There haven't been any new developments with the Exile situation since my last post. Just throwing that out there, because I'm trying to move away from spending my time and effort on speculation and worrying. It's oddly freeing not to be a gear in the decision machine anymore. It gives me the opportunity to talk about what I want to talk about.
My wife is awesome. Most of you know that.
Jess and I have always had a strange relationship. When we started dating, I had just come out of a long relationship that involved a lot of responsibility on my part. I had no intention to see anyone seriously or exclusively. I wanted to have fun.
Turns out I got to have fun while I was building a serious thing with Jess. At first, honestly, we were just a couple. We weren't friends. Hell, we didn't even know each other that well. As time went by, we began to realize how well our broken edges fit together. Where I was strong--the everyday things like managing money and planning for the future--she was inexperienced. Where I was insecure, like worrying about offending her or talking about a girl I saw that I thought was hot, she was an entirely different species. The things that upset most people in a relationship such as discussing old flames or checking out sexy members of the opposite sex, didn't bother her a bit. It took her years to develop even a small amount of jealousy.
And yeah, we became best friends. On the big things we always came to easy agreement. The small stuff usually works itself out. The only serious arguments we ever get in are nearly always opinion-based and centered around pop culture. She has never seen the original Star Wars trilogy. I would be lying to you if I didn't admit that when we said our vows, that fact wasn't on my mind.
The strange and wonderful thing about Jess that stands out over all other aspects of her personality is her ability to adapt. She has never shirked from hard work, and that attitude has served her well since The Fall. She hated guns, but saw the necessity in learning how to use them once the zombie plague broke out. She cried at the thought of killing animals for any reason, even for food, but she sighted down her rifle through the tears and fired with barely a tremor when the time came.
She has bloomed in many ways since the world ended. Her nearly pathological shyness has receded into mere discomfort around strangers. She has a self-confidence that still shocks me every time I think of how she used to be. This morning, on her way to work in our self-contained farm, she walked up behind me as I scrubbed the few dishes we use and slapped me on the ass.
She called me her "little woman", like I was some 1950s-era housewife.
Jess just isn't that kind of person. Or wasn't. Her sense of humor flows through different channels. She caught me off guard and at first I was too dumbfounded to react. When her face fell, I ended up laughing. I knew she was joking but the poor thing seriously thought I was offended.
The truth is, even though I've been at home more on a daily basis since The Fall than any time before it, I've never kept up with my end of the 'shared workload' deal. Historically I've been very lazy about doing housework and seeing that things are in order. I'm a sort of human tornado that way.
Since leaving the clinic and being allowed at home by myself, I have nothing but free time most days. I get bored, and I've read every book in the house many times over the years. So I started cleaning and organizing, and the crazy thing is that I like it. My house is neat for the first time in ages, our stockpiles of random supplies easily accessible. Apparently we possess no less than three sets of barbecue tongs, and I haven't finished going through all the boxes of junk yet.
I feel like I'm reaching a better place. Or at least walking the path toward it. I'm not allowed to participate in New Haven's defense, and I've come to terms with that reality, temporary though it is. I don't have a "real" job to do, other than this blog and collating the reams of data and information I've gathered over the last few years as I've struggled to help run this place. That comprehensive document will take months to complete and then need constant updating, but I've got the rest of my life to do it. So, no rush.
Other than those things, I don't have much going on. That's why I feel such a sense of satisfaction from working on the house (planning on doing some big work, actually, like maybe adding a room or something) and doing the work Jess will be too tired to mess with. I'm almost at peace with myself at the moment, because being unable to do much of value outside my home, I've put forth my best effort to do all I can of value within it.
There's a valuable lesson in there about knowing limitations and if you can't safely push them, taking satisfaction from a job well done. I could be wrong; might be that I'm just trying to make myself feel better. All I know for sure is that the smile on her face when she sees the tidy house waiting for her at the end of the day makes my heart thump hard against my chest, like an old cartoon. I see approval and love in her face, and as much as I dearly care for all my friends and appreciate all they've done...
Nothing else compares to the feeling she gives me. Nothing in the world.