Last night at 11 o'clock, I went in to check on my 4-year-old daughter. I found her playing games on the iPad while my husband – for hoots, let's call him “Alexei” – slumbered peacefully at her side.
I would post pics of this whole sorry episode, but Alexei was pretty scantily clad at the time and I would never dream of violating his privacy in such a public manner. (But I totally would in a private manner, for a token sum deposited to my PayPal account. I might also note in this regard that he has been following the P90X workout regimen assiduously for over a year. You won't be disappointed.)
All in all, I don't think I reacted too harshly. The emergency doctor said the imprint of the iPad should fade in 2 – 4 weeks and the broken capillaries will mend themselves. But, since much of our time together is spent with me helpfully enumerating his many inadequacies, and since I am a firm believer in giving justice where it is due, I thought I would compile a list of some of the things my husband is not a total abject failure at.
- Killing spiders. Alexei totally kicks spider ass, while my style is more to put that spider in peril of its life by performing, in a menacing fashion, a series of ineffectual kung-fu moves gleaned from Jackie Chan movies, and threatening to call 911 on its ass. We can actually broaden this category to include the elimination of all unwanted household pests, including, but not limited to, mice guillotined in traps and probably a bajillion wasps' nests. Once, when my daughter was 1, she was stung by a wasp, and Alexei pursued that wasp back to its nest and crushed the whole thing using only the psychic force of his righteous paternal fury. For months afterwards, the only wasps that dared to breach the airspace of our backyard did so only furtively and while Alexei was known to be at work. True story.
- Parking. Alexei has awesome parking karma. I don't know how it is, but when Alexei pulls up, people dash out of restaurants leaving half-eaten plates behind solely in order to vacate their parking spots for him. Surgeons in scrubs have been known to leave their patients on the operating table so as to rush to their cars when he drives by. My theory is that, in a previous life, he was a traffic cop in the Babylonian period who had a take-no-prisoners approach to ticketing camels. So far, it's just a working theory.
- Household maintenance. When I was a wee lass in school we learnt that the mills of the gods grind slowly, but they grind fine. The same can be said of Alexei, whose cleaning schedule leans heavily towards the evolutionary timescale end of the spectrum, and who may have last given the place a thorough scrub during the late Mesozoic when he had to wrest the scouring pad from between the clenched teeth of a three-headed ichthyosaur. But when he really gets down to it, he's all steely determination and all, “Fuck you, dirt! Prepare to die,” and then the place is immaculate and we can't use the kitchen or even eat for 8 days straight until he relents a little and lets us have tap water. But I can't really complain because when I drop 2 litre bottles of olive oil or accidentally smash glass jars of pasta sauce all over the floor (hypothetically, of course, you understand), Alexei is there to do damage control with barely a resigned shrug while I go back to saving the world or drinking wine or whatever important thing it was I was doing.
- Eating. Since I tend to cook in quantities more suitable for a military barracks mess hall than a modest family of 4, there's usually a lot of uneaten stuff in our fridge that's on the verge of being rendered unfit for human consumption. Here's where Alexei really steps up and forgets to bring it to work for lunch for 6 days in a row, until it becomes an unrecognizable mass of bubbling toxic sludge and I threaten to pour it down the garbage disposal and he bravely volunteers to let it spoon itself down his throat rather than risk my wounded recriminations for the rest of the week. This doesn't sound so heroic until you consider that he actually eats my leftovers while simultaneously rescuing orphans from burning buildings.
- … Well, I'm not going to tell you about that. I have boundaries, you know. Besides, those videos were posted to YouTube anonymously. So there.