A pandemic can create pandemonium in any marriage, but a good belly laugh is paramount to keep you grounded. I was born to create joy and mischief in the world, so naturally, marriage to me is non-stop fun. So. Much. Joy.

The warm sun last Saturday was so perfect that I couldn’t bear to do housework inside. Oh, who are we kidding? I couldn’t bear the thought of housework, period. I spend all day working inside an office sitting on my padded posterior with a giant computer screen burning images into my eyes. I need less artificial light and more natural sunlight. Less screen time. More sunscreen time.

That’s when I spotted my pink hard hat on the shelf. It was a birthday gift from my Carpenter last July. It came with a pink tool box, a pink leather toolbelt, a pink hammer, level and tape measure. It was a gift wrapped in sarcasm, which I accepted on the premise that I would actually be allowed to use it, alongside him, during home construction projects.

Nine months later and I’ve not once been invited to assist him on a single project despite that fact that in nine months I have twice constructed an entirely perfect human without more than a brief contribution from him. Just sayin’.

An idea formed in my mischievous mind. They say imitation is the best form of flattery. I’ll dress like the Carpenter and go outside to help him. He will love that. What guy doesn’t want his wife to help him build stuff? So. Much. Joy.

I decorated the hard hat in Local 27 Carpenter Union stickers, to look authentic. I wore my ripped jeans, work socks, a plaid shirt, slipped into my unused steel-toed work boots and put my hair in braids. I blew the dust off the toolbox and dug the leather toolbelt out of the drawer. I slung the toolbelt over my shoulder, hammer in hand, placed the hard hat on over the braids and walked out the patio doors.

The Carpenter was measuring cuts on a piece of wood. “Can I help?” I asked sweetly.

He looked up and burst out laughing. His laughter went on a very long time, perhaps too long. See what I do for him? Belly laughs. And in return, he showed me how to wear the tool belt proper like the cool kids, with my hammer in the metal holder. It felt amazing.

Naturally, I had questions. Can I put candy in these pockets? Can I have a nail gun? Wanna pretend our hammers are guns and see who is the fastest draw? Is it break time yet? One answer: No. Instead, I was given a block of wood and a handful of nails and told to practice swinging my hammer. This was the most gratifying thing I’ve done in months. Tap, tap, tap. It took me about a dozen whacks to get the nail down. The Carpenter did it in two. Show off.

The drill assignment didn’t go well, at all. Suffice it to say, we never got to saws. Then he scolded me for checking my phone, so I threatened to call my union’s BA (that’s business agent if you don’t speak jobsite) to report a hostile worksite. Bossy boots.

I didn’t accomplish much, but I accomplished what I set out to do. I got sunshine, flirted with a hot construction worker, hit stuff, and made someone I love laugh really hard. So. Much. Joy.

WriteOut of Her Mind