They’ve started again.
Every year around this time they start, and when they do I have to completely change my routine. I have to go against the standards and the way of life I have managed to carve out for myself.
I have to pretend to be stressed.
The “they” I am talking about are the Fridays my wife has off from work each summer.
Every year around this time my wife’s employer switches to a four-day workweek, which means my wife gets Fridays off for the rest of the spring and most of the summer.
Granted, to do that my wife has to get to work at 7 a.m. Monday through Thursday, but still, she gets Fridays off.
The problem with my wife having Fridays off is that I have to pretend to work when she’s around. Not only that, I have to pretend my work is stressful and that my work is some sort of dark cloud following me around like a lobbyist following a Congress creature.
Because that’s how my wife treats her work.
According to my wife, if your work isn’t stressful, if it’s not a dark cloud following you around like a lobbyist following a Congress creature, it’s not work.
I’m not saying that my wife’s work is stressful or like a dark cloud following her around, it’s just that my wife likes to make it seem that way.
That seems to be the way my wife likes to live her life. My wife likes to treat everything she is faced with like a stress-filled dark cloud.
For example, later this week my wife is planning to have a small party with a group of friends. You would think planning a small party for a group of friends would be a fun thing to do, wouldn’t you?
Well, not if you’re my wife. According to her, the party is “really stressing me out.”
As I type this my wife is downstairs making a list of the things she has to do for her small party. Then she is going to take my car to the large airplane hangar-sized lumber/hardware store in our town and pick up some more plants so she can kill them.
My wife won’t kill the plants right away, of course. What she will do is plant them and remember to water them for about a month and then, just when it gets really hot, forget to water them and wind up killing them.
It’s slow plant death, is what it is.
So naturally, my wife’s first Friday off will be stressful for her, which means I have to act as if my job — making fun of her in the newspaper — is stressful.
The problem is I don’t get stressed. Well, if the St. Louis Cardinals or the Kansas City Chiefs or the KU Jayhawks are blowing a game, I might get stressed, but getting stressed about sporting events is not the same thing as getting stressed about real life.
So says my wife.
“Why are you getting so stressed?” my wife will ask. “It’s just a game.”
Clearly, my wife is crazy.
But beyond sporting events, I don’t have much stress in my life. I suppose I would have stress in my life if I actually paid attention to life but I’ve long thought that paying attention to life is vastly overrated.
Look, Trump is the White House, who wants to pay attention to that?
But if my wife senses that making fun of her in the newspaper isn’t stressing me out, she will get mad.
“Why am I stressed out and you’re not? It’s not fair,” she’ll say.
I have to frown. I have to sigh. I have to act as if there is a dark cloud following me around like a lobbyist following a Congress creature.
Frankly, the whole thing stresses me out.