There's a ritual that occurs around 8pm every week night. Mr. E rattles the screen door and Ripley goes wild. Her tail wags so hard it carries the momentum of her hind legs so she essentially crab walks at high speed around the house, teeth chattering, waiting for him to open the door. When he does his face instantly lights up- it's only this once that I'll share that smile, the one that's meant for wives and significant others, the one that releases worries and cares in the comfort of home. He beams it at her in full force.
We meet eyes right before he does a nightly "sizing up" of the house. He's not looking at how much was put away today, or what chores I completed or what's unpacked. He's weighing which nightly decorating project he'd rather not do. I save the really important stuff for him so that when we sit down on the couch six months from now and he complains that our pictures are crooked or should be on the other wall, I can tell him that he had just as much say in it as I did. It's my ace in the hole.
Last night in particular we decided to decorate the desk- arguably one of the few areas in the house that's more "his" than "mine". He wants to decorate with action figures. I'd like to decorate with old cameras.
The issue is hanging. We suck at this like Olympic winter sports (come on, I'd rather watch the gymnastics than the skiing!).
We've tried eye-balling.
We've tried levelling.
We've tried measuring.
We've tried poking holes in paper where the approximate hooks are.
Two hours and eight taquitos later we're covered in drywall dust, smearing toothpaste all over our espresso wall cubes of varying sizes, balancing on tip toes and trying our best to reign in our tempers despite the fact that all we'd like to do is smash the damn cubes to pieces with the hammer. Oh, wait. Just me?
He's scowling and I'm swallowing "I told you so's" with a chaser of Moscato when we finally reach a consensus that you can't tell it's a tiny bit un-level anyways. We lock eyes for a second and I am reminded how incredibly lucky, blessed, and loved I am to have this man in particular by my side.
He destresses by playing a video game and I by reading and we're curled next to each other despite the heat, basking in each other's presence. I'll forget the next day is our anniversary and he'll forget to take out the trash like I asked him, but in the end it's details, details and our life is a bigger picture than we know.