04.17.20: From the so-called desk of…



I Can See Clearly Now

My husband has been working from home for almost two years now, but this is all new to me, so like it or not, adjustments needed to be made.

 A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, when things were mostly normal, I would get up around 6am (depending on how many times I hit the snooze button), head out to Piper by 7:30am, and arrive back home around 5pm. My husband on the other hand, who works on east coast time, would normally go to bed by 4pm, and would be up again by 4am. So on workdays, there was a very small window of opportunity to check in with each other and pass on whatever bit of news there is to share. Okay, so sometimes I would forget to tell him things, like the plumber will be here today between 11am and 1pm… oops! This also means we have about 90 seconds a day for arguments, debates, negotiations, and apologies — so that was the upside.

I admit it took some getting used to, but I eventually learned to appreciate having my husband home all the time. He was always there to let in repairmen, accept packages, sign for mail, etc. But now that it’s both of us at home, and I’ve had a chance to see first-hand what actually goes on, it’s been an eye-opening reality check.

Revelation number 1

One of the first things I noticed was that my cat Chapelle (Oh yes, she’s named after Dave Chapelle) was frequently sitting by my husband’s side. But here’s the thing about Chapelle, everyone in my family always refers to her as Helen’s cat. My husband always protested, “I don’t know why she’s hanging around me, she’s your cat!” or “I’m not going to pet her, she’s your cat!” This was the first revelation. All this time he’s been petting her, feeding her, and sharing his food with her. I was at home for a full week before he would admit that since working from home, he and Chapelle have become quite close. I should have known, because there was always a mountain of cat hair right next to where he usually sits.

Revelation number 2

On week three my husband and I were looking out of the kitchen window where we have several birdfeeders and a constant flurry of local birds. However, the feeders also attract squirrels. But since  I really love squirrels, I always defend their persistent raiding of our bird feeders. Not that you can stop a hungry squirrel — many have tried, many have failed. The next thing I know, my husband is tiptoeing out the back door, peanuts in hands (Wait, where did those even come from?) hoping to hand feed the squirrel of the moment. At first the squirrel makes a beeline straight up the fence and appears to be heading for cover, but low and behold it slowly changes its mind and dances back down until it is close enough to grab the peanut from my husband’s hand. Then immediately run like hell back up the fence and out of sight.

As it turns out, my husband has been spending a not insignificant amount of time every day trying to hand feed our local squirrel friends, and evidently has achieved a certain amount of success. Now every morning I’m greeted with his latest account of an increasingly successful bond with our local squirrels, which we still can’t tell apart, and still don’t know if there are 3 or 30. My husband’s most recent claim is that one squirrel actually held on to his shirt sleeve after taking a peanut from his hand, and now believes he’s just a short step away from having one of them come inside. He has since requested a T-shirt that says, “Squirrel Whisperer.” I’ll get right on that!

Revelation number 3

On what is currently a typical day, by the time I get up my husband has already been busy working for hours. And although we do have an office, he works almost exclusively from the living room couch, the television on but muted, our kitty by his side. Since I have to walk past the living room to get to the kitchen, I also get the full view and extent of the endless grazing that goes on. I admit I was the one that recommended that he get up every 30 minutes or so and move around, but walking 20 feet to the kitchen was not exactly what I had in mind.

In one single day I observed him eating cereal with grapefruit juice, not milk, at least 3 sugar-free popsicles in assorted flavors, a peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwich on rye bread, a hamburger cooked beyond all recognition (also on rye bread), black licorice, red licorice, an iceberg lettuce salad, gluten-free oatmeal cookies, peanuts (but not the squirrel’s peanuts), dill pickles, sweet pickles, olives, hummus and crackers. All this, but not necessarily in that order. And now that we Instacart together, I am understanding the full extent of his food penchants… conclusion, my husband is wackadoodle. And if you think I am too quick to judge, he also starts his day with a spoonful of dry instant coffee, followed by a swig of water, so we never get to wake up and smell the coffee.

My ponderings for the week:

  • I’m wondering how many hours my husband has actually spent trying to get the squirrel to eat out of his hand. He has sworn the fifth on this one.
  • I’m wondering how long it will be before my husband lures one of the squirrels inside. Chapelle wants a vote, but I’m thinking that could go either way.
  • I’m wondering why my husband doesn’t weigh 1000 pounds. It must be the sugar-free popsicles, and all of those long trips to the kitchen.

Well that’s soup to “nuts” at my house for the week. I hope everyone is discovering dazzling new things about whomever they happen to be sharing their weeks, days, hours, minutes, and seconds with 24/7.

Mission Impossible

Taming a Squirrel