War Stories

Let me start out by saying that I do love my husband.  We’ve been married for 22 years now, and I’m hoping for at least 22 more.


He’s retired, I’m not.  He’s been retired for some time.  I’ve been going to work every day for some time.  He’s got the time to watch YouTube videos about World War II and tell me all about them when I get home.

“The Royal Air Force wanted to bomb the Germans the same way they’d been bombed.  Just bomb the crap out of them.  Obliterate their cities.  But the Americans wanted more precision bombing.”  He moves his hand like a seven-year old miming an airplane.  He even makes that airplane noise. “Americans had the Norden bombsight, and they thought it would change everything.”  It’s the air war that interests him the most.  I know this because he tells me about it Every.  Single.  Day.  He goes on and on and I tune completely out somewhere around the bombing of Dresden.

This drives me bonkers for several reasons.  One, I already know this.  I have a degree in political science with a concentration in American History.  I am not uninterested in this myself.  I don’t need my husband mansplaining what I have a degree in to me.  Two, he has already told me this very thing eighteen or twenty times, albeit maybe – maybe – from a different angle.  Three, I have just gotten home from work and my brain is crammed full of work information and cannot contain any more words.  I need to digest the ones that are already in there before I take more in.[1]    

I fantasize sometimes about grabbing him by the shoulders and, while giving him a vigorous shake, asking him what is going on in his head.  “What?  What?  Were you actually thinking, ‘you know who would be interested in a blow-by-blow recreation of this documentary?  Lori.  And you know when she’d most want to hear it?  The second she walks in the door from work.’”

But I know that’s not it.  I’m his person.  This is what excites him.  And when he’s excited, he thinks of me.  Just like a four-year old who has discovered something new and has to tell the person he loves the most – his mom or his dad – right this very second or he might explode, my husband has to tell me what he’s excited about.  He’s aware of this tendency of his.  Once, he even ran up to me at the grocery store with a great big grin and a new flavor of Cheez-Its, hopping from foot to foot saying, “Mom!  Mom!  Mom!  It’s NEW!  Can we get it?!?”

It’s that little boy excitement crammed into a six-foot tall body with gray hair and high cholesterol that makes me love him.  I would be sad if he didn’t want to tell me about the things that made him happy.  I want to share his joy.  I want him to want to share his joy with me.

Just not the instant I get home from work.  Deep breath, buddy.  Give me a minute.  Let me change out of my work clothes, get a drink of water, and pet the puppy.  That documentary isn’t going anywhere and either am I.

[1] Yes, he will likely read this.  Yes, I have already told him all of this.  No, it has not changed anything.  Keep reading.  You’ll see.

If you enjoyed this and want to read more like it, visit Lori at her website, www.loriduffwrites.com, on Twitter, or on Facebook.   Her newest book, a Foreword INDIES Gold Medal award winner, “If You Did What I Asked In The First Place” is currently available by clicking here.

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