If I came face to face with the Pope, I could not tell a lie.
I would truthfully tout that while I am not perfect, I am pretty awesome. I am a good mom. I always put my kids’ needs first, except when I have a tennis match or during happy hour.
And, I am a loving wife, except when “I’m not in the mood.”
But, under the hot lights of St. Peters Square, I would also confess that “I am no Florence Nightingale” – at least when it comes to my betrothed.
If the kids are sick, my sympathy abounds, but with my hubby, I say – gut it out. I often wonder if I watch too much of Aunt Lydia on Handmaid’s Tale.
Whatever the reason, winter is coming.
In August, my permanent paramour is having elbow surgery. Oddly enough, I am numb with lack of worry yet possessed by concern that his operation will put me out of commission. I may have to cook and drive that man around for weeks.
Can’t I ditch the “In sickness and in health” overreach if I have a good record on the other vows? I hope his orthopedic knife thrower knows that my tennis game can’t survive a long recovery.
And, shouldn’t I get some credit for the times I have been pseudo-supportive? A couple of years ago, my love had a colonoscopy – and I was selfless. Like a reformed Nurse Ratched, I drove him to the gastro place, waited forever, and delivered him home with McDonald’s hamburger and chocolate shake in hand. Then, I made sure he was fully medicated and asleep before I left to play tennis. Sure, I felt a little guilty, but I had a match the next day.
Recently, aided by a heavy pour of chardonnay, I recounted the times I had been a good caregiver to my loving man.
As I finished the glass, my mind wandered to tennis – again. Then, like a fuzzy yellow ball to the face, it hit me. My sweet spouse is my partner in life, kind of like my partner on the tennis court, and if he is having a bad match or is injured, then I need to step up. I need to be a team player.
That day I added the Tennis Channel to our Spectrum package and prepared for surgery.
Michele Valdez, a slightly compulsive, mildly angry feminist, has been an attorney and community volunteer. She has four demanding adult children, an enthusiastic black lab, and a patient husband.