TOO MUCH TOGETHERNESS by Linda O'Connell
♦ My husband Bill retired a few years before I did. He had plenty of leisure time to himself while I was at school teaching small ones. When I retired, my dreams of day trips, visiting museums, and hometown attractions soon got old and fizzled. Retirement was not as exciting as I imagined it would be. But every now and then, I get a good laugh and a thrill at Bill's expense.
As my days became more relaxed and routine, I found I had more time to write, but less inclination to do so. When I was working, I used to rise before daybreak when the house was still, and the only sound Bill made was rhythmic snoring. I would write for two hours. When I no longer had to squeeze time in to write, I slept in. We spent an hour watching the news and sipping coffee instead of my rushing about and gulping on the run. We lost track of time, and the morning was gone before we knew it. I missed making time for my writing.
Bill became not only my greatest companion, but my worst distraction. He would suggest a meal out, a shopping trip to the big box stores, or a trip to the mall on impulse. Maybe this is how he had spent his days for the past few years of his retirement, but I was used to order. He operated on a get-up-and-go-on-a-whim schedule. When we weren‘t on the go, we were in two different rooms engaged in separate activities. He has hearing aids, but unless he's leaving the house, he prefers shouting, ―What? when I speak, or he‘d rather blare the television volume. As I tried to write the thoughts in my head, I invariably wrote the words Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, or John Wayne said. Watching TV wasn‘t the same. My evening sitcoms were nothing like his daytime viewing preferences. He likes action films, shoot-em ups, crime shows... and the noisy disruptions wore me out.
When he watched his shows, I tried to write my stories. Even with the office door closed I could hear the TV in the living room blaring. There was continual grunting, groaning, a thwack, more grunting. My first thought was someone was getting beat up. His first choice of movie viewing is one with physical interaction, preferably a brawl. The loud, primal groaning continued. It sounded almost obscene. I would not listen to those groans another minute. I stormed into the living room to give my honey a piece of my mind, ask him how he expected me to write. Then I saw what was going on. He was watching a women‘s Wimbledon tennis match. Guilt-ridden, I looked at Venus Williams and felt terrible. I hadn‘t broken a sweat all day, I had eaten a waffle with whipped cream and strawberries for breakfast, and had been all set to nag my hard-of-hearing honey for watching such trash. Sometimes I laugh long and loud at myself. But I also can‘t help laughing at him, too. ―Look at her movements, I said. ―We're getting lazy.
Guilt or the urge to get exercise struck him as he observed Venus sweating it out. He switched off the TV and suggested a jaunt around the mall for exercise. As we drove, I looked at my cell phone. ―Get this! I said from the passenger seat as we were driving down the highway. He does not wish to have a Facebook account and relies on me to read aloud something mind boggling, spell binding, or unbelievable from my feed. He raised his index finger to his right ear and tuned his hearing aid higher so he didn‘t miss a word. When I paused, he gave me a split-second glance and said, ―Who's that from? Who sent that to us?
Is he serious? I've told him a million times, ―I don't know. He thinks I'm messing with him, withholding pertinent information. I told him ―It's just a friend. ―How can it be a friend if you don't know who it is? Instead of keeping the ball rolling I told him the name of who it was from. ―Who's that? he asked. ―I. Don't. Know. ―Well, they sent it to US. How do we know them?
Through clenched teeth, I said. ―We DON'T know them. It's a friend of a friend. ―
Then why are they sending it to US? ―
It's on the WWW, I say. Before I could explain, world wide web, he said, ―When did you get into wrestling? Some days I want to put him in a headlock! We are striving for balance. Bill comes to my aid at a moment's notice to help me with the computer, and I share social media gossip with him. But that's as far as it goes when it comes to technology. He is not interested in social media, and I can't figure out which cloud my work lands on each day.
Our relationship was new and exciting when we were young and active. Now that the Golden Years have arrived, our daily pace is slower, and life involves many unexpected laughs and goofy grins. I like this stage of life were in!
You and Bill complement each other; he's with technology, you with the social gossip.
Retirement can be quite a satisfactory stage in a couple's life.
All this together time... it can be a good thing or a really bad thing.
At least Sasquatch gives you fodder for stories.
You two sweeties seem to have a nice rhythem. It's true that you compliment each other. He makes you laugh, too, and that counts for extra points!
Heh, heh! You and the WWW! That might be just the activity you need. I, too, used to write a lot more when I had to make time for it. Now that I'm retired, it's so much easier to put off until later. "Later" never comes.
Cute story that sounds amazingly similar to my world! :-)
Is that what I have to look forward to? Only in an RV rolling occasionally down the road. There is really no "privacy" in an RV with limited space and the volume of the TV already makes me think my ears will start bleeding any minute. Winter is a preview, being inside all the time, but I don't know how I will handle togetherness year round!!
My Mom used to always say "What?" when I was speaking to her. It frustrated me, but I'm sure it frustrated her more. I thought she couldn't hear me well, but I figured out later that I mumble when I talk and thought maybe that was it. I tried to talk a bit louder and directly to her. Maybe you can try that with your husband.
Hang in there, my friend.
Post a Comment