"I have a confession to make," I said to him, as I fiddled with the controls on my heater.
"What is it?" he asked, with that smile in his voice that he always has that just turns me into hot caramel on the inside.
"Well, it's..." and then I paused. "No, it's stupid. You'll laugh."
"You always do that!" he complained. "You always start something, and then say something like, 'No, I can't say it.' Just say it, you know you want to!"
"It's just stupid stuff," I replied. "It's one of those things that just popped in my head and then I thought about how silly it sounded and I decided against it."
"Oh, it's so dumb!" I exclaimed. "It's just, I'm on my way to get the kids, and for a while there, last month, I was leaving work too late and showing up at the after school care place about five minutes past the time I had to be there, and getting in trouble for it, and so, I've kind of turned getting there on time into a game..." I smiled to myself and played with the dashboard a bit. "I kind of pretend that I'm an airplane pilot," I said, shyly. "And I announce my destination, and program it in, and then update the crew every ten minutes or so, and use the heater to program in code red or green or yellow, depending on how close to schedule I am. It's kind of fun."
I heard a loud gust of air in the phone, and knew that Corb was laughing at me on the other end. "Oh, that's it?" he said. "I pretend that I'm landing an airplane whenever I'm getting off the Raynham exit."
See, there is a point in this whole dialog, which I'm kind of getting at in my own offhand manner. It's just that this is one of the essential differences I've noticed between being living with the big guy and living with Josie. I think it's one of the big differences between being with a man and being with a woman, actually, but I haven't done enough scientific research to say that for a fact (and don't intend to). It's that Peter Pan thing, that love of still retaining some small portion of being a kid, that guys tend to share and girls tend to put away with their dolls.
I could never, in a million years, imagine Josie transforming her car into an airplane, and I know that she would have laughed at me and thought I was an idiot had I ever told her that story. Not in a mean way. Just in a kind of--"I can't possibly relate to that, because it would never even cross my mind to do that sort of thing" kind of way. But with Corb, it's more, "oh yeah, I do those kind of things, too." And that sort of thing warms my soul, and makes me love him more.
There are other things, too. For example, week-ends. Every week-end, I would spring up out of bed and say, "what's the game plan for today?" This is something that would drive Josie nuts. She HATED having game plans for the week-end. She'd much rather simply relax and let things happen. But with Corb, he's even more driven than me about that. "What are we going to do, I don't want to just be shut up in here," he'll say, and I like that, because I don't have to be the one doing the driving. It's a nice feeling.
Of course, I don't think that that one is primarily driven by gender. But there are things that are driven by those sort of factors, for sure. For example, touch. Specifically, snuggling in bed. When you're snuggling with a woman, placing your body up against hers, side by side, in bed, it's more of a protective feeling. You feel that you're enclosing her, forming a safe shelter from the rain. But with Corb, I typically feel sheltered more than sheltering, even when I'm the one on the outside, placing my arm around his middle, and looping upward to hold his hand. And it's a damn good feeling.
One thing that hasn't changed in either situation is my adoration of bickering. Whether it's Josie or Corb, I love to bicker, publicly or privately, in a lighthearted way. And quite often, I bicker with both of them at the same time. Last night, after we had all done our Thanksgiving thing, we got together to put up the tree with the kids, and Josie and Corb got into it about hanging pearls from the tree, and I made my opinion known about my dislike of garland, as I do every year (Judy or not, it's gaudy). And later on, Corb snuck over and decorated the angel on the tree with a styrofoam hat and a tampon for a cane (don't ask, Josie had left them on the kitchen table), and the two of us giggled about it until Josie finally realized what was going on, and then she chuckled and delicately removed them from the tree. Silly boys.
There are, however, some areas where the two worlds do collide. For example, yesterday, I was running around, frantically looking for the cat scoop, so I could clean out the kitty litter box. I couldn't find it, and finally realized that it must have been accidentally thrown out.
Anyway, last night, I had the night to myself, and was able to get a lot of work done, and when Corb came home, he decided he wanted to cook stuffed mushrooms, so he went to the dishwasher to grab a spatula, to turn over the mushrooms.
"Did you wash these?" he asked, as he held the spatula in his hand and wrinkled his nose.
"Uh oh," I gulped. "Yes. Why?"
"There seems top be some kind of brown stuff on this," he replied, scraping it off with his finger.
"Wait! Don't use that!" I screamed, and grabbed the spatula out of his hands. "No wait...that's not right...I didn't use THAT one..."
"Ted, what did you do?" he demanded to know, arms by his side.
"Oh, nothing, honey," I replied, innocently, and handed him back the spatula.
"Ted, did you use the spatula to take the cat crap out of the litterbox?" he said, and grabbed me on the shoulder.
"Well, no...not the spatula, exactly..." I replied, meekly.
"And then you put them in the dishwasher and tried to wash them off!?!"
Needless to say, he didn't use either the spatula or the wide spoon that I actually did use to clean the kitty litter box. And, he's making me throw them out, and for some reason, Josie totally agrees, too.
I think Thumbkin's with me on this issue, however. He doesn't see a problem with it.