I usually have the market cornered on crazy in my house. I’m the nut and my husband is the calm, rational one who doesn’t talk to inanimate objects at all. He will simply never understand why I talk to basil as I chop it and I will never understand why he doesn’t talk to the toilet while he unclogs it.
But there are rare, glorious times when my husband’s kind of crazy surfaces and gives my everyday crazy a run for its money. I relish these special times when the vein on my husband’s forehead pops out and people give him that look that seems to say, Maybe if we walk by quickly and don’t make eye contact, the crazy person won’t talk to us. It’s a look I know well.
The current cause of my husband’s insanity? We are building a house. No small task, as we have learned but we made it much less stressful by finding an amazing builder—an incredibly nice guy who builds beautiful homes. When we met to discuss the house, we met at his home where our daughter had a ball playing with his kids. His wife is just as nice and every time I talk to her I have to fight the urge to say, “Please be my best friend!” (Through lots of inward reflection and costly therapy I have learned that this particular statement is creepy and off-putting, but one day she will be my best friend.)
For me, knowing that the building of our house is in meticulous hands is all I need. Call me when the house is done.
Unfortunately, it’s not that easy for my husband. Although he knows that our builder is constructing the perfect house, my husband has a difficult time not being in control. That’s when the vein on his forehead makes its appearance. It’s like he has been stricken with some kind of house mania, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to have him medicated before it’s all over.
He goes to the house site everyday and agonizes over something.
“I used some leftovers pieces of 2x4s, rusted nails, and a Big Gulp cup someone left behind to measure out where our bed should go in the master bedroom. Good thing I have the dimensions of a king size bed committed to memory.”
“I counted how many footsteps it was across the living room today. We are definitely going to need a bigger TV. Tomorrow I’m going to map out how to get by all the windows without the neighbors seeing me in my underwear.”
“I’ve been thinking a lot about home security. How do you feel about a moat, honey?”
My husband also has a list about fourteen pages long of all the things he wants in the new house.
“I want a theater screen and a pool with a waterfall and an indoor habitat for spider monkeys. Maybe eventually get one of those transporters like on Star Trek, you know, once the technology is perfected.”
He constantly asks me to come up with things I want in the new house.
“What about a crystal chandelier? How about a vodka tasting room? Or maybe we could build you a room to dedicate to your banjo lessons?”
“There is one thing I want,” I said.
He almost jumped out of his seat with excitement, “What is it?”
“I want to be able to plug in my hair dryer and flat iron into the same outlet,” I said plainly.
“An outlet? That’s it?” he said with a disappointed sigh. “So no banjo room? Well, that will leave more room for the monkeys,” he said and slipped back into the grip of house mania.
I can’t really blame him for the mania, though. It may technically just be wood, concrete, and steel, but it is so much more to us. It’s not just a house and it’s so much more than a home. I know that when my husband sees this new house, he sees an extension of his family—the three of us moving across the country away from every bit of family we have. Making a go of it in a new state by ourselves. We have made friends here, but it still ends up just the three of us most of the time (you’d be amazed how fast the party and dinner invitations stop rolling in once you’ve had to cancel a few times because you don’t have a babysitter).
No, more often than not, it’s the three of us at our holiday dinner table—or at the hospital cafeteria, depending on my husband’s schedule. Our wedding anniversaries are always nice and quaint—me, my husband, and our daughter. But always being together has made us a solid team—we’re inseparable. The three of us are the reason my husband agonizes over the new house—because he’s not just building us a house. He’s building us a place to feel safe and happy and loved. He’s building us a dream.
I still may have him medicated though.