Recently, I have been called a privileged woman. But with every story there are two sides.
My husband Jay and I have owned part of a condo at the beach for over 10 years. The only problem has been that we never had it during the summer months and could not have the grandchildren with us. A few weeks ago, another couple put their share up for sale and we pounced on it. Let me reword that: I pounced on it. Ever since my dearly beloved husband has called me by that privileged woman title. He is trying his best to make me grateful to the point of waiting on him hand and foot.
True, I am the one who uses the condo whenever available. True, I go there by myself quite a bit. Trust me, ladies, if you have never had the opportunity to go on a vacation by yourself, do it. Think reading books alone on the beach. Think long walks alone on the beach. Think watching whatever you want on TV. Think eating a pint of Ben and Jerrys for dinner. These are all very simple pleasures, but ones that can relax a person into the next century.
Truth be known, Jay doesnt enjoy going with me that much. Why? Theres no recliner at the beach. He cant lay back and channel-surf between naps. Several years ago, before I knew any better, I insisted he come with me and he went so far as to put his recliner in the back of the SUV. Ever since then, I always ask nicely if he would like to join me at the condo without bringing any large pieces of furniture, and he mysteriously has too much work to do at home, too much work at the office, too much golf to catch up on, etc.
Usually, the length of time Im gone is six days. Last month I was given the opportunity to go for 10 and jumped on it. Little did I know what the payment would be. In six days, a man can usually manage to load the dishwasher once, take the trash out once, pick up the newspapers on the floor by the recliner once and put fresh towels in the bathroom at least once.
The difference between six days and 10 was obviously much more than I had envisioned. The dishwasher had been loaded but not run. The sink was full of unwashed dishes. There were no clean dishes in the cabinets, so my best bet was that Jay ate with his fingers rather than risk the danger of dishpan hands. Newspapers were pretty well piled up all around the recliner. The bathroom towels Id rather not talk about.
Jay is a good man, a good husband of 37 years, a very good father and someone I definitely plan on spending my remaining time on earth loving. The only thing I do not plan on doing again is leaving him home alone for more than a week. Im not that much of a glutton for punishment.
(Pat Fickle is a Martinez resident.)
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