Marital Communication (or lack thereof)

We’re getting a new roof tomorrow. Know when I found out? Tonight at 9:30 when my beloved casually tossed out “You need to make sure you keep the gate open tomorrow…” on his way upstairs.

“Why?” I ask innocently. “You’ve met our dog — one whiff of an open gate and he’s an ultra-marathoner.”

“So the roofers can get in.”

“I’m sorry? THE ROOFERS??”

Which makes me think that we may leave a lot to be desired in the communication department.


It’s been 14 years, we’ve got the important stuff down I think. Like don’t do his laundry because although insufferably lax in areas like, say, cleaning up his own dishes — if the pants aren’t creased just so the market will crash, the internet will lock up, and asteroids will start pelting the Earth within the hour. Likewise with touching things in his garage. Learned that one the hard way when I tried to help him “organize”. STEP AWAY MARTHA. Also, knowing exactly how he likes his coffee on the days he works from home and that it’s easier to keep him caffeinated, focused and working lest he stray from his man cave and start making suggestions about the running of the household. Jesus understands my need to keep him refilled periodically.

See? We do quite well on the day to days.

It’s the separation of church and state stuff that gets us when it overlaps.

We established a long time ago that I handled the house and the school and the people, and he handles the bills and the repairs and the maintenance. It works beautifully. We each know our lane and we stay in it. Symbiosis. But every now and then…

Sometimes it works in my favor, like the time he announced it was time to replace my car so he drove off in an old 4 Runner and came home a few hours later in a new one. I’m happy. I’ve got zero interest in haggling at a car dealership, whereas to him that’s a fun way to spend a Saturday. Wheelhouses.

But sometimes it doesn’t. Like the great washing machine debate of 2016 where he thought he was doing me a favor by picking out a model for me. WHO DOES THAT AND DOESN’T EXPECT TROUBLE, I ask you? Russell. Russell does. Luckily he hadn’t clicked “buy” yet when I walked in to his office to see what he was up to. I don’t tell you how to change your oil, man. You don’t try and tell me I don’t need a large capacity washer with a speed wash cycle. JUST LET ME LIVE, BRO. JUST LET ME LIVE.

But back to the roof.

How does one not feel that that is important knowledge to impart to one’s wife who works from home? I mean honestly. It was such an off handed comment too, like … “oh yeah, there’ll be a swarm of men ripping the roof off our house tomorrow. Don’t forget to let them in. I don’t know what time they plan to start, but it’ll probably be early. And you need to make sure they use the right color shingles.”

Jesus be a fence. Or in this case, a shingle — of the Weathered Wood variety, as opposed to a Mission Brown one.

So friends, it looks like I’ll be dressed by 6 AM, booking the neurotic dog in for a bath lest he chews up all the shoes in the house because of the 6 hours of hammering on the roof, and apologizing to the bus driver because he can’t get down the street because of the shingle deposit which will invariably happen sometime around the bus run.

But the alternative — waking up to a swarm of men ripping off my roof at 6 AM bra-less, in my pajamas, with two frantic children and a traumatized 80 lb lab throwing himself at the windows — would be worse.

So maybe we’re not so bad at this communication thing after all?