WEEK 10 (Apr 21, 2018):
The house was finally in order for Mom’s visit on Saturday. Trying hard not to make Dean feel uncomfortable in his own house, I tried hard not to go crazy cleaning everything, but just to get things straightened up a bit.
When I go crazy with the cleaning or even just straightening, Dean says, “Okay, Charlotte!”
My mother runs a tight ship, always has. A relative once said, “I could never live here, it would be like living in a museum.”
I get that most people don’t live that way. Believe me, I get it! After house shopping for a previous home, I drove by or walked through nearly 100 houses in the Titusville and Port St. John areas of Brevard County, Florida.
(Photo by Keith Roberto)
Some houses were so disgusting they got special names, likes The Poop House, which obviously had a dog or two running wild inside for a week or more. We covered our noses and mouths and walked carefully, yet briskly through. No doubt it needed new flooring, but it also needed new kitchen.
No one lived there, unlike The Underwear House. A large, full ashtray met us at the front door. The sand from the Florida yard greeted us before we entered the kitchen, where the doggy door allowed the beloved pooch to track in to its heart’s delight. In the master bedroom, I used my foot to move the tighty-whities in front of the closet door, so I could see if it was a walk-in. It was not.
I garnered from that round of house hunting that most people do not live in a clean house. On the other end of the spectrum, when I went to list my house, the photographer asked my realtor if it was staged, because surely nobody lives there.
When Dean saw the listing photos, he said, “What are you doing with me?”
I asked, “What do you mean?”
He pointed around his house I’d just moved into and said, “You’re house was beautifully decorated, and now you live like this.”
“Don’t worry,” I said, “I’ll have it fixed up eventually. I’m just taking it slow, so I don’t make you feel like a stranger in your own home.”
I’m not a perfectionist, unlike some of Dean’s friends and relatives. Two in particular will go around tossing your bottled water, if you set it down … even if you’re not done yet.
One doesn’t even cook or use real plates, because then you’d mess up the kitchen or the dishwasher!
But I am happy to have picked up some of Mom’s cleaning habits. With the gift of hospitality, we try hard to still make people feel like they can relax while they’re with us. We just make sure the dishes are done and pillows are back in place on the couch for bedtime.
So, I wear it as a badge of honor when he calls me by my mother’s name. He even admitted that he actually likes that I keep a tidy home, without being obsessive-compulsive.
Dean cooked up chicken, steak, and corn on his new BBQ grill, (a wedding gift to himself), while I gave Mom the quick tour of our small abode.
We ate an early dinner on the back porch with her dog Buttercup exploring the fenced-in backyard. She really loves her some Dean! (Check out #WeirdDoggyUpdate on Facebook)
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Dean is good about doing chores around the house like cooking and light cleaning, since he’s at home much more with his real estate job.
My commute increased from 15 to about 35 minutes each way now, five days a week.
If I stopped by Mom’s house to pick up more clothes and shoes, or drop off paperwork, then I didn’t get home until 6:30 or 7pm. I did the heavier cleaning on the weekends, too exhausted when I got home to do it during the week.
I’ve become accustomed to Dean greeting me at the door now.
Before I can get the key in the door, he flings it open.
I love it and he knows.
I get boo-boo lip when I have to use the keys. Spoiled.
Often he has something cooking or he’s already picked up dinner.
We’ve settled into an easy evening routine and have found television shows we both like and can watch together. We binged a couple of Netflix shows and I’m trying to get my shows added to his DVR scheduler. I keep forgetting what I used to watch before life with Dean. I’ve cut some of them from my list, and some I can’t do without. If they keep cutting my regular series, I’ll have to start watching Dean’s gold and car shows with him.
With only one television, we intended to set up another in the guest room for when one of us can’t sleep, (that’s me!) Our current setup is a bit tight so we don’t have room for one in the master bedroom. It might be nice to continue to use the bedroom only for sleep and marriage ‘enhancement.’ The experts say limiting your bedroom activities to just those 2 items is best for sleep anyhow.
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A family friend, Jason, told us, “Dean, you need to be prepared to be wrong all the time when you get married.”
I interjected, “Actually, I’ve never been so wrong so many times since Dean came into my life. Not that he points out how wrong I am, but every single time he says something I doubt to be correct, I’m proved wrong.”
Dean looked at me and said, “You’ll learn to trust me.” (Ugh.)
As much as I hate being wrong, it’s good to be hitched to someone I don’t think is a complete idiot.
I didn’t wait this long just to marry a man I think is stupid.
Prov 18:22—Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord. (KJV)
(Photos by Keith Roberto)