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While She Is Away
I want to make clear right from the start that this is not a confession. I am confident that my mate understands, as a general proposition, that I will backslide in some areas of our marital compact while she is gone. As long as her world isn’t adversely affected, I know that I am pre-forgiven for such lapses. On the other hand, you might find some evidence of defensiveness here — even though I categorically deny that there is anything that needs defending.

Oh, I know what you’re thinking: he’s all alone and he’s living like an animal. Well, you couldn’t be more wrong. I am a grown man and fully capable of taking care of myself. Besides, she’s only gone for a few days.

Furthermore, no one will be harmed by my transgressions. Take, for instance, the matter of bed-making. As I have already made clear in this space, I consider this practice to be wasteful and redundant. And so, in keeping with this firmly held personal ethic, I do not make the bed during these periods of separation. The covers are a twisted clump now, just as they were when I got up. The bottom of the sheet is securely tucked (according to my specifications), but everything else is untouched. The purely decorative pillows remain on the floor and out of the way. They will not move again until it is absolutely necessary.

I am at ease with this state of affairs, even though it would be troubling to my mate. But she is far away, and this disarray in our boudoir cannot afflict her. Neither she, nor anyone else, is harmed. Similarly, if I happen to fart or belch with unusual gusto, I cannot be charged with rudeness because there is no victim to witness these displays.

There is a TV tray parked in front of my easy chair. It has not moved since her departure. Nor will it. My convenience level is just too high under this arrangement to justify folding it up and returning it to the closet. And yet, the Earth continues to spin on its axis, and the arc of the moral universe continues to bend toward justice.

The toilet seat, as you might expect, has stayed up. Unless, that is, I have just used it for its most profound function…or unless I have recently used my rest room as a place to sit and rest. I have no quarrel with the expectation that I always leave the seat down, but I prize this opportunity to ignore it. Furthermore, the energy I save will help in saving the Earth.

Notwithstanding these minor derelictions, things are still pretty tidy around here. The dishes get washed, though at a more leisurely, thoughtful pace. There is sweeping, sponging, and even some isolated instances of dusting.

And if I were looking to prove that I am not living like an animal, I would simply point to my efforts at sprucing. I will admit that sprucing does not constitute a large part of my home care bailiwick, but I am qualified in this area. I don’t claim that deep sprucing, such as the placement of fresh flowers or the rotation of table runners, is part of my portfolio; however, do I like to think of myself as a gifted straightener. Furthermore, I make sure all the drawers and cupboard doors are closed, too. This is largely a manifestation of my mild OCD, but it still counts as sprucing.

Sprucing, in fact, is one of the fundamental human qualities that sets us apart from the lower beasts. That, and the ability to modulate our farting. So there.

Please Note: Tim Eagan will read your comments but he is currently not publishing them.

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Trump supporters are people who know what they believe.
~ JC, Bonny Doon