So, yesterday I was puckering up for what I thought was going to be a chaste kiss between my FHB and me, while I was doing some paperwork at the dining room table. I lifted my chin up so he would not have to reach down too far and the words out of his mouth somewhat killed that moment. If I remember them correctly, or in paraphrase perhaps, he said “When you put your neck up like that you look just like a whale who has a neck full of krill”. My retort “…so you are calling me a whale?” and there went the romance, out to sea like Ahab looking for the Great White One, elusive and ridiculous. He walked away, muttering. Maybe he was saying something meaningful but I am pretty sure that it was closer to a mumble than a romantic comeback. Ain’t love grand.
Actually, love is pretty great 99.99999 percent of the time. The other .00001 percent is just annoying. I actual revel in the bantering since later that day, I looked at myself with my neck stretched up and made a funny face in the mirror, while we stood side by side at our respective sinks. I commented, innocently of course that “I look more like a lizard, right?”. My FHB, ever the non comeback kid stated, for the record, ” I have long since given up responding to your comments”. He told me that I didn’t look like a whale, just the lines on my neck. I turned to him and suggested he was merely changing feet in his mouth and left it at that. And so it goes.
It’s difficult to measure the timeline when we went from loving romantic comments to non-filtered observations. It seemed like the wind shifted and here we were or are, comfortable in the knowledge that we love one another but words sometimes just get in the way. The nuances of language paired with the honesty of the passage of time in a relationship sometimes is fraught with sharp edges. Perhaps couples should have stop, slow down and yield signs to put up when the terrain is getting dangerous.
In the morning I have a routine, much like other folks and I go through the preparation of breakfast and lunch for us both since I leave about an hour before my FHB does. I wake, put the cat bowls in the sink to soak, rinse and refill while the cat gives me the stink eye as she is clearly hungry. I start the water for coffee to go(for me) and perhaps oatmeal for us both or something pretty portable to bring to work. While this is happening, my FHB fills our big water bottles with ice and water to have for our day. He also is in charge of getting our vitamins, supplements and assorted meds together, mine to go and his to take. Somehow, in the space that we share in the loft, he is always in my way. I am never in his way, believe me. It reminds me of raising children and having a hungry dog underfoot. No matter where I am, they are, slowing down the process. I am relatively silent in the morning. However, when there is an invasion of my personal prep space, I kind of growl. It is one of those moments when I could say “excuse me” but I choose to mutter to myself about the lack of space for two of us to coexist. I am not so delightful, I guess. I am grateful for the pill sorting and the water filling. He is conscientious and precise. I am moving like a short order cook with a diner full of boy scouts back from a hike. I then decide to shower, and hope that afterwards, that the coast is clear to finish my tasks, gather my stuff and leave the loft to start the day. Now dressed, made up and refreshed, I re-enter the kitchen area, take a step back and look at the man. He is usually sitting on the couch, watching the news. I can’t help but smile. The mornings would be nothing without him and neither would I. I always call out I love you” , and he doesn’t miss a beat and says he loves me too. Day by day….