Ode to Putzing

For as long as I’ve known my father-in-law – a couple of decades – he’s used the phrase “I’m just putzing around” when asked what he’s been up to on a particular day. It’s classic Pappa Joe. 

I love putzing around. Humming about. Doing nothing of any importance or consequence. I’ve always loved it – I just never knew what it was called. So much of my time during the week is spent going from one efficient time block to another – it’s nice to wake up and putz around. It doesn’t mean you do nothing. No no no. It means you do stuff you want that leads to other stuff. Maybe you start a project, but you certainly don’t need to finish it. Maybe you go to a store where you need nothing and kill an hour. Or two. It’s like surfing the net – but outside in the real world. It’s passing the bagel place up the road to go to the better bagel place inconveniently located on the other side of town. It’s not about errands. It’s not about chores. It’s about a few hours of unproductive activity. 

Can you guess what I did this morning? 

 

Not your average Joe.

10 days into my life as a freshman in college, I walked over to my friend’s dorm room to see if she wanted to catch an early dinner. She couldn’t, she was helping an old neighborhood friend catch-up on some math notes. She introduced me to him and I gave her a look – sure you’re “studying”. Later that night she came over and I got the scoop. They really did just study. She had known him for years. She and her brother spent tons of time with his outgoing, friendly sister. Him, not so much. But he was cute. Super cute. And super intense.  I found out everything about the dude. This guy was not here to have a good time. He didn’t laugh easily and he was almost always working.  He was a bit of a loner. The few friends he had were loyal and protective – just like he was. This was the guy for me.

The next part of the story is up for debate. He says I stalked him until he gave in. I remember it differently. Same outcome. I was 19, he was 21.

College was a blur of happy memories. Summers in NYC, jobs on campus and off, friendships and drama and occasionally some classes. We broke up a few times, for a day or two. Then he apologized and I took him back (again, I’m sure he has a different version but this is my blog. There’s no fairness in blogging.)

He graduated before me and moved into an apartment down the block from the dorm. He had a roommate named JFK (seriously. and he was as quirky as his name.) By the time I graduated he got a better job and moved into his own place. I moved in quickly after.

He’s never said to me that “he needed space” or that “he’s not sure he wants to commit”. From the very first day he was all in.

What followed was the anti-NYC story. Marriage and babies in our late 20s and early 30s. It didn’t make sense to many – but it was so natural to us.

We are a bit of a mismatch.  We always have been. Different things make us tick. As you know, I like to get to know people. any people. I love a good chat. I’m all about a party. I love to laugh, I do it often and at really silly stuff. On paper, I’m the kind of person that drives him batty and he’s the type of person that I would keep away from. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of music. I only know what I like. He’s emotional, intuitive and can breathe fire in a nanosecond. I’m pragmatic, fickle and it takes a lot to get me angry. But we have a really good time together. I won’t say the yin/yang thing because it’s not all that zen. It’s volatile and passionate and I wouldn’t last with anyone else.

A couple of days ago, on his 43rd birthday, 22 years into knowing him – I told him that this would be our best year yet. And he looked at me and said,”it better be.”

When I named this blog he couldn’t figure out why the word “wife” came before the word “mother”. He thought my role as a mother is what defined me, the thing that mattered the most to me. He was wrong.

Happy Birthday baby.

This post will make him extremely uncomfortable and exposed – so why not go for it and add photos right?

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I have a dream…

that I’ll start writing this blog again one day!!  What’s happened? Where is WMEP? Saving the world? Moving mountains? Not really. Just working and mothering and wife’ing. Time is on hyberdrive and I cannot keep up – are you all shaking your head in unison or shaking your head in revolt? Don’t tell me. Just hang in there. All 2 of you. The posts will be back soon. Really.