And They Say There Are No Happily-ever-afters… by Nancy Brophy
I had a light bulb moment last week which dovetails nicely into some of my recent posts about how one can never see all the ripples in the water. All we can do is observe where the stone entered the pond.
As many of you know, my house burned a few years ago. When we built back we decided to add a deck. In order to do so we needed to move our ancient hot tub. The tub was all ready on its last leg. The move killed the outside supporting structure, combined with the fact the filter no longer worked properly and the heater needed to be replaced.
It was huge, designed for eight people to sit comfortably. We don’t know eight people who would want to be present in a hot tub with us. Plus – and this may fall into the TMI category – my husband and I aren’t always 100 percent fully clothed while using the tub.
Our lives have changed since we first purchased the home. We are older. I no longer work on my feet all day. Did we really need to replace the tub? We put that decision on the back burner. We hemmed. We hawed. One day. Maybe, we said…
But a funny thing happened. Dan had a week off from school, so we went on vacation, spending a couple of days getting away from it all at the Kennedy School. Neither one of us had the time to take a “real” trip, so we settled on a vacation across town in an air-conditioned room without a television. And we had a really good time.
Several hours were spent soaking in the hot salt-water pool (clothed enough to not embarrass ourselves). We talked. My husband and I are happily married which for the most part provides me with a great deal of joy. But I realized that without the hot tub, we still talk, but now we have the backdrop of the TV or we’re only half paying attention because we are also working on another project.
Our backyard hot tub was about relaxation and winding down, but it was also about the intimacy between two people who listened to what was going on in the other person’s life. Each of us prodded and poked until the mask fell and let the other see us as we truly are.
This week, Dan returns to teaching and me – well, I am shopping for a new hot tub. Our characters are not the only one who must reveal themselves. In real life as in fiction, having someone who understands you and loves you anyway is beyond value. And for the relatively cheap price of a hot tub I can achieve help create this feeling over and over again.