So we got the old floor ripped up in the kitchen, meaning that the stove-top oven and the refrigerator had to be moved into one of the spare rooms for a few days. No worries. But for some reason the oven is wired into the wall, instead of just plugged in. We discovered this goes for the washer and dryer a while back, so we did what we do, we draw a schematic and de-wire the oven. I like schematics. They remind me of lego instructions and wonderful days sitting on the floor of my room piecing spaceships together one brick at a time.
Anywhat, we couldn't put the oven back right away after we returned because we needed to let the floor cure. Finally it's time. Only my husband is tired. Cranky tired.
He has three stages of tired: silly, butt-head, cranky. Cranky is horrible. There aren't words to really describe it. He just becomes this impossible person. Everything you do is wrong, slow, and obviously designed to make HIS life a living hell. Later, after he's had sleep, he'll apologize, but when he's in the throws of crankiness, I just keep my head down, do my thing and practice my zen face.
We maneuver the oven into position, he squats behind it with the screwdriver. I try to hand him the schematic. "I know what I'm doing" he snaps, "go get ready to make dinner or something." As much as I would like to whack him over the head with a frying pan, I'd then have to drag his sorry butt to the trash, and I'm just too tired to do that. So I fill a pot with water, I chop an onion, I mince three cloves of garlic. We're going to have pasta casserole ... tada, I've done all I can do until the stove is ready.
Husband finishes and flips the fuse.
Okay, there was no flash of light. There also wasn't any smoke. But that didn't keep me from leaping about two feet in the air. I check the oven and peek over to look at the wires as my DH stomps his way back to the kitchen. He's installed the wires in a mirror reversal of the schematic. Now he has to swear and stomp around the kitchen and yell about the injustice of the world blah blah blah... and my nerves are now officially shot. Zen is right out.
I kicked him out of the way, told him to mince the garlic some more, and sat down to do it myself. Since I'm the one who always does the lights and other electrical jobs around the house anyway, you'd think that I would have done the oven myself. I should have. But cranky mccrank forgets that the only reason I keep him around is to get stuff off the high shelves and warm my feet, not DIY.
The big bang blew out half of the hot plates on the stove top. We have since opened up the back of the oven looking for more fuses, but there's nada. We have to call someone in and possibly buy a new stove/oven. But, trying to regain my zen, I pointed out to my bundle of cranky, I can still make dinner.
Since he's now at a loss as to what to do, I give him small simple tasks. I have to remind him to slow down because he's careening into walls and has hit his head on shelves and things and frankly his frantic behavior is STRESSING ME OUT! Trying to regain the zen. Breathing slowly, I add basil. He tries to rearrange the kitchenware. Breathing harder. He rearranges the dishes. I will now spend the next three days unable to find my damn coffee mug. When he approaches me with the small mismatched bowls, I stop him. "WHAT are you doing with THOSE?" "I'm putting them away." "They go BACK on the SHELF." "But they don't match the other plates, why can't they go under the counter in the back?" "Because I USE THEM EVERY DAY TO MAKE YOU DINNER." Mise en place does not make sense to cranky husbands. Cranky husbands would do well to remember to not upset the hand that makes you food, never mind what you think is aesthetically logical.
My attention is diverted only for a few minutes when I realize that I've not seen nor heard my DH in a few minutes. This is worrisome. Not because I think he's dead, or sitting down and resting, but because it means that he's up to something. Yup. He's decided to move the refrigerator back. So he's taken everything out and is removing the shelves. Guess who has to help him move the damn thing? Guess who is also trying to prepare dinner? I help him move the 'fridge, zen gone, enter frustrated wife. Lots of grumbling. You want cranky? Oh, I can give you cranky. Think you're in a snit? Oh, no, I will show you a snit. I have to stop at one moment to remove the casserole from the oven seconds before it goes from done to burnt. "Dinner's ready" I say, "let's put everything back in quickly so we can eat." Nope, he has to clean the refrigerator first.
This is why zen masters are always monks. There is no way you can be married and keep your zen.