Columnists

Finding A Better Way

“You’ll never guess what I did!” my husband, Peter, announced.

“You’re right. I won’t.”

“I microwaved the masking tape!”

I can’t tell you how pleased he was with himself.

My husband has a hack for everything. When I buy a roll of masking tape that is good for nothing but causing intense frustration, I am willing to give it up, toss the tape, and call it a lesson learned.

“Next time, I’m buying the expensive kind!” I said to Peter, after the tape shredded into itty-bitty bits just trying to get a few inches out to secure a box.

I was packing away the last of the holiday stuff—rather late—as I am supposed to be packing for Mexico. We are leaving next week and, so far, the packing has all occurred in my head. I know what I am bringing, more or less. Meantime, Peter has all the items he plans to pack laid out in a line that fills most of his office (aka “the brooding room”) and new unidentified items are arriving in the mail daily.

“What is that?” I ask, concerning the latest mysterious package.

“It’s a battery phone charger.”

“For when there’s no electricity?”

“Yup!”

“When will there not be electricity?”

Peter has some sort of plan in mind, and I will not be at all surprised when his battery phone charger saves the day. Peter is always thinking of a better way to do things, which brings me back to the masking tape.

“You microwaved the masking tape?” I said, not quite sure I’d heard correctly.

“I did!”

“And?”

“And now it works perfectly! It was just old. I microwaved it for 15 seconds and now look!” Peter grabbed the roll of tape and effortlessly pulled off several inches—just for fun.

“Wow.” It was impressive.

“I think you should go back to the hardware store and tell them,” Peter said. “A lot of customers could be spared frustration if they just put their tape in the microwave!”

I considered doing this for exactly two seconds, and rejected the idea. I think the guys at the hardware store might think I’m a little odd already. This would seal the deal, so to speak.

But it’s nice to have a husband who is always thinking of everything. We have every imaginable form saved to the cloud. We bring our own knives and kitchen odds and ends so we can cook wherever we are. Peter uses our departure on an extended trip as an opportunity to update his end-of-life instructions, should we both suddenly die or disappear in Mexico.

“I don’t plan on dying this trip,” I informed him.

“You should have seen how out of date the document was!” he marveled, ignoring me.

I used to think of myself as someone who was reasonably well-prepared for whatever life threw at me, but it would never have occurred to me to raise a roll of masking tape from the dead.

Today, I need to start packing. So far, my focus has been on whether I am bringing enough warm clothes to wear inside as we will start out in the mountains, there will be no central heating—and it can get chilly at night. Peter is not concerned about keeping warm.

“I’ll wear my raincoat!” he tells me. And I know he will.

Peter will keep warm and he will make sure we have what we need. After a life of mostly taking care of myself, it’s nice to rely on Peter to figure out a better way to do everything.

Till next time,

Carrie Carrie Classon’s memoir is called “Blue Yarn.” Learn more at CarrieClasson.com.