My word, thirty-seven years. It's just sheer stubbornness now.
What have I learned in that time? I've learned the care and maintenance of Gary.
- If anyone is not listening to him, I need to schedule time to literally sit at his knee* and listen to everything he says.
- If anyone is arguing with him, I need to schedule time to literally sit at his knee* and agree to everything he says.
- If someone has educated him on a subject, I need to schedule time to literally sit at his knee* and listen to him explain that same subject to me, even if I am an expert already.
- If he is tired, I need to schedule time to literally sit at his knee* and listen to him ramble relentlessly the way he gets when he is tired, even though I am equally tired.
*No, really, there's a footstool I pull up by his chair.
It's pretty easy, now that I've got the hang of it. It keeps me out of trouble: I don't want to be the second person Gary's argued with in a day because I get the fallout from both arguments And not to worry, a few hours after that twenty minutes I'll approach him with the idea that perhaps there's another way of looking at a situation.
I've only learned this in the nine years since he retired. It was harder when he was working, his ego would take a hit at work and I wouldn't know if I should listen, agree, or learn.
I am sure he does the same for me with my foibles. Well, no, I'm not sure. He does listen to my work conversations and tell me that anyone who disagrees with me is an idiot.
37 years. Pretty great.