“The 11-Year Itch,” column for May 3, 2016

Sometimes I get restless. When that happens _ OK, I’ll just say it _ I tend to do things that later make me think, “What exactly was I thinking?”

I’m not proud of it, but there it is. Don’t try to tell me you never do anything you shouldn’t do.

My husband, God bless him, knows how I am, loves me anyhow and tries to avoid leaving me alone. Sometimes it’s unavoidable. Lately, since he retired from his day job as a newspaper editor, he’s been spending more time on his night job as a bass player in a rock ‘n’ roll band.

Yesterday, the band went on tour. Sort of. They had two gigs out of town and he didn’t want to drive home between them. So he booked himself a hotel room. “Are you sure you don’t want to go with me?” he said, with that hang-dog look he uses to try to make me feel guilty.

We had just gotten home from two weeks away, and I was in no rush to hit the trail again.

“Go,” I said. “Have fun. Just be sure to wear your ugly pink hat.”

That hat could make George Clooney look like Elmer Fudd.

“I’ll call you between sets,” he said.

“You’d better,” I said.

Then he left with his other woman (that’s what I call his bass), an amp and an overnight bag. He forgot the ugly hat. I wasn’t worried. In a few weeks, we will celebrate 11 years of marriage. If I haven’t learned to trust him by now, an ugly hat won’t make much difference.

What do you do when you get restless? I like to start by making cookies.

That was my dinner _ cookies and an antacid. When my husband called, I didn’t mention the cookies. I told him I missed him, which of course, I did. When someone is such a part of your life, it’s hard not to notice that he’s not sitting on the sofa watching TV.

We said goodnight and I shut off my cell phone. Then I looked at the clock.

Almost midnight. Time to move furniture.

I can’t help it. Leave me alone anywhere _ my house or yours or a Motel 6 _ and I’ll knock myself out rearranging stuff. Never mind what it will do to my knees. Or my back. Or to my husband when he sees what I’ve done. I could wait until he gets home and let him help me. That furniture has been sitting there for years. It’s not going anywhere on its own.

But here’s the thing: I am not good at waiting. I wait if I have to _ we all do _ but I don’t like it. When I get restless, I want to move. So I did.

I moved the yellow sofas from the family room to the living room. Then I moved the leather sectional from the living room to the family room. Then I moved the tables and photos and books and lamps that belonged with one sofa or the other. Basically I switched the rooms. They looked good. A lot like they did before, only … switched. I wish you could see them.

Why did I do it? I don’t know. Sometimes it’s fun to shake stuff up. Furniture and marriages and such.

I got restless. That’s what I’ll tell my husband. He will understand. He’ll roll his eyes, of course, the way he always does when questioning my judgment. Or his judgment in marrying me. Or both.

Who knows? He might say something romantic. Something like, love means never having to do heavy lifting alone. Yeah, right. In a million years, he would never say that.

But he will make me ice my knees. And he’ll rub that stuff on my back that’s hotter than the hinges on the gates of hell and smells like my granddad’s feet. And he might cook supper or go pick up take out.

He’s like that, the man I married 11 years ago. I’d marry him again in a heartbeat. With or without that ugly pink hat.

Maybe I will promise him that I will never again move anything that weighs more than I do.

And maybe he will promise me to help me move those rooms back the way they were.


  1. Shashi Saini says

    Moving the things is always fun and we do that very often . House may be same but something changes at least the look . it is almost mid night and I did not forget to read the most refreshing column of my beautiful writer . Thank you so much .

  2. Skip the cookies. Eat the dough. 🙂 Says the woman who’s about to make Mother’s Day cookies with her kids. I know we’ll snitch a lot of dough.

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