Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Art of Being Certain

In life, I've come to rely on "certainties" that keep me grounded and I know I'm still alive and kicking. Things like the toilet paper can only be changed by me for some reason even though there are two others occupying this dwelling who have opposable thumbs making them completely capable of undertaking the task. I've even had TP roll changing demonstrations. Didn't work.

I'm also the only one who knows the tube of toothpaste belongs in the drawer, not on the counter next to the toilet paper.

And I'm the only one capable of dialing the phone and making necessary dental and doctor appointments.

Another certainty that I've come to rely on is when I come home from work and say to my husband that I'm tired. His response is ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS "I'm more tired." Never fails.

So, today I came home from work on the first day of our busy season. Plus, it's the first day back after a very long four-day weekend. I stated the obvious, "I'm tired."

I waited to hear "I'm more tired." Nothing. Not even a cricket chirping. I even stopped dead in my tracks. I said again, "I'm tired." Nothing. Just a puzzled look on B.O.B.'s face. So this time I said it verrrrryyyyy sllooowwwwwlllly ... "IIIIIIII'mmmmmmmmmm ttttttttttiiiiirrrrrreeeeddddddddd." The puzzled look yet again and a "Well, go take a nap."

Go take a nap? Where was my familiar "I'm more tired." Suddenly I felt as if the earth had stopped rotating. I needed to hear "I'm more tired." I didn't want to hear "go take a nap." If I wanted to take a nap I would have ended up face down on my electric blanket and not said a word to anyone. No, I wanted to share my pain with others. I wanted to hear something as familiar as the TP dispenser clicking into place. "Go take a nap" wasn't it.

So, I responded with: "What?"
B.O.B.: "If you're tired, go take a nap."
Me: "That's not what you're supposed to say."
B.O.B.: "I'm not? What am I supposed to say?"
Me: "I'm more tired."
B.O.B.: "Why would I say that? You're the one that's tired."
Me: "Because for the past 16 years, whenever I have said I'm tired, you have ALWAYS SAID 'I'm more tired.' So say it. Say, 'I'm more tired.'"
B.O.B.: "But I'm not tired."
Me: "Yes, you are. Now say it."
B.O.B.: "I don't want to."
Me: "You may not want to, but you have to."
B.O.B.: "Are you taking your hormones?"

He didn't understand that I couldn't continue to function as a human being without the certainty of knowing that he was more tired. Finally, after he realized that I couldn't take my coat and mittens off without him stating he was more tired, he finally said, "Uhhmmmm ... I'm more tired?" It was more a question than a statement of fact but I really wasn't going to split hairs over it.

Whew. I could go on with my night. It was more comforting than donning my Hello, Kitty pajama pants. He was more tired than me. And I knew when I walked into the bathroom, the toilet paper would still be on the counter next to the toothpaste.

Now that I'm certain life is still on track, I might just go and take that nap after all ...