This morning did not begin well. I admit to being a bit grumpy due to an unseasonable chill in the air and the fact that my wife of many decades chose to sleep in, leaving me to prepare my own morning meal.
I had decided to overlook that, but when she finally rose from her slumbers, she turned immediately to her iPad, sitting down and ignoring me.
A bit nonplussed at first, I recovered quickly and pleasantly asked if she had forgotten one of her wifely duties. She looked askance at me and rather imperiously asked what I meant.
I blinked in surprise. I expected and was owed an immediate apology, not a question from her! This bordered on insubordination, but I am a gentle man, not given to fits of rage unless sorely provoked.
“No morning hug?”, I queried, raising my eyebrows to express my disbelief at her lapse.
She stood up, albeit, it seemed to me, somewhat reluctantly. We embraced, as has been our custom for more than five decades. I whispered in her ear, “There are rules, you know. WWTW and all that implies.”
She tilted back her head, and feigned surprise.
“WWTW? What is that, husband?”
I scowled. Pretense was not a game I was willing to play at this point.
“What Would Tony Want”, I exclaimed, “WWTW, dammit!”, and immediately regretted my temper. No doubt she was still groggy from sleep and I had snapped at her. She would be hurt, I knew. But WWTW has been a guiding principle in our long marriage. She knows that!
Her lower lip quivered. I was tempted to apologize, sorely tempted indeed, but really, sleep deprived or not, some things truly are inexcusable. I said nothing, and she sat back down, averting her gaze.
A change of subject seemed in order. “Excuse me,” I said, “There is laundry that requires attention.”
That was one of the small number of undone tasks that I had noticed earlier while she lay abed. She is not neglectful, but can be forgetful, so I have taken up the duty of reminding her of household chores. I do not resent this extra work on my shoulders.