My Neuroses, Vol. 341

I know I am neurotic about some things. I can change, if I have to, I guess. Okay, no; I can’t change this. I do devote an effort to being less suffocating, though, for my dear, sweet, sometimes absentminded husband’s sanity. And I’m proud to admit that since I wrote this in 2010 I’ve noticed improvements. Just don’t ask my husband because he’ll lie and tell you that I’m still as bad about this as I’ve ever been.

Not long ago I lost my backpack and had to go without it when I traveled to Seattle for school. A couple weeks later I walked into the garage to find B suspended from the rafters pretending to be a bat. Or maybe he was really doing chin-ups, dips, and other CrossFit things. Whatever, Batman. And there on the ground next to him was my long-lost backpack. Excited by my discovery, I swooped in to grab it and was instantly engulfed in a blinding cloud of white powder.

As it turns out, my dear, sweet, usually logical husband had decided to use my backpack–not an airtight gallon-size Ziploc bag, of which we have many–to store his climbing chalk. And in case some of you are missing the point, know that climbing chalk comes in rock form but is a very fine, loose, presumably cocaine-like powder. It shouldn’t be stored in backpacks especially if plans are being made to carry said backpacks through airport security checkpoints.

All I could do was growl as I shook the bag and more and more white dust flew out of it onto the garage floor. B exclaimed, “But you weren’t using it when I found it!” as I walked back into the house and closed the door behind me. I didn’t have the strength to say anything polite, so I chose silence instead and stomped away, consoling myself into laughter with the thought of one day seeking revenge by filling his toolbox with tampons.

When something goes missing our house, after I’ve eliminated my own user error from the equation it’s usually safe to assume that my husband’s path somehow, at some point, crossed paths with the missing object. With a few exceptions, he is not as focused on obsessed with order and organization as I am, so when he sets his–or my–keys or sunglasses down somewhere he doesn’t stop to encode the the process. If I set something down and I know I’ll need it later and wonder where it is, I will stop and make a conscious effort to say to myself, “This is the key I am going to need tomorrow morning. I am placing it right here, next to this plant on this shelf.” B does no such thing, so I’m constantly digging his sunglasses out of my laundry basket, picking up things that fall out of his pockets as he walks, and biting my tongue instead of saying “I told you so” when he loses his cool over a lost TV remote only to find that he left it in the kitchen. Because while he’s often more focused on his next task, I’m there behind him in the shadows, maybe hiding behind that potted plant in the corner, inadvertently taking over by encoding his actions for him. (If you’re thinking “freeeak!” that’s okay and I don’t blame you. It’s something for which I wish I could find the on/off switch.)

A couple weeks ago this came in handy when B woke up early for school and panicked because he couldn’t find his wallet. Sometime previously we’d had a small disagreement over the fact that I kept picking up his wallet and moving it to the spot next to the door, where my purse and our keys belong. On the morning that he woke up early to find his wallet missing he roused me from my sleep to grumble “Have you seen my wallet?” I said no. When he asked again, “Are you sure you haven’t seen my wallet?” I could tell he really meant, “Are you sure you didn’t move it?”

I threw the blankets off and stood up, rubbing the sleep out of my eyes. Growling, I began searching in the least likely places for B’s wallet. And less than twenty seconds after I started searching I found it at eye-level, on a bookshelf in our living room. I called B’s name–which was temporarily, lovingly, changed to “jerkface” since he woke me up early–and stood there pointing to the wallet so he could see where he’d left it. As he rounded the corner his face melted into the familiar expression he gets when he knows I’m thinking “I told you so.” With a hug, a kiss, and a quick apology for assuming I’d moved his wallet–even though Amendment 376.2 to our Marriage Agreement clearly states that “Wife will not move husband’s wallet, EVER”–he ran out the door.

After B left I promptly sought my revenge. I walked into the garage, opened up his toolbox, and filled it with tampons.

OK, so I didn’t do that and I won’t ever do that. But the thought still really cracks me up.

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