All Hail the House Elves!

Dearest Rachel –

I confess to being the quintessential oblivious mail. I don’t see what I’m not looking for – and I’m really looking for anything.

So when I arrived home (nearly an hour earlier than I had expected to, no less – not much traffic at this time of day, I guess), and Daniel greeted me with “Notice anything different?” I found myself dealing with that slightly sinking dread that husbands do when their wives ask them that question. I was stuck having to respond with the truth: no, I didn’t notice anything different.

It turns out that, while I only asked Ellen to watch the dog over the weekend (as an assist Daniel, and particularly for evenings and mornings), she and Daniel got it in their heads to do all sorts of little things around the house. Things that haven’t been done in ages, such as oiling the hinges on the front door. Not to mention other things that have come up since you left, like replacing the zip ties on our front lamp post so it displays our address once again, and fixing up Chompers’ wheelchair so it doesn’t fall apart when he torques it badly. That last one in particular require them to go out to Lowe’s to pick up parts (Ellen had asked me before I left whether I knew where the spare parts were for the wheelchair; I had to admit I didn’t. Looks like she made do).

I never asked her to do this. This is just over and above. It’s like having a couple of house elves working on the place while I’ve been gone. I had better do something for her in order to thank her… but, given the rules of house elves, I probably shouldn’t buy her any clothes; otherwise, she might not do this again.

And I don’t know how, but she even got Daniel to do in to working on this stuff with her – although that may be partly because he’s wanting to fix the standing floor fan that conked out on us a couple of weeks ago. Jan wanted me to throw it out, Daniel objected, and I put it in the garage. By the next week, Daniel had it by his chair to take a look at it, much to Jan’s frustration. They eventually came to an agreement that Daniel would work on it over the AnimeIowa weekend, and if he couldn’t do anything with it, out it would go. For what it’s worth, it may be that Ellen got him to help with the other work by offering to do what she could on the fan. I keep forgetting what a wrench wench she is.

On the other hand, it doesn’t look like they’ve succeeded in actually fixing the fan. However, they’ve followed the letter of the agreement – he’s actually done something with it, so I’m gonna call it good for now. I think they both probably want to do some more work on it. I’m sure you’d approve, considering your own love of puzzles – even though this one is a little more mechanical rather than logical.

But that talent of hers creates the additional ability of getting him involved in the process of accomplishing things around the house, to an extent neither Jan nor I have managed. Why, she even got him to do a little bit more work in his bedroom – at least, according to him. I’ve been up there, and I don’t see much difference from when we left off last week… but then, what do I know? I’m just a clueless male.

Anyway, I have got to say, it’s a lovely thing to come home to, even if I do have to stay out of the boys’ way for the rest of the day, since Daniel has Logan over. Ironically, the boys will probably be watching more anime today than I will have done all weekend, despite the fact that I was just at an anime convention. Well, we all have our priorities.

Actually, it’s just as well. I think I’ve done enough social interaction this weekend, and I could use the break. Not that I haven’t been taking breaks all weekend, when I would retreat to my room, but still… The times when I would mix it up with everybody else were… challenging. You know as well as I that I was never the party type. To get out there on the Riverwalk, each night, even for the minimal amount of time that I was there, took some effort. And while I doubt that I’ve built any lasting friendships from the effort, who knows? Maybe we’ll all spot each other next year, and pick up right where we left off.

But for now…

Back to life, back to sense,
Back to child, back to [household],
You can’t live in the woods.

“Moments in the Woods,” from Into the Woods

…and it’s time to leave the woods. For now.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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