My intention was to bake something a day ahead for Valentine’s Day. Not wanting to start something I couldn’t finish, I waited for John to unload the china cabinet from the car so that I could go shopping. While I was waiting, I began to clean. I vacuumed our bedroom, swapped computer desks, organized some papers, and deflated the balance ball that slammed me ignominiously to the floor a few months ago. He was still sitting in his chair. I emptied the vacuum and vigorously used it on the two other bedroom carpets. The background information is that I loathe cleaning. It’s like erasing a blackboard. You get it clean, and there will be only a few moments before you or someone else messes it up. John hadn’t moved in his desk chair. I refilled the humidifiers and the fountain. If he had moved, I couldn’t tell. He didn’t seem to be dead. By this time, it was time to start lunch. After our meal together, I checked my email and took a half-hour nap. When I woke up, John was gone, having left a note that he would be back by 5:45. I saw that the cabinet had been moved into the living room. While I was snoozing, neighbor Bob helped John carry it into the house.
John, bless his heart, came back with a lovely plant and a helium balloon. He knew I preferred plants to cut flowers. If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, the way to my heart is with a balloon. Yes, John is a keeper.
It turned out that I misunderstood what he said. He didn’t want that delicate piece of furniture to ride up to New York and back for his lightning trip at the end of the week, not that we shouldn’t use the car until he had unloaded it.
After his explanation, I said, “You know I don’t like to clean the house, but that’s what I was doing while waiting for you. When you have a moment, you might tour the north wing to appreciate the clean carpets that are my Valentine to you. I’m fairly sure this would be more pleasing than a fancy card.”
By the look on his face, he might have quibbled with that. He enjoys commercial cards, whereas I generally have no use for them. I might need to rethink this card thing.
I started a coffeecake for John before noon, and it was finally ready at 6. I suspect the aroma lasted longer than the bread will.