I didn’t have to answer the phone when I saw my husband’s name pop up on the caller ID.
I didn’t have to check the end of the driveway.
I didn’t even have to pop my head into the garage.
I just knew.
I knew that the reason my husband was calling me just moments after he’d left for work this morning was because he’d forgotten to take out the recycling bin. Just like I knew that after he’d gotten up this morning, two of our three bedroom shades would be up while the other would remain inexplicably down. And I knew which two, also.
If I were the main character in a Danielle Steele book or a Lifetime movie, such a realization would mark the beginning of a mid-life crisis, where I would leave home in search of the exciting and unpredictable, probably at a tropical island club where the bartender, I’d soon find out, varies his bedroom shade opening and closing on a daily basis.
But I like some predictability. It’s reassuring, especially when so much has gone haywire in recent years. There are the friends who’ve discovered that their husbands were having affairs and others whose spouses decided they didn’t care much for women after all. And the newly unemployed and one with stage 4 cancer.
After our own summer of unpredictability, when I had a tumor the size of a softball in my chest and we had a house full of contractors hammering and sawing and shouting over their radio, a little knowing what to expect is exactly what we need around here.
So I will take out the recycling bin and then forget to bring it in later, as expected. And I’ll open the third shade with a chuckle, just like my husband will chuckle later on when he discovers that, predictably, I’ve bought two more books when I already have a pile of two dozen unread ones on my nightstand. And none of it will make either of us want to run off and star in a Lifetime movie, because frankly, that would be so expected, wouldn’t it?