A Lighter View . . . Something In Between

July 1, 1993

A Lighter View . . . Something In Between

By By Karen M. Morris

By Karen M. Morris

Freelance Writer

If you were to ask my friends what Albert Einstein and I have in common, they’d say, “The hair…definitely the hair.” But that was before I came up with my own theory of relativity. I call it “somewhere in between” or SIB for short.

The premise behind SIB is that certain family members (particularly husbands) will always look or behave in the most extreme manner when left to their own devices. But if this diverse group could somehow be shoved or dragged to the center, life would be so much easier for everyone around them.

Wayne and I are good examples of people who could benefit from SIB. The man has more body hair than an English sheepdog and sheds wherever he goes. The upside is he leaves a trail and is easy to track. The downside is my bathroom looks like a herd of Chia pets died there, and my shower drain has been clogged since ’92. Last summer, he shaved his body for a swim competition, and I didn’t talk to him for three weeks. How could I respect a man whose legs are smoother than mine? Is it too much to ask for a man to have some hair? Just not everywhere?

And we’re miles apart when it comes to what is an appropriate level of clutter. I was born with an abnormal fear of living in a pig pen. If I haven’t used something in the last year or if some thingamabob is obviously broken, I get rid of it. Last summer, I threw away all of our tax returns and a lawnmower that wouldn’t run because it was out of gas. Wayne was raised with the philosophy of “If you build a shed, you can fill it” and considers being a pack rat a virtue. He saves junk mail, empty tennis ball containers, and warranties on appliances we no longer own. He also thinks the mower is located somewhere under his junk.

My girlfriend, Lynne, was lamenting that her husband, Buck, built a box for firewood. “It was higher than the house!” she cried. “I made him take it down. It was so big; it would’ve added tax value to our house.”

“At least he did something,” I said. “When Wayne decided to paint our bedroom, he brought home color samples and taped them on the wall. That was five years ago. He keeps saying he’s not ready to commit yet.”

“That’s better than acting like you should be committed,” Lynne sighed. “I refuse to be seen with Buck at the grocery store. The man is an aisle hazard. He parks the cart crossways so no one can get past him and then rams into innocent bystanders. He should wear an orange jumpsuit like those road cones. At least people would be warned that the lane is down.”

“Be glad you know where he’s at. I’m considering getting a global positioning monitor for Wayne. As a field-trained shopper, I’ve hauled three small kids around all day at the mall…and never once lost any of them. But the minute Wayne and I enter a store, he turns into David Copperfield and disappears. I’ve called security so many times to find him, we’re on a first-name basis.”

“Buck and I could use a safety guard when we’re at home together. It’s like a circus sideshow,” Lynne said, rolling her eyes. “We can’t enter an empty room without having a mid-air collision, and no kitchen is big enough to hold the two of us.”

“Wayne is banned from the kitchen. The last time he cooked, we had to remodel.”

“Dinner time at our house is like those game shows where you try to guess what’s going on,” she said, throwing her head back. “Except Buck is answering questions that no one asked.”

“I can top that. Wayne only uses pronouns and starts every conversation in the middle of a thought, like: ‘he told me he likes the fish at that restaurant’. Who is he? For all I know, our cat has learned to talk and has started dining out.”

“When I ask Buck about people at work, he just stares at me blankly like he’s never heard of these people before,” Lynne sighed. “Sometimes it’s impossible to get through a meal.”

“Not for Wayne. I was in the middle of a serious dinner conversation about our clogged shower drain when he got up and made a phone call to check the time and temp. Yesterday, I asked him to pass the salt, and the next thing I knew, he was mowing the lawn with the new mower.”

“In a perfect world,” Lynne smiled dreamily, “our husbands would be somewhere in between a troll and a saint.”

“My theory, exactly,” I replied.

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