I have cut Sid’s hair for almost 25 years now.

With clippers.  It isn’t like I have hair-cutting skills.  I just put on the guide and push the switch to “on.”  I won’t go into detail about the once or twice . . . . . .eh, possibly three times . . . . . that I put on the wrong size guide and shaved a long strip down the middle of his head way shorter than originally planned.  So using the clippers requires making sure one has the correct guide before making the first cut —- check the guide twice, cut once.

As my health spiraled, Sid began to help me by doing the first shave himself.  Though he is losing hair, it still grows thick in the spots where hair does grow, so it takes a bit longer than one would think.  Then I take the clippers in hand and spiff up the hairs he missed and clean up his neck.

The other night, I happened to notice a new technique — shaving directly into the dustpan.

I thought it ingenious and cute.

And good grief, that is a lot of hair in the dustpan.  I swear he still has more hair than me.

This is the point at which he realizes I am taking pictures of him on his hands and knees over a dustpan.  See the look on his face.  He doesn’t say a word to me, but I can interpret the look. —

First, it is surprise —- “What is she doing?  Why is she taking pictures of me cutting my hair?”

Second thought —- “Wait!  Will she put this on her blog?”

Third thought —- “I don’t know how I feel about that.”

Last thought — “I’ve lost this, man.  If it makes her happy taking pictures of me on the floor shaving my head, then I’m going to let her do it.”

Putting on his pants

Early Saturday morning, I lay in bed, groggy, trying to wake up and get my body to move in slow stretches under my mountain of blankets.  I have convinced myself that this is legitimate exercise.  It buys me an extra 15 . . .er . . 30 . .  . maybe 45 minutes of guilt-free bed time.  I’m doing my exercises, I say.

My husband is getting ready for the day.  I feel a small earthquake as he sits down on the bed.  He has been my morning earthquake for 24 years.  And did I mention that he is a morning person, so he likes to chat in the mornings?  Sometimes, he even philosophizes.

In the morning.

Chattiness, for a non-morning person like myself, is difficult enough.  But philosophy?  “No, no, no” non-morning people everywhere wail.

Blithely oblivious, Sid asks his philosophical question,

“You know that saying . . .’He puts on his pants like everyone else — one leg at a time’?”  

He is incorrigible.  I whimper under my blankets.

(dramatic pause)

“Well, I don’t put on my pants that way.”

One part of my brain scrambles to process this data, while the other part struggles to determine whether I have the vigor to engage in this conversation.  I never know where these dialogues will go.

“Well, how do you put on your pants?” I finally ask.

“I put both legs in at the same time,” he states in a manner that strongly suggests that is the only reasonable way to pull on pants.

Then the image comes to me, one I have seen many times but never thought much about before.

“You sit on the bed, lean back, balance, and pull up both legs at the same time?”  I ask, incredulity tinging my voice.

It just now strikes me that this may be odd, both his pants-putting-on habits and the topic of this conversation.

But now, I am wide awake, contemplating how my large husband puts his pants on in a way that now strikes me as childlike.  He probably views it as efficient. Why take time to put in one leg at a time when one can do both legs at the same time?

Either way, he has won.  He puts his pants on more efficiently, AND he succeeded in bringing me to full wakefulness —- which I strongly suspect was his goal all along.