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September 16, 2009
If you'd only mentioned it to me, I'd have taken care of it in a moment.

You would?

Of course. In an instant.

An instant.

Of course!

Perhaps Q and I have hit upon a new concept in marital politics: speech. I had emptied the pastic bag of treats the dentist had sent home with him -- little sample tubes of toothpaste, little spools of dental floss, a coupon for mouthwash -- and put them away. But where is the prescription that was in the bag?

Um... I don't know, really. Somewhere else.

Q is a legendary piler of objects upon other objects, a master builder of complicated nests of papers and books. Any room he inhabits looks lived-in. So I conduct stealth cleanup operations after him, straightening and re-arranging things so that the state of the house doesn't make me want to take my own life. Now here he is, suggesting that I could actually ask him to pick up something and that he would do it.

I simply don't believe it.

Still, what's the downside of trying this novel idea? Of asking for what I want, rather than assuming that I wouldn't get it and sneaking it instead? What's the worst that could happen?

He would say he would pick up and then not do it. Then I'd have to nag. But I don't really know how to nag -- I'd much rather sneak in my solution, and then present a fait accompli so lovely no one could possibly object to it. Except Q, of course, the focus of all my intrigue.

Well, I will try speech, then, and see who salutes. Use your words, my daughter says to her students who have difficulty with language. They, too, have other ways in which they would rather interact with the world. But the world speaks. I'm a writer -- I love words, and respect their power. I'm unafraid of standing before large audiences and speaking without notes, relying on the powerful combination of word and thought to communicate. So why am I reluctant to use them in this intimate setting?

I'll try. Speech. Okay. It's so crazy, it just might work.
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