Tag Archives: Adjustments

He and She Share a Bathroom

When the plumber announced the death of my bathroom’s leaky shower and faucets, I didn’t cry, though I’d repainted the bathroom less than two years ago. Even the cost didn’t shake me — much.

No, the crisis struck when I shared my husband’s bathroom.

My dearly beloved turned white as his bathroom tile.

Anxiously, I prodded the plumber: “This is only for a few days, right?”

Well, the drywall had suffered water damage and needed repair. …

Hubby and I have survived 80-hour work weeks, colic, soccer seasons, crabgrass, teen drivers, four family members in college, menopause, and choosing movies. Though our last remodeling project broke me out in hives, and Hubby considered leaving the country, we knew we would handle this one better.

Mainly because someone else would do it.

Our optimism lasted, maybe, ten minutes.

According to him, I committed the first trespass: I moved things. The soap dispenser. The drinking cup. The wastebasket. Simple little adjustments to meet my lefty needs.

He crossed his arms. “They belong on the right.”

I crossed mine. “This is in the Bible?”

Not only did Hubby and I cross theological swords, but my hairbrush and toothbrush played unauthorized games of hide-and-seek. My wrinkle cream vanished, creating a world crisis of epic proportions.

My husband disagreed. The world crisis of epic proportions was created when I used his rare and wonderful tooth floss instead of my cheapo brand.

Sharing a bathroom with Hubby was like living in a hotel where you have to scrub the toilet and wash towels.

Speaking of towels, I must say he exhibited surprising patience when I jammed his rack with mine. I, however, struggled with sharing bathroom space with his big, brown fuzzies.

SHE: Those towels shed brown, hairy stuff everywhere. It’s like sharing a bathroom with Smokey the Bear.

HE: You bought them.

SHE: You always make a big deal out of nothing.

He does, you know. When I suggested his shower be checked by the plumber, too, he acted as if I had suggested we amend the Constitution. “Don’t touch it. I like my shower.”

“Don’t you want a flexible nozzle like mine? It helps in cleaning out the shower.”

That didn’t appear an issue to him.

Days passed.

Drywall had to dry. Several times.

Days passed.

I had to repaint. (What happened to “someone else would do this”?)

The paint had to dry.

I repainted again.

And so on.

Somehow, our marriage survivor skills saw us through.

When his cherished showerhead breaks someday, I’ll graciously share my lovely, left-handed bathroom with him.

But with Smokey the Bear and his towels? No way.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What First-World adjustments have you and your spouse made lately?

There’s a Strange Man in the House

What’s that?

I listen, heart pounding.

Bumps in the house tell me I’m not alone.

It’s midafternoon. I shouldn’t hear these until 5:30.

But the noises morph into big footsteps. He’s walking my direction.

I grab the nearest weapon. A sofa pillow?

Not much help.

But that’s all right.

The “intruder” is my husband.

For the umpteenth time, I forgot that after 40-plus years of family medicine, Dr. Hubby has hung up his stethoscope.

We celebrated this new life chapter the way I expected. A fun retirement party. Kayaking. A steak dinner out. A camping trip he’d dreamed of for a year.

But now, official celebrations are finished. Though Hubby is teaching college part-time, my retiree is basically a homebody.

Friends tease about my handing him a honey-do list, covering the past four decades. But he has compiled his own list, one he tackles each day with the joy of a 10-year-old let out of school.

He is retired.

I am not.

Having worked full-time at home for 20-plus years, I have developed my own schedule — which includes a sacred, after-lunch siesta.

Though he respects my personal space and timetable, just the presence of all this relentless energy disrupts my nap aura.

Meanwhile, Hubby has even washed his truck. Downright unnatural.

Even more unnatural, he suggested a shopping trip.


I would have insisted on a psychiatric evaluation, except that he would have demanded I undergo one, too.

So, my new daytime life floats as if in a world of levitation. The garage door goes up and down, lights flick on and off, and food vanishes into thin air. Broken appliances fix themselves, laundry folds itself, and dishes fly from the dishwasher into the cabinets (Love this!).

However, the calendar misplaces half its dates. “Is this Tuesday or Wednesday?” becomes a subject of serious breakfast debate. With new freedom, actions we thought built into our DNA — such as brushing teeth and putting out the trash — disappear as if the Social Security Administration waved a very odd magic wand over us.

After a week of getting his bearings, Hubby commented, “I really like retirement, but this flexibility thing is hard.”

Strange, but true.

But with a strange man in the house, what would you expect?

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Do you think you’ll like retirement for you and/or your spouse? Why or why not?