Claire was trying to control her aggravation.
This was the third time in as many days that she had complained to Jim about the garage refrigerator.And the problem had been ongoing for weeks, if not months by now. Her frustration was rising. If that thing went, she would have one hell of a mess on her hands, dammit.
She could not fix it herself, that much was obvious. She needed help.
Jim was no refrigerator mechanic, by any means, but he was closer to being one than she was.
And, besides, he was the man, dammit. Busted refrigerators fell under his jurisdiction. As did roof repairs, yardwork and bug disposal.
When was the last time he’d been grocery shopping, washed laundry or cleaned out the freezer of said frige, uh? Yeah. Probably the last time she’d had a baby was when.
She could feel her anger and aggravation rising.
She felt she had two choices. She could become the stereotypical nag that society seemed to predestine her to become…
Or she could come up with another way.
She did the dishes and pondered the situation.
Later that night, once Jim was done with all he needed to do for the day and got himself comfortable in his Lazy boy, Claire sat down in his lap and put her arms around Jim.
“Honey, do you remember our first date?” she asked.
“Of course, I do, babe,” Jim replied, sweetly,
“You remember how you took me to dinner at that wonderful sushi place you knew and ordered for me?”
“And then you picked out a movie you thought I would like and after we walked along to river holding hands?”
“What were you thinking about?”
“Well, babe, I was thinking about how beautiful you were and how smart you were,” Jim said with a mischievous smile.
“Sure, you were. I know you. You were thinking about how many dates it would take to get me in bed!” Claire only half-joked. She knew her husband.
“Well, that was part of it. I did want you. I still do,” he pulled her closer and kissed her.
“Did you like impressing me with your knowledge and manliness?” Claire asked innocently.
“Of course I did.”
“And do you remember when you broke my corkscrew and then went and bought me that fancy-schmancy one that like shot a thing through the cork?”
“Yes. I was trying to impress you.”
“I have to admit you did a good job. Cooking me dinner, taking me to the symphony, building me that bookcase over there. I still love it the best of everything we own, by the way.”
“Your wish is my command, my love,” Jim said. And Claire knew he still meant it.
“Well, honey, I need you to remember those days. I need you to remember when I was your new girlfriend Claire who had recently caught your eye in that ridiculous professor’s philosophy class. The one who wore lounge pants and pony-tails to class. The one who you asked no less than five people in that class if they knew anything about me.
I need you to remember that guy who I first noticed before either of us had ever set foot in that class. By the time it got back to me that you were asking about me, I already knew you lived off campus, had come out of a sour relationship with that bitchy sorority chick, what’s-her-name. I knew all this because I saw you the first day of class and wanted you then and there.
How cute you were when I caught you watching me. You made me melt when you caught my eye.
“Do you remember those days, honey?”
Jim smiled. He did remember those days very well. How cute Claire had looked. She’d seemed almost shy, until the professor had said something she deemed ridiculous and she called him on it, eventually arguing her point until he gave in. Man, she’d been fun to watch from a distance. All he’d known is that he wanted to spend time with this girl. He wanted to get to know her. And, yes, he’d most certainly wanted to get her little spitfire self in bed. And the sooner the better. His smile widened at the memory.
“Honey, it may have been 17 years ago and lots may have happened to the college kids we once were. “
“I know, babe. But it has all been worth it.”
“So, honey, I need you to do something for me. I need you to be that guy who watched me from across the room. Who wanted to take me and show me the world. And who really wanted to get me in bed. The one who really wanted to impress me, fix things for me and just generally be my man.
“Think you still got it in you?” Claire said coyly.
“Yeah, babe. I am your man. I am up to whatever challenge you have.”
Claire leaned forward and kissed him.
“Oh, good, honey,” she paused before nervously continuing, “because I really need you to do something about that damn frige in the garage. It is pissing me off and I cannot do anything about it!”
Claire waited, not sure how Jim was going to take it.
After taking a few seconds for it to register, Jim looked at her blankly, then he laughed out loud. Claire could still surprise him after 17 years. He kissed her.
“Yes, baby, I am still your man. I will fix the frige, have it fixed by a repairman or replace it by next Saturday. Does that work for you?”
“Yes, honey, that works. Thank you so very much,” Claire grinned and kissed him sweetly once… and then again more deeply.
“Now how about you take me to bed… and find out if I am still the little spitfire you thought I was.”
“Your wish is my command, babe.”