Believe me, I love the Little Woman with all my heart. But I have come to learn she can't handle pressure.
The storm that brought gusting winds of almost 80 mph and buckets of rain late Sunday night and early Monday morning were a prime example. Like many others that night, my wife awoke to the sounds of thunder, strong winds and driving rain.
Me? I was busy sleeping through the whole natural disaster thing -- until about 2 a.m. Monday morning. That's when a frantic Little Woman began marching back and forth through the house, nervously talking about "something really bad happening outside."
And that I should "get up!"
"We have to go outside ! We have to go outside!" she kept repeating to me. "I can't believe you were sleeping through all of this."
Then I looked outside. Why would I want to go out there?
"We have to go move tree branches from near the house!" she said in a rather excited tone.
I said the tree branches had fallen, they had not damaged -- or even hit -- the house. Oh, and it was still pouring down rain, too. I really didn't want to go outside. (The thing that did keep crossing my mind was if the house got lifted into the air -- a la Wizard of Oz style -- how could I save my baseball card collection? But that's another story for another natural disaster.)
"Come on we have to go move the branches!" she said again, knowing very well my mind was drifting away from what she had been saying.
So I gave in, and outside we went. For about 10 minutes, we pulled some large tree limbs from near the house.
"Kath, what did we just do at 2 in the morning that we couldn't have done (later Monday) some time?" I said.
"Those things might have hurt the house," she said.
"Kath, they were laying on the ground," I said.
Then I got the glare. I knew the conversation was over.
Completely drenched, I changed into something dry and sought the comfort of my pillow.
It seemed as if I had just laid down when I heard her again. This time it was 6 a.m.
"You need to take off work today and help me clean up the yard," she said.
"Kath, it is 6 in the morning, it's still raining ... and I can't take off work. I am responsible for helping keep the world safe and free (I may have been exaggerating slightly), and I have to go to work," I said. "What are we going to do at 6 in the morning that can't be done at 6 tonight -- when hopefully it is not raining."
And then I got the glare -- again.
"Let me get my (wet) shoes on again," I said.
A few minutes later, we were out in the yard again, dragging some more branches -- as the rain drenched us (just like it did four hours earlier). We even dragged some of the branches we had previously dragged at 2 a.m.
We may have been without electricity, we have had to shower and get dressed in the dark, but those branches got moved from point A to point B -- in a driving rain.
And when I got home at 6 that night, the branches -- remarkably --were still there. Before I had even gotten to the house after getting out of my car, the Little Woman greeted me with, "Come on, we've got work to do. We've got to move these branches."
I didn't argue, I didn't question, I simply went into the house and changed my clothes.
At least it wasn't raining.
And at least I did not get the glare.
And the branches have all been moved. Some of them three times.