Wow, it’s only two weeks until Christmas Eve, and there’re only three weeks left in 2014! My beloved has only two more work days left in the year, and he’s really looking forward to having three weeks off.
I gently pointed out to him just the other day, that three weeks off his day job did not equal three weeks of doing absolutely nothing. I have no objection whatsoever to his reading, lounging about, watching television and napping. But he can’t indulge in all leisure, all the time.
“But we tried that whole ‘house bitch’ experiment last year,” he said, “and I failed at it!”
Friends, y’all would have been proud of his delivery of that sentence, because he did indeed appear to be very sad and disappointed about that truth.
I again, gently, told him the reason he failed was because he’d gone into the experiment with the mistaken idea that being a house bitch meant he had to do only one chore a day.
“You mean,” he asked, eyes wide, “I have to do two?”
Ah, Mr. Ashbury missed his true calling! Not even the great Olivier could have delivered such an emotional, heart-felt performance as I witnessed right there in the front seat of my car as I drove him home from work that day.
My husband’s pending Christmas lay-off is indeed a harbinger of a not-too-distant in the future event. Yes, we are very quickly coming to that time that I’m anticipating with equal parts pleasure and dread: in just a couple of years, Mr. Ashbury will become a retired gentleman.
Sadly, he’s looking forward to that. I say sadly because not that many years ago he loved his job. He loved what he did, and he really cared a great deal for the owner of the company, and all who worked there. He cared about the company, itself. But in 2003 the fourth-generation family owned business he’d worked at for 25 years was sold to a large, world-wide conglomerate.
It’s taken that conglomerate eleven years, but they’ve finally completely eradicated my beloved’s joy of going to work each day. He used to tease that he might never retire, and would instead “die in the saddle” as it were. Now, he can’t get out of there fast enough.
That grieves my heart more than I can say.
However, he’s more than an employee—always has been, of course. And even at the age of 62, he has dreams. Some of those dreams are of doing what he would love to do, once he retires. One thing he wants to do is to find a piece of antique farm equipment and restore it. The other thing he’d like to try might surprise you—or maybe it won’t.
He wants to write.
Don’t ask me what genre he’ll be writing, because I seriously don’t know. He has very eclectic reading tastes and he has a love of history. What he ends up penning really is anybody’s guess.
But one thing I do know is this: when that time comes, and he is no longer working at a day job for a living, he won’t need to worry about getting something part time to bring in a few dollars. He has a decent pension, and I of course, will still be writing. Good Lord willing, people will still buy the books I write, which will make our latter days more comfortable than they might otherwise have been.
But my beloved will have to shape up when it comes to working around the house. The deal I’m going to offer him is simple, and, I think, fair. On top of working on my manuscript of the moment, I’ll make the bed every day and the supper every night. But everything else that I am currently doing around the house will become his job.
And because I know him so very well, I will add this proviso to my offer: if he “accidentally” fails at the dusting, vacuuming, mopping and other cleaning chores, then I’m going to “accidentally” start burning the supper. Every. Single. Night.
It’s always good to know your spouse’s weak spot, and Mr. Ashbury’s is definitely at the supper table.