Wednesday January 9, 2013
You may approach the bench
Safe Love (Part 12)
I NEVER knew how nosy Alice was until she started spending most of her days over at my place. We had agreed on a number of things around the house, including my taking down a few photos of my wife which she had found a little intimidating. That was fine with me.
I was getting pretty used to making changes with Alice around. In fact, she had helped me change my life for the better.
It was because of her that I had admitted that getting older was something I had to face honestly. I had to recognise that I wasnít as young as I used to be and change the pace of my life to something more suited to my age.
The day I took down the pictures and stowed them in the basement, I kept up the momentum by rearranging all the tools in my studio. I nailed up 20 or 30 picture hooks and hung my tools where I could get at them easily.
Now I didnít want Alice poking around the studio, for I had also been working for several weeks on a present for her birthday. It was going to be the best wooden piece of art I had ever done, and I wanted it to be a surprise.
I guess she figured I was making something special and couldnít stand the suspense, because one day I came home from the DIY shop to find her standing at the door of the studio. I donít know if sheíd seen the wooden model I was working on, but it was in plain view and I canít see how she could miss it.
Two can play at this game. I never let on I had seen her peep into my studio, and said nothing about her present. At breakfast, I told her I had something special for her. She beamed.
When I handed her a gift wrapped package, she smiled a wide smile Ė at least until she opened it. It was a set of pasta utensils. Alice wonít touch pasta. Sheís from Kedah, and has a fierce loyalty to rice. She fumed.
Pretending to be hurt, I turned and walked out onto the back verandah. In time, she came out, but Iíll never know if it was to apologise or give me a scolding.
Because, the first thing she saw when she stepped outside was a wooden sculpture almost a metre high, of Alice and me reading on a park bench, just like when we had first met.
Now, that was a birthday to remember! And we do, fondly, each time we catch a glimpse of that lovely couple reading in our backyard.