This is where I draw the line

Pete and I don’t have many relationship potholes, but if there is anything that can set me, in particular, on the way to a slow boil, it’s when his stuff starts to pile up and get in my way.
His “what a mess” habits are long-standing in the bedroom where, on any given day, the floor on Pete’s side of the bed is hidden under a pile of discarded clothing.
It drives me bananas, but I don’t dare risk venturing into that virtual booby trap for fear of injury from a cockeyed belt buckle or a screwdriver left clipped to a shirt.
Besides, a housewife’s danger pay is well below what it would take to make me do that.
Even though I am a habitual organizer, I don’t pick up after my husband. As long as his stuff doesn’t get in my way, I can deal with it. I might hoof the brimming heap on his side of the bed once in a while and send it careening out of my direct view—but I don’t do clean up.
(Okay, wait a minute, I take that back. On more than one occasion I’ve been known to clean his jean pockets of loose change, but I still leave everything just the way I found it).
My slow boil syndrome shot off the map last week, but not in the bedroom. It happened in the dark morning hours when I was making my regular trip to the dog kennel with “Griffon” before work.
That’s when I walked “shins first” into some square timbers bound for the shed that were piled on my side of the driveway.
Yes, that’s right, my side of the driveway—the side closest to the house where all things are neat, tidy, and organized.
Up until now, I didn’t think there was a need for an orange line to be sprayed on the ground marking my territory, but the way things are going, “a woman’s prerogative” is about to be launched.
As I have expressed before, I’ve been the pillar of encouragement for the fruition of my husband’s “place of his own.” I’d pushed him to get it started, after all, but this pillar is losing what crumbs of patience she has left.
Equipment and supplies for the shed project had been trickling in for weeks, and piles of this and that had crept from “over there” next to the construction site ever closer to my side of the driveway.
It was almost guaranteed I’d come home from work on any given day and find a pallet of sheeting or lumber plunked dangerously close to the border line. Then I’d get a personal reassurance by the project manager that the location of said stack would change.
But old habits die hard—and some just live forever. I remind myself of that every time I look out onto the southwest lawn to the abandoned square of railroad ties that mark the spot where the shed was first to be built in the spring.
So by the time I rubbed shins with shed property, I was ready to cook his goose. It was one of those phenomenal moments when a shot of adrenaline opens the door to my super powers as I heaved the four timbers well out of range of the border line.
Lucky for Pete he was on day shift.
I stewed all the way on my drive to work, and it took two large coffees and a big fat doughnut to calm me down. By that afternoon, I had my driveway lecture all planned out for the end of the work day.
But I was still mad.
The phone rang about 3 o’clock and it was Pete. My hackles went up and my shins throbbed.
“It’s really busy here, but I just wanted to phone and see how your day was going,” he said, none the wiser. “It’s the least I could do for the mother of my shed.”
I couldn’t help but smile. It was one of the silliest yet sincere remarks I’d heard and it parked the driveway lecture in neutral—at least for now.

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