Well, the day finally arrived. Hubs made it home for his mini-vacation, and he’s already driving me bonkers.
It took all of about two minutes.
The Kid and I went to fetch him at the local airport and before we could get into the building, he came struttin’ out the front doors.
The Kid groaned and said, “Geez, he looks homeless....”
“That’s ’cause he is,” I replied.
Ol’ Hubs was sporting a fresh haircut and the new spectacles he purchased a couple of months ago, so that part was OK. One look at the overall picture, however, and it was a headscratcher.
“Did you bring any kind of luggage with you? An overnight bag, perhaps?” I asked.
“Nawp! Just what I’m wearing!”
Luckily I have the keys in hand, so there’s no discussion about who gets to drive.
He slides into the passenger seat and is full of news about his flight from Los Angeles.
“I pretty much slept most of the way so I’m rarin’ to go!”
Then he went into describing how everything looked from the sky and how desolate the area we live in looks from up there.
I asked if he’d eaten anything and he said he had lunch at the Wolfgang Puck cafe at LAX.
“And boy, I was sure gettin’ some weird looks! I mean, I figured it had to be these glasses ’cause they’re too small for me. Everyone was looking at me kinda strange!”
I nodded and said, “Well ... there is a reason for that....”
“Really? What’s the matter with the way I look?”
The Kid piped up and said, “You look like a bum!”
He whipped around with a big grin on his face, looked at The Kid, and said, “A bum? You think I look like a bum?”
“Yeah, you look like a bum,” said The Kid, arms folded. He wasn’t pleased with his father at that moment.
“I told you, you start living out of your truck, you’re gonna start adopting some strange habits,” I remarked.
He guffawed, as he usually does, and said, “Well what’s wrong with what I’m wearing?”
“The heavy overshirt would have been OK — except that it’s that awful plaid — and then you top it off with that big puffy jacket and it’s like 60 degrees outside. Your jeans look two sizes too big and they’re about six inches too long, so ... you know ... schlubby.”
“Schlubby? You think this looks schlubby?”
The Kid and I said, “Yes!” in unison.
Mind you, we are not trendy fashion plates by any stretch. I draw the line at schlubbiness, however. No point in looking like a bum when you don’t have to.
I understand “casual” and “comfort,” but there has to be a line.
Odd thing was, he had on a brand-new pair of boots.
That just adds to the whole portrait.
“Some kind benefactor gifted this poor soul with a new pair of boots at Christmas” is probably what most folks thought as they saw him walking through the airport and getting on the plane.
One strange little tic is that Hubs is not the kind of person to give two seconds to what anyone thinks about him, but he is very self-conscious about his hair, of all things.
His shirt could have a big ol’ coffee stain from where it dribbled down his chin and spilled onto his belly, and his jeans could have paint spatters all over them.
Sneakers could be flapping at the bottoms cause the glue has worn out and his belt could have a six inch tongue slappin’ at his belt loops (as it usually does).
But I’ll be danged.
If his hair is not in its proper place or gets a ripple of wind in it, he freaks out. My glove compartment is not meant for vehicle documents or maps, it’s Hubs’ little vanity drawer.
Combs. Brushes. More brushes.
He gets so upset if there isn’t a brush in the car for him to use.
He keeps his hair relatively short so the constant fretting over his hair is a little bizarro to me, especially because he normally keeps it covered with a ballcap.
Heaven forbid if there aren’t a couple of ballcaps in the ride, either!
The Kid is the same way about his hair, thin and wispy as it is. And Hubs’ dad was the same way, so it must be a haywire genetic thing.
So, when Hubs came walkin’ out of those airport doors, his hair was nicely coiffed and his glasses were hip and sporty ... but the rest of the picture?
It was just hard for even me to wrap my head around it, so I’m sure he was getting funny looks at the airport, too.
And now that he’s been home for a couple of days, he’s found ways to keep himself busy. As long as there is a shovel in the garage and dirt in the backyard, he’ll find an excuse to dig. He’s replaced light bulbs, switched out shower heads, replaced a light switch, and moved some big pots out in the yard.
I keep him watered and fed so that he’s willing to do most tasks I lay out before him. The one thing he hasn’t liked so far has been the trip to the rehab facility to visit with his mother as she recuperates from a broken ankle. Her dementia makes him demented because he’s slowly heading that way himself. Needless to say, it was a short visit.
The next few days hold many treats in store for me, like getting to drive around town and listen to him recite the license plates of cars at the stop light. It’s a little game that only he likes to play. One license plate and the numerous words and phrases he can come up with go a long way at a two-minute light. I’ve been known to draw blood from digging my nails into my thighs.
Three more days and he gets back on the plane. Just enough time for me to hem his jeans, get a him a new T-shirt, burn the overshirt (while he’s napping) and wash the parka. But I may toss that on the pyre as well.
I’ll make sure the one thing he carries one thing on the plane, though.