This may come as a surprise to you, but it turns out I’m not cut out for manual labour. I was not put on this Earth to perform feats of construction of any sort.

I can’t lift heavy things. I refuse to climb scaffolding, ladders or anything else that requires balance at a height over two centimeters. (I’m no acrobat, people.) An electric toothbrush is the only power tool I’m allowed to use, despite having sustained injuries more than once by attempting to brush my teeth and perform other bathroom functions in unison. Long story. It’s safe to conclude that I was meant to supervise.

It’s also worth noting that my spouse, the Carpenter, does not appreciate being supervised. At all. Ever. Lucky for him, I’m an excellent supervisor, supportive and encouraging. I’m curious too. I ask a lot of questions. Really good questions. Thoughtful questions. I want to fully understand the process, method and overall justification for the landscaping and construction he insists on tackling as a one-man show.

I wish you could see just how much he loves to be questioned. He gets this look on his face that suggests if I continue with this line of questioning, I will break his spirit and the completion of the current project will never happen. I’ve also learned that it’s best not to ask, “how much is this costing us?” Just don’t. Some things can never be spoken aloud. A good supervisor must be able to read the situation. An efficient supervisor can also read while she supervises, because it’s really an ideal time to catch up on my summer reading.

I can multi-task. I point with great accuracy at the things that need doing, be it fixing, moving, planting or otherwise. At the same time, I am also purposefully immune to the hostile hand gestures from the Carpenter, who sometimes uses silent communication to express his views on my suggestions. It’s cute how he forgets that I have eyes in the back of my head. I miss nothing. Also, I have the hearing of a bat. Muttering curse words is just silly, really. I have a three-word response: I heard that.

I know he really appreciated my support on the one and only hot Saturday we had in May, when he was shingling a portion of our roof all by himself, under the direct sunlight, with an angry hornets’ nest nearby. Good times. That was the day I tested his resolve by heckling him, cat-calling him in his tool belt, whistling my approval. He told me it was inappropriate and politically incorrect. Fair enough. Still, I have no regrets. You have to keep your flirting game on point, people. Don’t kid yourself. He loved it. I went to the drive-thru, bought him a large regular coffee and we called it even.

Of course, my supervisory skills are all in fun. I frustrate my spouse just long enough to exasperate him, which then turns to laughter, and then we carry on to our respective tasks (which means I go back inside). He’s used to being in charge, so I see it as my duty to keep him humble by reminding him that at home he’s part of a team, and this half of the team is pretty useless to help him with outdoor projects. But I can always make him laugh. That counts for something. Love is a funny thing.

You have to keep laughing together, without supervision.

WriteOut of Her Mind