Conversations With My Husband Sometimes Feel Like A Game


I was awakened this morning by the sound of a screw gun drilling over my head. It was outside, making it even louder. Just like any rational person, my first thought was that I was about to be murdered.

My second thought was that maybe the word “gutters” (that I had once noticed scribbled on the calendar) had something to do with it. My husband and I do not communicate well.

I stumbled outside, where Mark was happily sitting on the porch, coffee in hand, comfortable in his reprised role of Construction Supervisor.

“Sorry,” he said.

“I thought our house already had gutters,” I said, remembering quite clearly the time I had spent each fall, pulling wet leaves from them.

“This is gutter protection,” he answered. “We’ll never have to worry about clogged gutters again.”

I nodded and went inside. I had never once worried about clogged gutters. If I saw a leaf poking up, I knew there were probably other leaves in there, got out the ladder, and cleaned them out.

But I had seen a raft of gutter protection commercials online lately, and Mark spends a lot of time online, being easily influenced by both good and evil. At least the gutter protection was good. Unnecessary, but good. I just wish he’d mentioned it.

So much of my day is spent trying to figure out what he is attempting to tell me. We’ll be driving along in the car, and he’ll point out the window. No words, just pointing. I look in that direction and try to guess.

“That car? Cow? Billboard?”

“No!” he’ll say, upset.

“Clouds? Tree? Skyline?”

He’ll sigh in frustration.

“You didn’t see that bald eagle?!”

No, I didn’t. I was busy scanning cars, cows, billboards, clouds, trees and the skyline for unusual markings or activity. It takes a minute.

“Well, you missed it,” he’ll huff.

But back to the present. There’s a lull in the sound of gutter-screwing, and Mark comes inside. He refills his coffee and, standing in the middle of the kitchen, says, “I didn’t know what to do with these.”

I look up from my laptop, and he’s just standing there, holding his cup and looking at me meaningfully.

The game starts again. “These.” What are “these?” Not wanting to upset him, I run through the possibilities in my mind — the dishtowels? Groceries? Coffee cups? Now he’s turned around, facing the counter. Is this a clue or is he simply looking out the window? Did he mean the bananas? The muffins? The mail?

I take a wild guess. “The dishes?”

“I unloaded the dishwasher.” Not really an answer to my question, but perhaps related in some way. I see a pitcher and two thermal mugs on the counter. They have to be the mysterious “these!” I get up and put them away, and Mark starts wandering off. Success! Another mystery unraveled! I put an imaginary star on my forehead. I am so smart.

“Why do you always touch your forehead like that?” Mark asks.

“No reason,” I reply.

Let him try to figure it out.


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