One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in my life is: Never say Never.
Seventeen years ago I divorced only to find myself sixteen years later, moving back in with my ex-husband. The arrangement is strictly a roommate situation. I pay him rent. I live in my half of the house, he lives in his half. I have my own living room, bedroom, bathroom, and office. The kitchen is common ground. He does most of the cooking because I can’t boil water. Never have been a good cook, never will. We usually eat supper together but as he likes different TV programs, we split after supper and go to our separate corners.
You may be thinking, why did I move back? First and foremost, MONEY. While I could pay my mortgage and all the bills, I had no money to live on. Same with him. We were discussing this problem one day and I mentioned I was going to sell my place and move into an apartment. He said, “why not move in with me?” We could both save. A win-win situation.
The second reason for moving back concerns health and safety. Greg was diagnosed with something called, Ataxia. What is that? It is a lack of muscle coordination which affects, speech, eye movement, walking, picking up things, and other voluntary movements. Walking is Greg’s biggest challenge. He can’t feel his feet. They hurt all the time. This is difficult for me to understand. If you can’t feel your piggies, how do you know they hurt? He can’t stand still. He wobbles back and forth like a drunk which gave birth to his nick-name. Greg belongs to the Patriot Guard Riders whose members nick-named him Weebles. “Weebles wobbles but don’t fall down.” Except this Weeble falls down a lot! As he lived alone you can imagine how scary that was for him. What if he fell and couldn’t get up? Having someone in the house who could help would be a great comfort. This works in reverse as well. It is also nice knowing if I ever needed help, someone would be there for me too.
So, last September I moved in.
Thus begins the saga of, Life with Weebles.
Greg is a neat-freak. He’ll argue that he isn’t. But he is. Me? Not so much. I’m not a slob by any means. Well, ok, I do carry the gene, but I keep things picked up. Greg would again disagree. So I will compromise and say I keep things picked up in my own timeline which usually conflicts with his time. Case in point: I will get around to doing those few dishes in the sink but not when I’m trying to get out the door for work at 7:30 in the morning.
The first week I moved in I volunteered to mop the kitchen floor. Bad idea. He ‘Swiffers” the floor as all the floors in the house are hardwood. Another minor irritation for me. I do not like hardwood floors. Carpeting was created for a reason, ya know. Weebles has allergies and Co Pd. He claims rugs hold the dust, pollen, and dog hair too securely and he can’t breathe, thus the hardwood. Hmm . . . my bedroom has three area rugs, my living room has a large one as well. Compromise. Anyway, back to the kitchen. I thought I knew how to mop. Apparently, I was mistaken. There is a certain pattern he uses when he mops. Who knew? What difference does it make? Isn’t a clean floor the objective here? Guess not. After a heated discussion on this pattern on his, I comprised. I do not swiffer the floors anymore. Period. Well, when he’s not around I will. This constant compulsion of his for neatness drives me up the wall. My lack of it drives him up a wall.
Making ice-tea was another thing that I apparently have no notion of. Did I mention that in addition to his neat-freakishness he is also OCD? Things must be done in a certain order. Again, he will deny this. But. When the blue ice-tray has to be in the middle of all the red ones, six on each side of the freezer, and the sugar goes in first before the ice, that trumps his denial. Again, comprise. I don’t make the ice tea when he is around.
As I said before, walking is Greg’s greatest challenge. He can literally trip over a dust bunny. He never knows when this will happen. One minute, upright, the next, flat on the ground or floor. It makes a nervous wreak out of him and turned me into a praying deva. Every morning before going to work, I say a prayer for the angels to keep him upright and balanced. I wrap him in a suit a bubble wrap as well. Greg often posts his falls on Facebook: Here is an example.
“Well, Ruth has been here one week. Today, she got to meet some of the neighbors. They came to the front door and at first, she thought they were selling something but she answered it anyway. They told her that there was a guy lying on the ground in the back yard. They came out to look and sure enough, there was. ME!!!!!!!!! I rolled my ankle and down I went THUD. I think I was down there for 5 minutes or so. She brought be a chair and I was able to help myself up. I would have eventually have gotten up but it was nice of the neighbors, they live a few houses down and just happened to be in the back yard when they heard and saw me go down. Well, Ruth, glad you moved in? lol
As I’m an author of three books, Greg suggested I write one titled, Life with Weebles.” I wanted him to start his own blog and write himself, but he wasn’t too enthused about the idea. So. Comprise. I am writing the blog entries.
Stay tuned for more Life with Weebles. The stories are not to make fun of Greg or anyone who suffers with Ataxia. But, hopefully the light-hearted spin on this disease will bring a chuckle or two. And as we all know: laughter is the best medicine.