re… spending all of your money on lawyers and renovations.” And we laughed, not because the last year and a half HASN’T been fun, in addition to those other things, but because it was funny, anyway, to view the last eighteen months as having passed quickly in the midst of some of the more torturous events of our recent history.
We chatted for a while, as we do, about various things. And I chastised Otto about… something. Something so DREADFULLY IMPORTANT that I can’t even remember what it is, now (and neither can Otto; I called to ask). As these things usually go, after some discussion he hit me with his usual long-suffering retort, which is, “WHY did you marry me, again?”
“Because I LOVE YOU,” I said, throwing an arm across his chest. “And also because you have a really big… LENS!”
This declaration was greeted with… silence.
“What?” I goaded him, poking for emphasis. “Why aren’t you saying anything?”
He paused a moment more, before saying, “I’m trying to decide if that was foreplay.”
“Well, did you bring your camera to bed?”
“Then no. Goodnight, Otto!”
What can I say? We’re a classic story of romance.