Thursday, June 05, 2008

Marital stress test

There are a few things in a marriage that are tried and true to demonstrate the strength of your marital bond. Not your depth of love, that is. You can love a person dearly and still want to kick them in the head occasionally. But rather your ability to listen, delegate, negotiate, and comprimise. These are all skills useful when you are married, and from time to time there are activities that test all of these skills at once. I thought I knew all of these tests. I thought I had learned enough in these past, very rough years to know when to sidestep this kind of trouble. It seems that I have discovered a before unknown marital test. Something harder than renovating. Something harder than painting a ceiling or putting together a flat-pack furniture item together. Something even worse than trying to deal with a three year old having a tantrum on an airplane. Folks, I introduce you to putting a brand new, folded and sticky, solar cover on an above ground pool with walls over 52". One idea was to unroll the entire thing on the lawn, then grab an edge and pull it up and onto the pool. Except this thing is round, and no matter where I grabbed it, it was too heavy, and it kept sticking to the edge of the pool like cling wrap. If DH wasn't trying to hoist me bodily across the pool WITH the cover, he was letting go completely causing me to fall in the mud. We tried a few other things. There was a lot of sweating and swearing, and I kid you not it was less effort to give birth. Finally we heaved the thing into the pool, still in a ball with the hopes we could unravel it while it was floating. I didn't figure on the fact that the pool walls are so tall, while standing on the ground, I can't reach the water surface over the edge. Apparently I am cursed with short arms, and big boobs. I ended up grabbing the skimmer pole and poking at the mass floating in the middle while DH's tactic was to stand and stare as it bobbed around. Then I got an idea. I told DH to grab the edge closest to him, and hold onto it, and stand still. STAND STILL and HOLD ON being the operative words. I managed to snag an edge on the other side of the floating blob and gradually with great effort, prodded it to my side of the pool. My shoulders almost popped with the strain, but finally I had an edge within my reach (as long as I was hanging over the side of the pool with my feet danging in the air, that is) and pull it across flat. I got down, walked 1/4 turn around the pool and was about to start again when I realized that something was amiss. It seemed that as I prodded and pulled towards myself, dh did not hold on. DH did not stand still. Nothing was unravelled. In fact the only thing I had managed to acomplish was to poke the floating ball of cover (imagine a ball of plastic wrap, crumpled up and stuck to itself then floating in a tub of water) over to my side of the pool the difficult way. If there was ever a moment that DH was going to be composted, this was it. Weighing the options between pummeling him to death with the end of the skimmer or hoisting an edging brick at him are forethought, and it would have been murder 1 for sure. This alone is what gave me pause. I took a moment to go into the cool house (air conditioning. Shut up. It's June.) and get my faculties together. We did manage to get the cover on the pool eventually. And he is not burried anywhere in the yard. In fact, he is sitting in the other room watching TV unscathed. I guess I passed the test ;).

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