I am married to a carpenter, and he is married to a Marriage and Family Therapist. Our tools are hammers and communication skills, gathering arguments as if speaking different languages. I often feel helpless.
I want the windows undressed, without curtains, lots of light to walk naked in, not caring if the neighbors see our senior bodies, which are in good shape by most standards as if that matters.
During our nearly two years together, I’ve pushed and pulled to be allowed to scrape off the creamy window glaze applied by the previous renters. Argued. Cajoled. Insisted and persisted.
When Dave skillfully uses his hammer to take down the first plywood and foam over one of the six glazed back porch windows, he tells me he likes the new light shining in, wanting to see the birds, while riding his stationary exercise bike.
Because we have a commuter marriage, we alternate weekends: he driving from Depew to Ithaca, and me driving from Ithaca to Depew for another round of persuasion to free up another window; he arguing for privacy and me for light.
I gladly scrape off the creamy glaze using “elbow grease,” which builds up my triceps of determination, no ease to please. The razor blade held in the utility knife needs to be replaced often as it becomes dull like arguing but what I view as encouraging the benefits of seeing wildlife or enjoying a brighter kitchen.
One window per month draws out the process, finding it easier to use just the razor blade, instead of it being inside the utility knife. By the weekend of window number five, Dave offers a longer-handle tool that holds the razor blade more securely, making me job as scraper, or is it as scrapper, a thankful bit easier.
I find my happiness growing as each of the nine individual panes of each window is freed to the daylight. But my greatest happiness is hearing Dave say, “Thanks for changing my mind. I really like seeing my bird feeder, and the kitchen does need more light, and sometimes I can see the moon at night.”