Over the last couple of weeks we have been moving stuff, doing some minor remodeling and rearranging. We had made Marty a home in Matt’s old bedroom in the back of the house close to the master bedroom. What we euphemistically called our office was in the den on the opposite end of the house.
The den/euphemistic office was the bigger of the two rooms and at some point one of my interior designer advisors, either Erin or Sarah, suggested we move Marty back to the bigger room. My first reaction to this was, “are you out of your ever lovin’ mind. That office is a mess and it will take years to do that.” After the first couple of days of carping, it actually all began to make sense and we started the multi-phase project. I love doing projects in phases, it makes them sound more important and sort of draws out the entire process.
In our relationship Marty has always been the brains of our outfit, I was the muscle. I could help plan the time lines or give input into the overall process but Marty was the detail maven, the idea person and ultimately the decision maker. She was clearly in charge of interior changes; actually she was in charge of the outside too, she would just play me to make me think I was.
Since Marty’s strokes I have been in charge of, well, everything. It was a job I thought I wanted, I thought wrong, it really kind of sucks. I’m not particularly adept at details and I am just a little color dysfunctional. Any changes involving color or arrangement have the real potential for disaster.
This brings us to the latest updates to the house. Marty has watched all of the stuff I have had done to the house with great interest. I see skepticism in her eyes. To my credit I have used the same painter she found five years ago and the same colors of paint she selected and painted on the walls herself, years ago. How could I go wrong there?
I think she likes the floors we put in; I suffered through figuring all of that out on my own, though I did solicit her opinion to the extent she can.
I found myself with Marty the other day in her new room as we were still setting up the room for her. I asked her how she liked this and how she liked that with pretty much the same response, “fine.” She seemed reasonably satisfied with how things were coming together. I told her I was going to start bringing stuff in from her old closet to her new closet and I asked her what she wanted to do.
Marty said she would just stay in her new room and watch as I carried stuff in and put it away and, “then tell you what you are doing wrong.” Of course she said, “I will tell you what you are doing wrong”, my mind flipped back to the past, back to the working dynamic in our relationship, I was the brawn, she the brains.
I laughed at her comment, not at her, she laughed with me, knowing and understanding the smart aleck remark she had made. She and I both relished the familiar feeling of her wit, her humor. It felt like our life outside of our new normal. It happens occasionally; every so often pre-stroke Marty comes back and visits, and pre-stroke Marty is almost always manifested by a smart ass remark.
Those kind of remarks from Marty invariably make my day, even when I’m the butt of her jokes; actually, especially when I am the butt of her jokes. It feels normal, and while we accept our new life, normal, every now and then, really makes me smile.