Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mr. Honey-Do

A few things to know before I really launch into this post:

1) I never NOT loved my husband.  But, the line between love and hate is a very fine one.  Razor sharp, in fact.  And the part of him that became a small piece of "Ray" in my fictional recreation of my mindset back in April is still in there somewhere.  I may love the man, but I don't love what he did when he walked away from his job.  And the trust that we worked so hard to re-establish after he walked his job when Marissa was just a few months old is very simply gone;

2) And it's not even the money so much - although, let's be real, that factors into it certainly - it's the fact that he completely rolled over me to get what he wanted, and I'm footing the bill with the simple expectation on his part that I just should happily acquiesce with no say in the matter;

3) He's not handy.  And, cards all out on the table, that actually factored into his initial appeal.  I was involved with a very Handy Man when Greg and I began seeing one another.  Greg was a violent swing from that individual, whom I shall call Darth Control Freak for the purposes of this blog.  Darth Control Freak was a very handy individual, particular when it came to cars, but he had major hang-ups in many other areas.  As did I, I must confess (although it took me probably more than a decade to be able to admit I had any role in how messed up our relationship was), which made us one Bad Relationship.  So, in a desperate attempt to move away from that kind of controlled, horrible and frightening relationship, I chose a laid back sports fan who barely knew a Phillips head screwdriver from a crescent wrench, and who valued his own time.  There have been times in the ensuing years that I've wondered if I took too violent of a swing, at least in terms of the handy man thing.

So, with that background in mind, the response to the question of what Greg is doing these days is, "Working on the house."  He's not doing it alone.  Hardly.  We have a man who is highly handy - making Darth Control Freak look positively amateurish - who is really doing the heavy lifting, and Greg is sort of like the helper bee.  I can't really tell you how helpful Greg is in the process because the contractor has always shown up after I have left for work and has left before I get home.  Apparently he joked recently that he wasn't sure I actually existed.  My retort was that I could wonder the same thing except that I knew Greg hadn't done all this work by himself.

The individual who is doing most of the work is someone Greg's known for years, but he's kept at arm's length from me.  Greg met him through another friend whom I do know, but was always leery of (if I put it mildly) because he never seemed to realize that the 60's were over, and I thought he would be a bad influence on my children (ironic, I know).  Our current and very talented contractor is cut from the same cloth.   His talent and knowledge in terms of carpentry are amazing.  His ability to hold down a traditional job is something else.  So, when he's here, everything is fine.  Great in fact.  I come home to these amazing repairs and improvements to our house, and Greg seems proud.  But, there are days when he doesn't make it.

That non-traditional work ethic comes into play more often than it should, and my non-handy, unemployed husband is left to his own devices.  And those days are not good ones.  Not for the husband anyway.  He seems sullen and lost, occasionally even combative.  There is no task to absorb him, so he is left with his own thoughts.  And that, believe it or not, this is one of the very things that I worried about the most when he announced his decision to me to quit his job on the day he actually did it.  Floundering around with no clear purpose is not what I could possibly imagine as being helpful to the grieving process.

I confess; I wanted the work done to the house.  We had neglected this poor house for so long while we struggled to repair our children.  But, with no other income than what we had set aside in savings and what I make as a collections clerk, there is only so much work Greg can supervise.  And, tell me truthfully Greg, does any of this replace what you think you've lost?

Whatever the true answer to that is, in the meantime, a lot of really cool repairs have been realized to this poor old house that has suffered along with us all these years.  That's cool.  But, it's also temporary in terms of fixing the real issue; Greg's broken heart.  When the work is finally completely done, then what?  What will fill his time?  What will occupy his thoughts other then the loss he is trying to run from?  And who will finance it?

I don't know, but I hope he does.

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