Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Stupid Things That Make Me Happy (Part I)

Man, I love synergy.
On any given weekday between around 5:05 and 5:15 P.M. my cell phone starts flopping around on my desk to the dulcid tones of the theme from Raiders of the Lost Ark. I check the display. It's Michelle (as if I hadn't known before I even looked).


"You gonna get outta there at a decent time today?" she asks, pre-assuming my workaholic tendency to be the last soul left in the office.

"Yeah...I'm startin' to wrap it up. What's for din?"

And so on.

Well yesterday, as happens rarely, she didn't call. I worked until about 5:30 and came on home. No car in the driveway.

"Hmmm...she's either gotten stuck at work or she's at the store," I say to myself. So I call.

"Heyyyy...I'm at Wal-Mart," the familiar but somewhat frustrated voice answers. "I remembered that we needed a few things."

"What's for din?"

( you see a pattern here? Nah, me neither.)

"I thought I'd pick up some of those really good frozen raviolis we like," she said.

"That sounds great! I'll go pick up a bottle of wine."*

"That sounds even BETTER!" I can hear the smile on her face.

Ravioli, a salad, and a bottle of good cheap wine. A simple, but oh-so satisfying dinner. A simple pleasure.

That's one stupid thing that makes me happy.

The synergy came afterwards.

I poured her another glass of wine and began clearing the table. "So you gonna do the dishes for me tonight, she asks wryly.

"Um, didn't I do them last night?"

"Yes you did, but who's counting?"

"Ohhh, certainly not me."

She smiled and sat back down and watched as I contentedly rinsed the dishes and placed them in the dishwasher. When I'd finished, I reached down into the cabinet under the sink for the Pine Sol cleaner and began spraying and wiping down the sink. It's a stainless steel sink and the Pine Sol leaves it all nice and shiny. The perfectionist in me likes that a lot. I then move to the stove, give it a few squirts of the cleaner, and wipe it down as well. (These are things that Michelle does often, but not always, whereas I do them every time, but only do the dishes occasionally).

As I turn to go back to the sink area, I see Michelle, sitting at the kitchen table enjoying her glass of wine, grinning from ear to ear.

"You're so funny," she said.


"Why can't you do this for me every night?" she asks playfully.

"Because you don't ask me to, every night," I said.

" have a point there," she said, with a wrinkled nose.

"But then, do I ever refuse when you do ask me to do something for you?" I asked.

She smiled with that smile I love so much, but don't see nearly often enough and replied, "No. No you don't."

That's where the synergy kicked in.

Late last Saturday afternoon, while I was in the throes of finishing my "Out of the Blue" series of blog posts, Michelle called up the stairway to announce that she was going to run some errands.

"And sweetie, would you take the load of whites out of the dryer when they're finished? There's some jeans in the washer that are ready to go in."

"Sure babe," I replied.

About an hour later I needed a break. That story was already feeling like a yoke of iron around my neck. I went downstairs and the house was dark. It was dusk and there was nobody else at home to turn on any lights. Then I saw that the only room that was illuminated was the laundry room. I remembered Michelle's request and headed for the light.

I looked around to find that the laundry basket was already half-full from a load of clothes she'd done earlier. "Oh well," I thought. "This'll be a good diversion," and I began pulling out white clothes from the dryer, an armful at a time, and folding them on the top of the washing machine.

Almost immediately I found myself smiling.

Now how stupid is that? Well there's a story behind it. I thought it might be a good one to recall.

Next: How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…
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