People expressed a wish for more posts on my personal life, and I’m happy to oblige. Remember that you asked for it before you complain.
When we were looking for a house to buy, N’s only criterion was that the house should have a wood-burning fireplace. He drove the real estate agent nuts because his only response to absolutely any communication from the agent, be it written or oral, was “All I need is a wood-burning fireplace.”
“Yes. Got it,” the agent would respond. “You made your wishes very clear and I wouldn’t even consider showing you a house without a wood-burning fireplace. Now, I have a couple of questions. Is a one-car garage an absolute deal-breaker for you or would you consider it if everything else was great?”
“I need a wood-burning fireplace,” N would respond.
“Yes. I understand. A wood-burning fireplace,” the agent would patiently repeat. “But what about the garage? Some people refuse even to look at houses if they don’t have a two-car garage. How do you feel about that?”
“I need a wood-burning fireplace!” N would exclaim. “That’s all I need!”
And the conversation would continue in this vein for as long as it took me to get bored and interfere.
So now we’ve been living in a house with a wood-burning fireplace for months but a fire has never been lit.
“When are we going to use the fireplace?” I kept asking. “I thought you loved sitting in front of a fireplace and looking at the fire.”
“Let’s wait until it gets cold,” N kept saying.
So it got bitterly cold, it snowed, then it snowed some more.
“Are we finally going to use the fireplace?” I asked. “It’s cold already.”
“N-n-no,” N said, with his teeth chattering from the cold. “It’s still not that cold.”
I know him well, so I had an explanation.
“Are you afraid that if your dream of sitting in front of the fire comes true you will not be able to deal with so much happiness?” I asked.
“Yes. . .” he said.
So I bought some firewood and scheduled a therapeutic lighting of the fire for tonight.