Diary of a Marriage: My Two Husbands

The two variations of my husband—and why I love Summer J. best

Photo courtesy of ThinkStock.com.

I make it a rule to never host any type of get-together on Friday nights. It’s partly because I’m usually too spent after a long workweek, but it’s also because my train inevitably runs late that evening, or I get called into a last-minute meeting and can’t leave as planned, and then I end up whirling around the house like a crazed hurricane minutes before my guests arrive, dusting things they’ll never see, vacuuming rooms they’ll never enter, and realizing as the doorbell rings that I’ve forgotten to chill the wine and dump the pretzels in a bowl. Which is exactly why I was kicking myself a few Fridays ago, as I rushed home to prep for my girls-only wine party I inexplicably decided to host.

I blew through our front door, ready to launch into full-on Party Planning Mode, and I was greeted by J., standing in his boxers and college t-shirt, holding an oven mitt.

He plucked my bag from my hand, and that’s when I noticed the rug-marks. Fresh, beautiful rug-marks.

He looked at me proudly. “I cleaned,” he said, leading me into the kitchen, where I noticed a batch of slice-and-bake chocolate chip cookies cooling on the counter. “And I baked some cookies for your friends!”

I nearly fell over. He also showed me, with a wave of his hand that was vaguely reminiscent of the way Vanna White unveils a vowel, a pile of snacks that I’d requested he pick up from the grocery store, along with a few extra bottles of wine.

This is Husband Number One, the man my friends jokingly refer to as my “househusband,” and the guy J. and I have deemed “Summer J.” This is my favorite variation of my husband, the carefree person he becomes in the blissful summer months when he isn’t teaching a classroom of rambunctious high school boys. He stays up late, and drinks too much wine with me on a Tuesday night. He becomes ever-so-slightly impractical and spontaneous. And, yes, he sometimes makes slice-and-bake cookies.

Husband Number Two doesn’t have a nickname, but the second we feel that distinct briskness in the air, we always look at each other sadly. Briskness means the end of summer, and the end of Summer J.

We both said goodbye to Summer J. on Tuesday. Last night, J. went to bed at a reasonable time, and he’ll do the same tonight. I’ll have to prep for my own dinner parties, and I probably won’t come home to fresh rug marks. My partner in crime and cookies will be back to his adult life, full of all its stresses and long hours and deadlines. But I know he’ll be back next summer, and we’ll laugh late into the night and drink too much wine on a Tuesday night and eat slice-and-bake chocolate chip cookies until we feel sick. But for now, we have the weekends. And if I pass out Pepperidge Farm treats at our next wine party, I don’t think my friends will notice.

Is there a time when either you or your fiancé or husband is less stressed? How do you take advantage of that?



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