I looked with trepidation at the wobbly ladder. Ed was showing me how to raise and lower the creaky thing. He leaned it against the roof and said, “Be careful.” I grabbed onto the sides and placed my right foot on the first rung. I looked up and took a second step. The aluminum ladder, which had looked so solid in Ed’s hands, now looked like thin metal spires heading up into the clouds. As I took a couple more steps, the ladder shook and rattled against the aluminum gutters. I retraced my steps and quickly got back on solid ground.
“It’s really shaky!” I told Ed.
“That’s the nature of an extension ladder,” he calmly said.
Ed’s calm statements infuriate me.
The other week, I consistently heard a squeaky noise when I backed up the van. I asked Ed what it could be.
“I don’t know,” he calmly said.
He gave me the number of an auto shop he thought we should start using; it would be cheaper to go there than take my van to the dealer. Ed actually knew that pesky squeak was probably the brakes. I called and made all the arrangements, including having a friend take me to pick up my car when it was ready.
After spending most of the day without a car, my friend came to drive me to the auto shop. As we were driving, she casually said, “Oh, my husband takes care of our cars.”
ARGH! Inwardly I seethed. Back when I was single, I had always thought it would be nice to have a husband who would take care of my car. This hasn’t transpired. Logically thinking, I know why my husband doesn’t take care of my car. I’ve always done it; he has to work and I stay home; it’s not that big of a deal. I won’t even go into the time Ed forgot to call me back when I was stranded in a Walgreen’s parking lot with car trouble.
I did get a husband, however, who takes care of the gutters. Why in the world would I want to climb up that extension ladder and start cleaning gutters myself? Because I wanted to see the new roof and new gutters that I had chosen on my own. Ed’s long hours at work left me in charge of calling various roofing companies to get estimates. I had compared different types of shingles and gutters. I considered roof vents and chimney covers. I wanted to get a closer look at the roof I chose.
I grabbed the sides of the ladder while Ed calmly held the side and started stepping up. Once I got up to the gutters, I looked at the roof.
It looked pretty much the same as it did from the ground.
I began throwing the leaves out of the gutters and onto the ground. Ed puttered around the yard, doing other work that needed to be done. By the time I took the ladder to the back of the house, I was moving it around and up and down like a pro.
Noisy car? No problem. Clogged gutters? Got it. There’s a water shut-off valve in my bathroom that doesn’t work. I’m going to calmly tell Ed we need to call a plumber.