A Work in Progress

I was finally able to get my husband to finish a project, but I wasn't as pleased as I thought I'd be.

They mocked me for months. Every morning when I raised the blinds and looked out the window, I saw them. It was almost like they were winking: one Adirondack chair was a deep brick red; the other was white. White primer, to be exact.

We had not run out of red paint. My husband, Pete, had simply run out of daylight on the day he'd planned to paint both. And there they sat, still waiting for Pete to find another day to finish the job.

After 16 years of marriage, I know I shouldn't harp on unfinished household projects, even on those sunny Saturdays when he's playing video games or watching college football. I've heard enough sermons on marriage to know that nagging from me, though it might get the job done, also discourages and alienates my husband. I'd rather have mismatched chairs than a discouraged husband.

Or would I?

As much as I might resolve to leave the man in peace, my resolve has an expiration date. Ultimately, the day comes when I can't (won't) take it anymore. This tends to coincide with an upcoming visit from an out-of-town guest. Or a potluck dinner at our house. Or anything that involves someone from the outside coming inside our house where they might witness the evidence of our . . . gasp! . . . imperfections.

And that day finally arrived for the chairs.

So I exploded. I whined. I scolded. It wasn't pretty.

Pete took it silently. And when I'd exhausted my venom, he disappeared outside. After a while, I looked out the window to see where he'd gone. He was kneeling by that one white chair, slowly turning it red.

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May 25

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