4-26-2020-2-18-05-PM-7931420

Ray Hanania: Three weeks of staying home and I am ready to break out

There have been a couple of times I went out to work at one of my offices

because of the coronavirus, but over the past three weeks, I’ve spent most of

my time working out of my home.

Sounds like a “vacation,” but it’s not. In fact, many media have been reporting

that domestic violence has been on the rise since the start of the COVID-19

pandemic.

And, I understand why.

Recently, I went to the ice box (my wife calls it the refrigerator) to get

one of my favorite drinks, Cascade, a seltzer-like fruit flavored drink that

has no calories, no carbs and none of the carcinogenic chemicals that plagued

my former favorite drink, Diet Coke.

Right away, my wife chirped, “You’re not going to have another one, are

you? You just drank one.”

I slowly opened the ice box door and put the unopened drink back on the

shelf.

We were having dinner for Easter, and I reached out to grab some more of

the delicious meal that she made, only to hear that familiar echo, reverberate

in my brain.

“You’re not going to eat another one, are you? You have to watch your

weight,” my wife said matter-of-factly.

My extended arm slowly returned to the perch next to my empty plate and my

hunger.

Watching one of my favorite TV programs the other morning, my wife walked

past with a basket of laundry and asked, “Are you planning to do anything

today?”

Of course, my wife works hard and being home I see how much. But I have

been working like a maniac these past few weeks writing columns and helping

clients. I don’t carry laundry baskets, but I am working, I thought.

“What do you want me to do?” I asked my wife in a very polite voice.

I have asked some of the most fearsome politicians questions that sent

them off into tirades, like Mayor Jane Byrne, Mayor Rich Daley, or Mayor Harold

Washington. But I have never watched my words more closely than I do when

asking a question of my wife.

I have learned through marriage that there are some things that remain

unspoken. Or, when a wife asks, “What do you think of this dress?”

You think I’m stupid enough to say, “I don’t like the color. It makes you

look fat”? No, I give her my go-to response. “Wow. Beautiful. Love it. Great.

Amazing.”

Of course, there is always the comeback line she has of hesitation, even

after the most generous compliment. “Or, maybe I should wear this other

one?”

“That looks great, too,” I am smart enough to respond. Who am I, Bob

Mackie?

Marriage is not easy. And no matter how long you have been married,

marriage has its moments.

But, these past few weeks in the home, going nowhere, I have had to watch

my P’s and Q’s.

“Who you calling?” É “What are you doing on your cell phone?” É “What are

you writing?” É “Wash your hands.” É You going to get out of your pajamas?” É

“Didn’t you just eat a few hours ago?” É “That drink of your (the Cascades)

have so much sodium in them. You’re drinking too many.”

The question that gets me most, “Are you planning to take a shower this

week?”

Oy vez mir,I want

to scream! (A Yiddish expression of dismay or exasperation, which is alsoYa Rubbeein

Arabic.)

I have to get out of the house. No amount of babbling from President

Trump, Gov. Pritzker or Mayor Lightfoot – why do I have to watch Lightfoot at

all I wonder as a suburbanite? – is going to add comfort to this unusual

circumstance in which a husband and a wife have to spend so much time

together.

“What are you writing about this week?” she asked.

“Nothing honey. Nothing about you or our relationship, or about tensions.

Just happy stuff,” I replied. “You know me, I just love happy stuff.”

I figure if the coronavirus doesn’t nail us, staying at home just

might.

Ray Hanania is an

award-winning syndicated columnist who covered Chicago City Hall forÊnearly two decades

“from Daley to Daley.” Read more of his columns and download his podcasts by

visitingÊwww.Hanania.com.

Email him at [email protected]com.

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