My husband keeps having problems with me. If it isn’t the housework, it’s something else. He likes to play the piano in the evening. Sometimes I join him with the recorder. He tries to get that over and done with quickly. I must give him that he is patient with me most of the time, explaining things, playing tunes and phrases for me on the piano so that I can hear which way they sound nice. I certainly try hard to oblige. He made me laugh last night when he played my part with feeling, sort of leaning towards the piano, raising his shoulders and really putting himself into it. I’ve never seen him play his own pieces like that.
I tend to be tired in the evening. Having done music with me, he goes on playing his own music for quite a while. This stops me from doing anything – a grand piano fills a room. When he’s finished it’s nearly bedtime. I hang around another half hour or so before retiring to bed.
He comes half an hour later, mostly at a point when I’m about to go to sleep. He likes a cuddle and puts out a hand or a foot to see how I react. I don’t want to be anti-social and snuggle up in his arm for a few minutes. Then it’s time to go to sleep.
I came to the conclusion lately that I’m wasting my time. I should go to bed early and get up early. I must go early enough to make sure I’m asleep when he comes. I tried it out last night. It worked except that I woke up on his arrival.
I was determined not to be disturbed any more, and when he put out his big toe, I moved away very gently. He left off, but was noticeably not at ease. Something was wrong. Tossing and turning, back into the bathroom, re-arranging blankets, a hand coming near me now – I had hardly any room for further movement and had to be very careful not to hurt his feelings. Eventually we must have gone to sleep. He woke up again after a while and I, too, I don’t know why. He paid another visit to the bathroom. I went back to sleep and woke up at about 5.30 am, lingered in bed a little longer and as I was about to get up he, too, contrary to all habits, woke up, his arm stretched out for me straight away. I stayed another few minutes and then said I was getting up. He seemed unusually wide awake and must have got up soon after me to go for a run – I could tell by the way the dog was chasing up and down the stairs.
I showed my face in the kitchen before he left and he said to me: “What are you doing? Writing?”
I tried it again next day and it worked very well. I was asleep when he joined me. I didn’t notice a thing. He was fast asleep when I got up, not noticing anything either, so he said when I saw him later in the morning, adding that he hardly knew he had a wife…
The other day he said admiringly I was a born “manager”, i.e. somebody who “delegates”. It was holiday time and he was just having the meal the children had been cooking for him.
We were walking through the woods, I hanging on to one of my husband’s arms, our daughter to the other one. “I feel like a prisoner,” he said.