“I don’t even know how to write about this one.”
“Well when you do, you’d better mention my awesome dexterity.”
– C., J.
No one would know it but my seemingly mild-mannered, mature, stable, pretty impressive husband has this hidden side to him that resembles nothing so much as a mischievous four year old boy who thrills at finding new ways to annoy and/or startle me. Once a year or so I get the fright of my life when he pops out from behind a concealing door – just for kicks. More rarely still he tries to pull bigger pranks on me (such as trying to convince me he’d been in a car wreck). But the things that fill him with glee, that tickle his soul, are when he discovers some new tick or personal quirk of mine on accident.
Mind you I can be pretty ridiculous. I’m aware of it and do my best to accept it graciously as my lot in life – which is hard when you manage to fall down the flat stairs after tripping over your own feet at least once a week. Or when hopping on one foot down the hallway trying to get my leg into my trousers, because I’ve lost my balance and can’t regain it, while J. looks on in glee and has to hold the door frame to keep himself upright for laughing.
But even those sorts of regular episodes can’t prepare him for the initial shock when, for example, he was being extra sweet one evening and giving me a backrub as we watched PBS. Somehow his fingers found just the right combination on my vertebrae. Suddenly the tension left my entire body, I lost control of it, and my head pitched forward and thumped on the couch armrest. After approximate .0002 seconds of concern, he dissolved into fits as I rounded on him, hand clasped to the bump on my forehead and demanded fiercely, “What did you do?!”
“Vulcan mind trick?” he offered, between gasps and shrieks of laughter.
Or the time when, coming to bed much later than me, he semi-woke me up. I’ve no idea what his intentions were and I’m afraid to ask, all I know is that for some reason he tossed a sock at me which ended up squarely on top of my head. And, still mostly in a dream state, I freaked out.
“Getitoff getitoff getitoff!” I panicked, flailing wildly towards full consciousness.
“What?” he demanded, a little freaked out himself at my outburst.
A moment later I was awake and, pulling the sock off my head rather sheepishly, muttering, “I think I may have overreacted.”
He was silent for a moment before burying himself in his pillow to muffle his snorts.
Of course this means that now, when I’m folding laundry (or really just when I lease expect it) he will randomly place a sock on my head, just to annoy me. It works.
His affinity for pushing my buttons with socks reached a new level last evening however when, teasingly trying to get his attention (and perhaps trying to exact some revenge) I playfully lobbed a sock at him. He was on the computer and only caught a glimpse of the incoming missile in his peripherals, but apparently that was more than enough because in one move he deflected in the advancing footwear and repelled it with a karate chop motion…
Right back clean between my eyes.
It took him nearly fifteen minutes of muffled giggling and apologizing before I could be talked out of my sulk and (mostly hormonally driven) suspicions that he’d done it on purpose. And even then he couldn’t help with the, “But you have to admit, that was pretty funny!”
There are times I suspect he married me simply as a guarantee of being amused for the rest of his life.