Hubs has been terribly interesting of late. Covid meant that we were all cooped up at home. Hubs on frenzied public health type phone calls, son in online school and I on my Zoom counseling calls.
What became very necessary over this past year was a super delicate demarcation of space.
Hubs was quite happy to be in the spare room pretending that he was in office but then there would be the sporadic prowls around the kitchen area. Snacking is of great interest to Hubs and he tends to peer around the kitchen at intermittent hours in the hunt for (not red October) but some interesting snacks.
He has the unerring ability to sniff out cookies and any thing that’s relatively new and fresh. Son’s cookies (at times baked by his friends) are devoured at the speed of light. Sometimes Hubs looks quizzically at a piece of apple (as if it could be a new Einsteinian formula) before he devours it. He still manages to look intellectual as he devours the last morsel.
Once in Karachi, Hubs was seeking solace (people can cause him to flee in faraway directions) in a relative’s garden, him and his apple both. He found himself sitting peacefully, reflecting on nothing in general, just about to sink his teeth into the juicy red piece of fruit. At this point a well meaning distant cousin of mine sauntered up and decided to quiz Hubs about Public Health mysteries…
Hubs later claimed, woe-begone, that all he had really wanted was some quiet time with the apple.
What I’m attempting to share here is the super significance of snacking and solitary reflection for Hubs.
COVID meant that snacks were easily accessible as Hubs was home but quiet confines were not so easy to come by. Often I would be met on the staircase by expectantly smiling Hubs, as I returned from the grocery store, bags in hands. “Hullo sweetie” says he and then peers hopefully into the brown bags.
Sharing space with the boys has honestly not been as difficult as providing intriguing snacking options. In the early days of Covid, I would honestly find that I did not have an answer to “ab kya khaon?”
Another interesting aspect about my sweet (and by now somewhat cuddly) hubby is that he is startled by sudden noises and questions.
So while he enthusiastically tours kitchen area for treats, he also gets alarmed by the frequency of times I attempt to engage him in conversation.
Attempting to relax and actually succeeding in this mission is of great interest to Hubs. “Mein kuch relaxed feel kar raha hun.” is quite the accomplishment and much mindfulness has been invested in this pursuit. The Fine Art of Keeping Calm by Hubs (name withheld in the interest of privacy).
Those who know my Sweetie will understand that keeping calm does not come easily to him. He has been known in social situations to offer a piece of his mind hither and thither in a rather scary, intimidating manner.
Later on, upon reflection, resolute and affectionate (almost) apologies are offered and I am asked to invite the offended party to dinner, to make up for the impassioned tirade they had been subjected to, which of course I do not do.
So as you can see Hubs is a (mostly) lovable cocktail of intense opinions and ‘on edge’ behaviour. Thus the need and immense interest in learning to relax. Working long and extremely hectic hours also means that little naps are a much loved luxury of CCH (cute, cuddly Hubs).
So far, the only unusual aspect of his napping has been his tendency to feel sleepy when he’s driving. This is partly a result of his waking up extremely early and partly (I think) due to the fact that the moving motion of the car lulls him into a state of relaxation. I feel very nervous when I see his eyes closing a little. These scenic Seattle drives are made a little scary when Hubby decides to snack and relax at the same time, while driving.
Choice of snacking item two days ago was a Snickers bar. There we went, careering down the road (a bit jerkily) as Hubs nibbled, took sips of coke and drove with truly casual aplomb, one hand on the wheel, the other maneuvering the chocolate wrapper. My heart in my throat, I attempted lame conversation, feeling quite ‘hostage like’ with ominously relaxed, slightly sleepy, snacking Hubs at the wheel.
The most unusual napping episode however was the following. The novel aspect of it actually ended up causing much entertainment for me in a time of severe stress.
About two months ago I had to have a rather worrying medical procedure, the prospect of which was making me extremely nervous.
Holding Hubs’s hand I walked into the sterile and scary seeming doctor’s office and submitted to the unnerving situation. As this worrisome procedure took place, I called out to Hubs to make sure he was praying for me. He assured me that he was. I could’ve sworn that his voice was a bit muffled.
About an hour later, as we exited the doctor’s clinic, I remarked upon how chirpy Hubs looked, this was unusual at 2.30 pm in the afternoon.
“Mein bahut refreshed feel kar raha hun, sweetie,” he said in casual, banter type manner.
Turns out that Hubs had managed to squeeze in a nap while my biopsy was taking place. All the while sitting upright in a chair in the doctors office, four feet away from me.
This unique confession bought much relief to my pretty stressed out afternoon…
As I gazed at my slightly chubby Hubby, we had a little giggle together under a grey Seattle sky.
What had up till now been a pretty grim afternoon suddenly sparkled with something like unexpected sunshine.
A must-have for all marriages!