Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Troy and I relax in very different ways. I prefer to lounge on the couch like a total slug with a book. He prefers to putter. He is actually the king of puttering. Just now he said “I’m restless, what should I do?” And I said “PUTTER!” Puttering happens only during free time.

Puttering means that while I’m doing absolutely nothing, Troy will mop the kitchen, do the dishes, replace lightbulbs, go the hardware store to get supplies to fix something, fix the something, put away everything so that I have to ask him about eleventy billion things I can’t find, etc.

I can’t remember exactly when this puttering started, but for awhile it made me feel very guilty. It wasn’t my idea of relaxing AT ALL, but I felt bad because I wasn’t being productive. I would sit on the couch and stew, assuming that Troy was puttering with a bad attitude, enjoying bitter thoughts about his slacker wife. It was a wonderful way to spend our time off.

Eventually though, he clued me in to the fact that he was very relaxed while he puttered and that he was not harboring ill feelings toward me. So I could enjoy my couch time while he enjoyed his putter time.

He’s a good man though, because sometimes when he is into serious putter, I’ll shoot an enquiring glance his way, to make sure I’m still in the clear. He just grins at me and says “Don’t worry, I’m relaxed!”

PUT-ter-ing: the act of milling about the house, doin’ this n’ that, pickin’ up stuff n’ puttin’ it where it goes. It does not involve passing gas, though the word “puttering” seems to onomatopoetically suggest as such. It can, however, drive one’s wife crazy, even if one is not puttering in the aforementioned sense.

The act of puttering generally takes place on a day when one is supposed to be relaxing. Puttering, by its nature, is a way of passing time, and though it looks like one is busily working, it is not to be regarded as “work”, in the strictest sense. It is relaxing to…

-fold a load of laundry
-wipe up toast crumbs
-unload the dishwasher
-put a dinosaur, stuffed puppy, baseball cap, three rocks, seven cars, a blankie, and a piece of yarn where they go
-bundle up the recycling
-play a fun matching game consisting of loose DVD’s and their empty cases
-put away the remote controls
-search the dog’s mouth for the missing remote control button
-apply duct tape to a laundry basket that should be buried
-put away the slippers I keep tripping on
-push in the couch cushions.

It is pointless to attempt to explain why one finds this activity relaxing but it is. Those who do not understand this may be deemed “out of their minds”. Or is it “out of their mind”, singular? Hm. Have to think about that one the next time I’m puttering.

1 comment:

Dan said...

I get it. Ironing, doing breakfast dishes in hot water, sweeping the garage with a good shop broom, spackling screw holes in the walls, patching a bicycle tire. I'm buzzing just thinking about it.