Sunday, April 25, 2010

In Good Hands

We deliberated over the toppings on our pizza for so long we could have made it from scratch ourselves. We were proud of our result. "Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Pizza add bacon please," I responded to the kid who asked what kind of pizza I wanted delivered. "and an order of cheese bread." I imagined him punching the information into the computer as well as the address and phone number. I hung up and joined Charles in the living room.

The small room was bare. The clean white walls and beige carpeting reminded me of the apartment we had left earlier in the day. The neutral pallet was chosen so it would attract to a broader ranger of potential buyers. I saw beyond it. 'What are you smiling at?" Charles wrapped his arms around me and kissed the top of my head from his towering height. I placed my hands over top and squeezed slightly.

"I am smiling at the absence of that very wall." I pointed to the long wall next to us.

He breathed in the scent of my shampoo and me. "What are you smoking and can you share some of it?" I turned, still smiling at him.

"Really, you can't see it?" I said looking into his eyes.

"According to you it isn't suppose to be there." I loved his playfulness.

"Ha ha, very funny." I rolled my eyes even though his response had tickled me. "Seriously, can't you see it?" I turned back to the wall and spread my hands out as if it would disappear by such a simple act. "I want to open this up and give the main rooms the feel of a studio apartment. All one big room that will flow into one another. We'll put a beautiful and intricate rail system around here to provide some division between the rooms without taking away from the openness. It's going to be amazing!"

"I think it is perfect as is." I felt my smile fade. I turned to look at him.

"I thought we agreed that the house had great potential and plenty of room for each of us to express ourselves and raise kids. This is part of my self-expression. It's why I lie the house. It is so full of potential." I felt betrayed, slighted by the expectation that we wouldn't change anything.

Charles backed away. He seemed to be offended. "I thought that the potential was being able to build the basement, do some gardening or landscaping, and paint the walls. Not tear them them out."

We were trapped, locked into the ordeal by the 52 signatures we placed on the paperwork this afternoon. I closed my eyes, shook my head, and put my hands up signaling a pause. We stood there, silently staring at each other, wondering where the person we had dreamed of our future with had gone. How could we have not understood each other. "The celebratory pizza will be here soon." I turned and walked out of the room, taking my time to find a box of decent height and our table cloth. I returned to the living room and made a make shift table. He came in with paper plates, paper towels, and two cans of warm soda.

We said nothing. The doorbell rang. Charles answered and handed over a tip in exchange for the pizza. We ate. "I might be able to see some of it. I love the idea of a sliding glass door in the dining area and the kitchen is kind of tight the way it is set up right now."

I looked up, surprised at the concession. He continued, "I can't see losing that wall though."

"Well, we don't have to do everything at once," I offered. "Let's start with the sliding glass door into the backyard and maybe a deck. You've always wanted a deck."

I reached for another piece of pizza. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a short sentence on the side of the box. This experience provided by Christ. I laughed. "Honey, I think we are in good hands."

(Side note to the story: When we order pizza, it really does say, This experience provided by Christ. We always laugh about it and wonder are thankful that someone named Chris T works at the pizza place.)


  1. Fun story. Lots of potential here (not that you ever write anything without's amazing!). I totally see this scene. BTW, which pizza place?

  2. I am giggling cause I think you won. But fun. I like the momentary tension in a marriage resolved by concessions that each make.