On the phone with the husband:
K: Ji-yah! Remember to eat the pack of mesclun and endives for lunch. They have to be eaten soon.
(We have a bad habit of throwing away produce because we postpone eating them).
Me: Well, I find salad to be more of a dinner or a never kind of entree.
K: (laughing) Thanks for always reminding me why I married you.
He married me because my eating habits point towards a proclivity for getting real round?
Then I remembered that while we were dating bi-coastally, pretty early on in the courtship, we were walking around Manhattan when I saw someone stroll by, devouring a gooey slice of pizza, folded in half, NYC style. I started to whimper and growl like a dog, even patting the ground with my paw to express my ravenous hunger. I was just being myself. I also knew that many a Korean-American menz would find me too quirky or “weird” to fit into their mold of wifey, which was fine because I found their mold to be hella boring.
But Kevin didn’t trip. He simply responded with that pleasant mug of his, “We’ll feed you soon, dear.” Little did I know then that this dude was full of quirks himself.
We recently celebrated our five-year wedding anniversary. We fondly recalled those bi-coastal dating days when we were law students who visited each other in SF and Boston only as much as our class schedules and financial aid packages allowed. I would cry sometimes, telling him, “I feel like I am dating a voice. Like in Charlie’s Angels. What if we don’t make it? What if we just wonder what could’ve happened but we just run into each other one day with our respective spouses who were only geographically more desirable? Oh, Kevin, that would be SO SO sad!” We didn’t do Facebook or Skype back then though they may have been available. I bought Kevin a webcam as a gift, but his laptop was so old it could not handle such a device.
Kevin laughed at me as usual. “You watch too many movies. We’ll be fine.”
My biggest wish was to partake in the mundane like “normal” couples. I was sick of these hyped up visits where we would pine away for each other for at least two months at a time. We would plan such DATE-like events each time we made it to the other’s coast, to take in so much of the sights in each city to maximize our time together. I told him I craved going to a CVS together to pick up some toiletries or just buying some hamburger meat together at a Stop N Shop.
The Lord answered our prayers. Fast forward to five-plus years as a married couple with a kid and a belly baby and we have basins overflowing with the mundane. (Literally. I see Micah’s drooly bibs in a basin in our bathtub, awaiting a wash tonight). And add to that my third trimester aches and pains:
Me: How you gonna just leave stuff on the floor? You KNOW how much I hate bending down these days. I know you so quirky you don’t mind sleeping on top of yo clothes or books but to pass by and SEE your boxers on the living room floor but not pick them up? Oh, uh-uh, Que Bin!
Kevin: Ji-yah. You know you wore my boxers last night because you said your pajama bottoms were choking your belly? So uh, YOU actually left them on the floor. (He picks them off the floor for me.)
Me: Well, they must’ve just fallen off from my belly sweat or something then because I would NEVER do such a thing! (Tryna bat my eyelashes, I am smiling sheepishly, Kevin shaking his head).
These days we are pretty exhausted from day-to-day life as still new-ish parents. Kevin works all day at the office but helps out SO much before and after work, even more than usual because he knows I am wiped out too and that we don’t have local relatives to drop by regularly to help out. But even though it’s hard, we always remark on how much more fulfilling and FULL these hard days are than when we had all the time in the world for “Curb Your Enthusiasm” or Korean bee-dee-o marathons on lazy Saturdays or even when we were able to travel so much more on a double-income with no kids.
Me: Oh, you took out the trash already? Thank you! Thanks for lining the trash can with the plastic bag already, too!
Kevin (tired, bleary-eyed): (sighing) WHAT!? I DID line the trash can already! Look!
Me: I know – that’s why I said THANK YOU! Oh, man, you thought I was being sarcastic? Am I that much of a wise-ass? That is SO sad!
(We both smile). Kevin is about to come back with something.
Me: Don’t you start, boy!
And as if on cue, there is Micah, waking up from his postponed nap this rainy, humid afternoon. We are all about to get schooled in the mundane, Advanced Placement classes, in the months to come as Belly Baby arrives. As long as we can laugh, we’ll be fine…right?