Too smart

My wonderful husband, Rick, and I have been married for nearly 36 great years, and although we have had plenty of ups and downs throughout that time, we are a great duo. Of course, in the early years we found that it took a lot of adjusting and negotiating to bring together two very different and strong personalities, but in more recent years, we’ve kind of hit our stride. We’ve been together long enough to know each other well — what the other person likes and doesn’t like, what they need to be happy and how to make sure that happens for them. We work together as a well-oiled machine, and there’s not much need for a squeaky wheel or that proverbial grease anymore. We’ve got it pretty well figured out.

I should also mention that, as part of that negotiation, Rick has done a lot of traveling for work over these many years. Some years he has been gone up to 80% of the time, so I’ve learned to manage the farm on my own during those periods. Other times, he is in town for long stretches. I’ve come to adapt to either of these situations, and again, after all of these years we kind of know what to expect — and how to deal with it.

So I was a bit surprised recently to be finding a situation that I haven’t had to deal with for many, many years: the toilet seat was up rather than down. Now, I know that when Rick travels and stays in a hotel room, he can leave the seat in any position that he likes; but at home the “rule” that we negotiated is that he will leave the seat down. Sometimes after being gone for a while, I know he has to readjust and relearn to put the seat down when he comes home — but he does and it’s fine. It has been this way for enough decades that when I was suddenly finding myself “falling in” over and over again, I was a bit miffed — and I told him so. He, of course, apologized and promised to do better. At that point, I thought it was over.

But once again, after his most recent trip last week, I found myself falling into the toilet again during my visits to the powder room. Yes, I could look down before assuming that the seat is in place — but seriously, why would I? The seat is supposed to be down based on years and years of our agreement. I again mentioned it to Rick, who quickly denied any responsibility. Sure, I thought, who else would be leaving the seat up? He and I are the only ones here through the week. The seat certainly doesn’t put itself up! And he can’t honestly think that I am putting the seat up and then complaining about it! I was a bit peeved at his response but didn’t say anything. I figured I would catch him in the act — leaving the powder room with the seat up — so I let it go.

The funny thing was, I never did catch him in the act. In fact, the next time the seat was left up, Rick had been at work all day. He couldn’t have done it. The seat was down at lunchtime, and yet at 3:30 in the afternoon when I finished working in the barn, it was up. I now had some serious investigating to do! I put the seat back down and worked on laundry and other chores that needed to be finished, keeping an ear out for the sound of the toilet seat flipping.

It wasn’t long — and it all became clear. Two of our dogs very much like to drink out of the toilet. No matter how fresh the water in their bowls, they insist that the water in the toilet is cooler, fresher, better. When I heard the seat flip up, I quickly ran for the powder room and there stood the culprit: Chance had flipped the seat up to better access the water for a drink! Aha! Caught you!

So now I owe Rick a huge apology — which I am making here. I apologize, Honey. How was I supposed to know that our smart dogs were that smart? I know that Chance can open kitchen drawers and cabinets, pull open the freezer drawer of the refrigerator, take the lids off of trash cans — but how was I to know that he could flip up the seat in the bathrooms too? Yet, I shouldn’t have doubted you. It was obviously the dog, and not you.

And Chance, if you are smart enough to do all the things you do, you may be smart enough to read this too. You and I are going to have to negotiate this situation — I don’t like finding the seat of your “drinking fountain” flipped up! If you are smart enough to flip the seat up, you are smart enough to put it back down when you are finished. Don’t think you are off the hook for this! I’ve got my eye on you! You are just way too smart for your own good.

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