Every now and then my wife gets that certain look in her eye and it instantly causes my breathing to increase, a slight sweat to break out on my forehead, and a slight moan to rise from deep within my chest.
“Now?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said excitedly.
“But it’s Sunday.”
“I know. It’s the perfect time.” She grabbed my hand and pulled me toward the bedroom.
I’ve always liked aggressive women. Really. But I’m not as young as I used to be, and, of course, I recently had surgery followed by weeks of physical therapy. “Maybe we should wait. You know, a few more days. Just to be sure.”
“No. I’m ready now,” she said. “Let’s start here.” She pointed at the desk. She had already cleared off the computer and printer. “Come on,” she said. “This is just the beginning.”
The desk was small and it looked hard. But, advanced years and all, I threw caution to the wind, grabbed the edges of the desk and… carried it into the guestroom.
Exactly one year ago, I had taken this desk out of the guestroom/office to make room for my granddaughter Ashley to move in. Now, Ashley was moving out to live with friends near campus. Yes, I did say: “was moving out,” not moved out days ago or even hours ago.
“What if she hates it there and wants to come back,” I grunted out, as I placed the desk back into its former position.
“She won’t.” My wife grabbed my hand and led me back to our bedroom where the filing cabinet, computer, printer, photos and other office paraphernalia resided.
After we finished, I said: “Wow, looks weird with our bed way back there in the corner and all this empty space.” Metaphorically, I felt a giant hand slap my forehead and a voice say: “Shut up you idiot.”
“You’re right,” my wife said, “we need to move our bed. And the dresser. And the piano. And…”
Two hours and several pain killers later, I grabbed the remote control and was about to ease my over-worked butt into a chair when my wife said: “I’m not done with you yet.” Words I used to love to hear.
“Please don’t say the ‘G-word,’” I said.
“Come on. You’ll feel so much better when we get the garage all cleaned out. Maybe we’ll even find the bicycles. Then we can start going on long rides.”
I know she meant this as a positive thing, but I hadn’t really missed the bikes all that much. Or the step-aerobic videos. Or the yoga mats.
It was late Sunday afternoon when my wife began to look satisfied. I remember the look. I didn’t remember it taking quite so long or being quite so painful. Once again I grabbed the remote. That’s when the front door opened.
“GP!” my granddaughter Ashley said. “You ready?”
Ashley bought a bed for her new place. She’s frugal so told the storeowner: “Why would I pay you to deliver it when I have GP to help me?”
“Maybe you could just stay here another night in your old room,” I suggested.
“My old room is now an office,” she said.
I looked at my wife. She was whistling as she carried a piece of family memorabilia we had uncovered in the garage into Ashley’s former room. The good news is a single bed would fit into the back of the Ford Escape – I know, I’ve moved many of them.
“Ah… the Escape is full of boxes of books that I couldn’t lift,” Ashley said. “And the dresser. And the bookcase. And all my clothes. Besides, I bought a double bed.”
The guy at the bed store helped me heft the box spring and mattress onto the roof and we drove the breakdown lane from downtown to the Mesa. When we finally pulled into the parking lot, driving past a small city of student apartments and townhouses, I got out holding my lower back.
We were looking at the back of the units which all had parking stalls under the townhouses. “Which one is yours,” I asked.
“That one,” she said, pointing skyward to the uppermost unit. “Those are the steps that lead up to the front door. Be careful, they can be kinda slippery.”
Twas ever thus.