No second fiddle to pastry chef

Life in my neck of the woods met with welcome and unwelcome change when the man of the house packed his bags and hightailed it last week.
The move was exactly what he wanted—and one I’d been prepared to deal with no matter what.
After all, when your spouse starts a new job, the one he’s put all his intention (not to mention real, live sweat) into getting, how could you not hold open the door for him and stand there smiling as he headed off to work.
Of course, the fact his new job is more than 800 km away from here “as the crow flies” doesn’t fizz on me one bit—or at least it won’t until the thing that “Mrs. Incredible” can’t fix breaks down at home.
Come to think of it, I’ve got the best of both worlds. Pete’s gone to work for two weeks and then home for two weeks. What more could a wife ask for? I’ll get TV time and me time—and just when I start to get sick of hoarding the clicker and talking to myself, there’ll he’ll be.
And after the peppy “getting re-acquainted” stage, I can give up the TV, talk his ear off, and bear the old ways of clothes piling up on his side of the bed. And if I use the upper limit of female persuasion, also see my choice list of work orders over those two weeks make it to fruition.
I also could use these 14 days of solace from spouse to move furniture around without interference, enjoy a toothpaste spit-free bathroom sink, and a few more simpler suppers.
The house would be cleaner, the meals leaner, the organizing meaner.
Oh, who am I kidding? And what alien spaceship just landed on my intelligence? My illogical logic lasted for about a day.
For starters, I got stuck in my driveway with a four-wheel drive vehicle. The last time that happened to me, Pete was standing right there chuckling at me and holding up his hand for me to stop chewing up the snow.
He rescued me that day—getting the Sidekick out of the rut and saving my blood pressure from killing me.
This time, however, I was on my own and grossly crabbed out about that.
After a short-lived stint of my Medusa-complex, I did manage to get moving—thanks to a lesson I learned from Pete about thinking better when you’re calm.
Then there was the “healing power of pizza” night that would be whittled down to two Fridays a month instead of four. Who in their right mind wants to eat pizza and sip a glass of wine when there’s no love sitting next to you—especially when he has the body of a young Swedish boy?
Worst of all—and heaven help me, I’d better get used to it—was having to go out in the cold morning air and start my own vehicle, otherwise tended to by Samson.
Thank God it was not daylight and that someone was driving by to see me dressed like that in public. I caught a glimpse of myself—housecoat, bush boots, and a toque—in the bedroom window and nearly screamed.
That was on the way outside.
By the time the dogs went roaring by me, barking senselessly into the dark morning and the bushes beyond the shed at the werewolves I was sure were lurking there, I’d already turned the car key and made it back inside the house fearing for my life.
So as I anticipated Pete’s first phone call on the weekend from way up north, I had his conversation to me down pat.
“Oh, I miss you, honey. I wish I was there with you . . .” and on and on he would pine, cueing me for the recovery on how much I, too, missed his grip.
The very first thing he said to me that night after “Hi honey” lanced my prepared speech into a million little pieces.
“Guess what they have up here—an awesome pastry chef and a 24-hour kitchen!” he rejoiced, all too enthusiastic for his own good.
Never fear, folks, I was not the iceberg to his Titanic. I remembered that lesson about thinking better when you’re calm.
Instead, I’ll just bide my time and when he walks through the door in two weeks, there I’ll be in my housecoat, bush boots, and toque, legs unshaven, mustache unbleached, and the TV remote duct-taped to my leg.

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