Bowled Over

Two short years ago I had a husband I thought was healthy but tired and stressed. It was Super Bowl weekend, and he’d just arrived home from a grueling 10-day business trip to Japan. The entire time he was gone he was bitter and complaining. 

The night before his trip he was hanging a new light fixture for me. He couldn’t manage the small screws holding the ceiling plate on to the electrical box and I had to do it. This had never, ever happened before, and as I irritably screwed that tiny hardware into its home, I was wondering why in the world it was *me* doing that particular task, as it was so unsuited to me and in the 23 years of our marriage I had *never* been the one to do that sort of thing. I chalked it up to Adam not wanting to go on the trip and to the absolutely untenable environment he was living in at work.

The work story is a subject for another day.

The light story was just the beginning of the strangeness. From the airport in Chicago Adam called to say he wanted me to pick him up at the airport at home (where he had left his car) and drive the two of us straight to our house at the beach. So I did.

When we arrived at the beach house we discovered he’d left his wallet in the car at the airport, so I was responsible for the weekend. In retrospect, thank goodness.

Adam wanted to go to Walmart and get a flatscreen tv for the beach house. I thought this was kinda normal because it was Super Bowl weekend and the tv we had was a 19″ relic from the 80s. We went to Walmart and he was ornery the whole time. Now if that had been me it would have been completely understandable. But Adam was always, outwardly, an easygoing guy. He took idiocy and inconvenience with a grain of salt. Not me. I took them to task and still do. But on this particular occasion he was snarly and bitter and impatient. We finally got the tv, got it home, hooked up and ready, and then sat on the screened porch.

He said things to me that are private but that were unusual. I was too obtuse to understand that something was up. All this strange behavior wasn’t just coincidental, but I didn’t realize it. Wouldn’t have made any difference if I had, and would have just worried me and made me an object of Adam’s irritation.

When we got home after the weekend we had a tiff about where the old 19″ tv was supposed to go–how we were going to dispose of it and the ensuing tv shuffle at home. He got really ticked off with me and I didn’t understand.

The whole time, even while on his business trip, he was complaining of a continuous excruciating sinus headache. The incessant nature of the headache and the way in which it altered his personality finally won approval from our insurance company for the MRI that would cast our fate.

And it was only two years ago. Seems life a lifetime.