It is said if you love something, you have to let it go. If it comes back to you, then it was yours all along, but if it doesn’t return, it was never yours in the first place.

Time will tell. I should know by lunchtime on Saturday just where my husband’s loyalty lies. I don’t like my odds.

When we look back at life-altering moments during this pandemic, some will rejoice over babies born, or people who recovered, or the way neighbours helped neighbours, but the Carpenter will always remember the day this newspaper broke the news with the following headline: “County waste facilities set to reopen on May 26.”

This news evoked emotion in a man who doesn’t show much. It had all the anticipation of Christmas morning with the thrill of the Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl win of 2014. He was as radiant as when the Kansas City Chiefs took down San Francisco in the last Super Bowl.  It was as glorious as that one and only time I openly declared, during an argument, that I was wrong and that he was, in fact, correct. That’s big. Huge. Monumental.

Sigh. There is no way to compete for his affections now. I will be dumped like a hot bag of garbage on the curb. Yet how can I be envious of the joy that a trip to the local waste facility brings the love of my life?

The Carpenter has missed his Saturday morning dump run as much as I miss pedicures. For months, he has roamed around the garage and yard lamenting at all the things he cannot dispose of curb-side. Yet I know this man well enough to know there is more to his excitement than the primal need to discard the destruction of his pandemic projects.

This is about the longing for a weekly solo journey to his sacred place. It’s the Carpenter’s precious “Me” time. Nobody, absolutely no one, is allowed to ride shotgun in his dirty pickup truck. Surely we would interfere with the Zen he finds amongst the sorting bins, the specific recycling areas, the stacks of discarded treasures.

It’s the only lineup he is happy to get into. He has his money ready and his coffee-to-go in his cup holder and he will wait as long as it takes to greet the friendly staff who surely know him by name. They probably have a secret nod (pre-COVID a secret handshake) just for him. I am also convinced they serve snacks there and have the best sports highlights up on a massive big screen. I wouldn’t know; I’ve never been.

You think I’m exaggerating? I’m not. He has already plotted his first dump run with more detailed planning and consideration than he did our wedding day. The Carpenter has mind-mapped the way his pickup truck will stack the rubbish so it’s easy to offload. It’s an art, don’t you know? He will don his best work clothes – grubby but not too grubby – with his favourite ball cap. He’ll be up at 6am on Saturday, eager to get to it, because he knows everyone else in town has had access to his sacred place since Tuesday and the wait has been hard for my working man.

The real question is, will he come back? Or will I be dumped? I’d best plan too. Steak. Cold beer. Gardening projects. That should do it. Wish me luck.

WriteOut of Her Mind