My husband loves to jerk my chain. That said, I love him anyway.
I could tell any number of stories about my husband jerking my chain. For example, all December long he would ask me ideas for what I wanted for Christmas, saying he didn’t have anything for me yet because he could never go shopping to surprise me because I was always home and would see him leaving.
A year ago, I might have fallen for that. This year, I didn’t. I knew he was jerking my chain. It didn’t matter if he’d gone shopping for me or not–he just didn’t want me guessing what he got me, so he sowed misinformation (his favorite tactic for surprising me). Besides, I’ve stopped expecting anything from him–at least, that’s what I say. That way, I’m always surprised but never disappointed in him.
By the way, the funniest thing about this Christmas was the fact that we both hid our gifts in the same place and didn’t know it. Since my husband is 6 foot 2, I hid his gifts in our closet, behind my dirty laundry. He never looks down. I’m 5 foot 2. He hid my gifts on the top shelf of our closet inside the spare blankets. I never look up.
Anyway, every now and then, his surprises work in a big way.
Cue February 2013.
The setting is a hotel, and the time is LATE at night. I’m working the night shift, and I pull into the parking lot, McDonalds Mocca Frappe in one hand and telephone in the other. I’m talking to my then-boyfriend, as was our habit. He lived in San Antonio, I still lived in north central Arkansas, and we were long distance dating.
Me: “I miss you. I can’t wait to see you again. I wish you didn’t live so far away.”
Him: “Yeah, I know. Texas is so far away, and a ten hour journey is just so far.”
I hear some weird buzzing in the background. “Are you driving?”
Him: ” . . . . No.”
Me, who didn’t know him well enough at the time to read his voice yet, believed him. “Oh! I know what that is. That’s your computer, isn’t it?” Michael has a monster of a computer tower, an Alienware, that weighs 80 lbs and has a radiator to keep it cool. When it turns on, its so loud that it sounds exactly like he’s driving.
Him: laughs, “Yeah, sounds exactly like I’m driving, doesn’t it?”
Later: I leave work and go home, watching the sun rise as I go. I’m tired and my limbs feel like someone’s attached anvils to them, but I call my boyfriend, as was our habit, to wake him up for work.
Him: “Mmm?” He’s not awake and, unlike me, not a morning person.
Me: “Think your Valentine gift is here yet?” I’d mailed him his Valentine gift years ago, but I was still waiting on his.
Him: “Oh, I’m sure it’ll get there soon. Just be patient.”
I get home and we hang up. I crawl into bed and pull the covers over my head, praying that I would be able to get some real sleep for once and wouldn’t wake up. As I said, I am not a night person, but I can not sleep during the day. Even with blackout blinds and earplugs, I cannot sleep during the day. I toss and I turn and I hear every noise that happens in the house.
9:30am, my sister wakes me up. My Valentines gift arrives. Roses and chocolate. Yum. But how did he get the roses through the mail? My sleep-laden brain figures he must have called a local florest and had them deliver it, but I’m too tired to question it and go back to sleep.
10:30am, I wake up to use the bathroom and sleepwalk down and up the stairs.
11:30AM my brother slams the front door shut on his way to work, waking me up again.
12:30PM I can’t stay asleep and give up trying. I stumble out of be and trip down the stairs with vague ideas of getting something to drink. The TV is off, and I can hear my Mom and sister arguing in the bedroom.
Then I hear a creak in the kitchen.
Who was in the kitchen? Dad and my brother are at work. Mom and my sister are in the bedroom. The dogs are asleep. Who could be in the kitchen? Maybe I’m just imagining it. I enter the kitchen.
There he was, Michael, all 6 foot 2 inches of him, broad like the fridge he stood next to, foot in the air, trying to tip-toe around my squeaky floored house.
I squeal and tackle him.
It turns out my entire family–including my grandmother–was in on it. Michael actually was driving the 10 hours from Texas to Arkansas that night when I called him, and when I woke him up that morning, he was in a hotel and had had maybe 5 hours of sleep. My Valentine had never been mailed and his–well, let’s just say Michael wouldn’t fit in the mailbox.
That was the Valentine I set a date for moving to Texas. That was the Valentine I had decided I couldn’t take long distance dating much more. And thanks to Michael’s penchant for being a jerk and sowing disinformation, my best Valentine ever.
Like it? Join me tomorrow for, “Bathroom Scales are Evil.”