Most people enjoy snow days like the one we had this week (and the week before, and the week before that and, okay, most of January) because while it means an interruption in our work and school routines, it also means a day at home in pyjamas.
But my husband, the Carpenter, is not like most people. Snow days make him very unhappy. Miserable, in fact.
The man cannot sit idle. Even his mistress, the iPad, cannot hold his attention for long. Neither can television. He gets restless. He tries to nap, but he never fully settles to sleep. He wanders the house grumbling incoherently at no one in particular. I don’t dare suggest he start a home improvement task. That only reminds him he is not at work. A construction site is his domain; the place where order and chaos collide daily in project management decisions that he controls, or at least has some authority to argue over with someone who aggressively argues back. He lives for the stress. It’s not habitual, it’s primal (it’s kind of sexy actually).
I find the Carpenter’s work ethic fascinating. It’s as if he has an internal default that dictates work must happen between the hours of 5am and 4pm, Monday to Friday, without fail. Unexpected interruptions upset his balanced nature. He gets agitated. Holidays have the same effect. Family Day was fun.
In his mind, every day is family day squeezed into the hours of 6pm and his 9:30pm bedtime. Quality time. Good enough. Besides, he would argue, that’s what weekends are for. Unfortunately, the Feb. 18 holiday landed right after a series of snow day cancellations. More days off the job. I probably didn’t help the situation by convincing him we needed a family road trip to the Toronto Zoo complete with a four-hour car ride, a lot of walking outdoors and an hour of watching me flip out over polar bears. Bet that adventure won’t happen twice.
Snow days are made worse for him when they happen on a Monday. Another delay. Another long weekend. I swear last Sunday night, as the winds picked up and the snow fell, my husband developed a nervous tick; an involuntary twitch in his eye, something between a wink and a wince, as if the circuit breaker in his head was overloaded at the realization that yet another work day would be cancelled. It probably doesn’t help that it’s my job to track these things on social media. Maybe I was too enthusiastic when I announced all snow plows in Wellington County were being pulled off the roads because of zero visibility. I probably should have kept that to myself. I broke his spirit. He sulked off to bed at his usual time as if to ignore the inevitable.
Since I can do my job from home, Monday’s snow storm kept us cooped up together. I was busy. He was not. I pushed my luck asking for bacon and eggs for breakfast because, you know, he had time on his hands. What? He did. I said thank you. Sheesh.
Hurry up spring. No more snow days, please. The Carpenter has foundations to build and concrete to pour. Let’s not remind him that Easter and the May 24 long weekend are next. We’ll break it to him gently later.
For now, we’ll just appreciate how hard he works for our family.