The Helpful Deeds of a Husband

The helpful deeds of my husband always put me in a state of wonder, amazement, laughter, and panic. Oh where do I start to explain his state of being?

Let’s start with the laundry. When I was away for several weeks for work I knew my husband could handle the kids and everything else. However, like all smart moms, I called my friend Pam and put her on alert. She knew what I knew, she would be called. The first panic call I received from my daughter was because Dad turned all her white clothes pink. Apparently he had decided to wash everything he saw in the house. The culprit was the beautiful, embroidered, coral throw in my living room, which is hand wash or dry clean only. My daughter called Pam, who marched right over there and took all the laundry away from husband. I really wonder how he can develop six patents and not figure out the separation of laundry.

Next stop is the grocery store. He is very helpful. He took my list and my daughter to get groceries. He returned with everything on the list, an embarrassed daughter, and a vow to never go to the grocery store again because the women were mean to him. Apparently he went through the 12 items or less self-checkout line with 45 items. I had the privilege to hear the story through the point of view of my husband, my daughter, and my friend Pam who happened to witness it as well. Listening to the story made me picture an I Love Lucy episode. The women behind him in line were glaring at him since he had too many items and they continued to point out that the sign read “12 items or less”. As he scans each item, they begin to back up on the belt, forcing him to stop and bag. As he starts to rescan, the buttons for weighing the produce do not work so he calls for help. Meanwhile, he continues to scan and as he does the carton of eggs falls open and the eggs roll down the belt and crack open. As the attendant rushes over with paper towels, my husband sees Pam and calls her name to help him. She laughs and ignores him because it is all too embarrassing. My daughter has now walked away from him and decides to wait outside. Somehow he finishes scanning, pays, bags, and drives home. I am amazed that he has gone back to the grocery store and has conquered his fears.

Let’s go to church next. We attend the 4:30pm mass on Saturday, and as communion is over my husband whispers to me, “Let me take you out to dinner. Where do you want to go?” His whisper is not a whisper, and can be heard several rows around us. It doesn’t seem to bother anyone except an older woman directly in front of us. She turns around and scolds my husband for talking in church. Her scolding is not a whisper either, and it can be heard all around us. Naturally our daughters try to make themselves as small as possible, moving as far down the pew as they can. My husband is speechless and amazed to be yelled at in church. I start a small chuckle. Soon I start to shake with laughter, when I realize that our friends behind us are uncontrollably laughing too and causing the pew to shake. I still laugh when I think about it, and I laugh when we go to church and he makes sure we are not sitting by this woman so he won’t get yelled at again.

Finally let me finish with the burning bush. Like most men, my husband has his share of tools and gadgets. One of his favorite tools for getting rid of weeds is a handheld, propane-fueled weed torcher. The directions distinctly and boldly say, “Do not use on mulch and be careful around flowers and shrubs, particularly evergreens. Do not torch on dry days.” My husband is not big at getting directions or reading directions.

On this particular hot, sunny day, I see him outside with his torch. I am a little concerned since it has not rained in weeks, so I go outside to tell him my fear of potential fire. He says, “Don’t worry. I am taking care of the weeds,” as he torches the weed infested mulch and then steps on it when it begins to smolder. I go inside to answer the phone and feed the dog. As I come back out the front door, there is smoke. One of the evergreens that flank the front steps is smoking. I yell for my husband, who is now in the backyard torching more weeds. As he hears me yelling, he runs to the front to turn on the outside spigot. Since there is no hose hooked up to it, he is trying to throw handfuls of water on the bush that is 12 feet away. It is too late. The bush disintegrates in a poof of flames, and then is left smoldering and charred. He finally gets the hose and waters the now perfectly burnt dead plant. The panic suddenly recedes as I realize that my house and the surrounding woods will not catch on fire. He admits aloud, “Yes I am an idiot.” It is then that I begin to laugh, and for once agree with him.  “Yes,” I say, “yes you are and thank you for being so helpful around the house once again.”


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