Solitaire and the Art of Deviousness

The Viking and I live in a tiny little house with 2 bedrooms and no basement. He bought the property without even looking at the house because the garage was exactly what he wanted – he is a Motorcycle Mechanic after all and has a ton of tools, though some look more like devices of torture than things to repair machines if you ask me.

When I moved in with my shitload of stuff we were overwhelmed with piles of things that had no permanent place.  Over the past 9 years we have whittled down the piles, through either compromise or a lack of necessity. Every room has been rearranged a hundred times, each time with the intention of never having to rearrange it again.

But guess what? We’re going to do it again. That’s right. The Viking and I are going to, once again, tempt the Gods of Love. Curses will be shouted. Tools will be thrown. Snotty comments will be made. Doors will be slammed. Neighbors will be shocked. Apologies will be made. Make-up sex will happen. And if the police aren’t called we will consider the whole enterprise a brilliant success.

Four years ago we re-tasked our spare bedroom into an office only to discover that we now need a spare bedroom. So, the office will find a new home in an addition to the kitchen and the bedroom will, once again, be a bedroom.

But there’s a problem. Residing in the current location of the office, I have plenty of notice that The Viking is coming into the house – he bangs the garage door and 3 seconds later he bangs the house door, at which point I minimize Solitaire and start actually working again before he has traversed the kitchen and hallway.  I’ve always worried that he might sneak into the house and catch me playing solitaire when I have other tasks that I should be doing, but I don’t think it has occurred to him. He’s not devious that way. Just one more reason I love him.

Wait. Does this mean that I’m more devious than he is because I can conceive of ways he could be devious but isn’t? Thinking. Thinking. Thinking. Okay, it’s alright because, while I may be more devious, I don’t actually use my deviousness on him. Except when I think he should get rid of his plaid sofa because my sofa is nicer. But that’s the only time and he should actually be happy that one of us is devious because it may help us survive an apocalypse.

Anyhoo, with the office located right at the back of the house, I will only have the time it takes him to bang the garage door and walk 6 steps to the house door as notice that he’s heading my way.  That’s just barely enough time to minimize Solitaire with nothing left over to resume my legitimate work!

Am I suddenly going to have to be productive all day long, every day, just so The Viking doesn’t catch me wasting time because I can never catch him wasting time? That’s no fucking way to live! And yes, I do know it’s my own guilty conscience, but how can I feel good about taking a break from bookkeeping or writing when The Viking comes in the house breathing heavy and covered in black grime? And it’s not like I play Solitaire all the time because I don’t; I just don’t like getting caught playing Solitaire at an inopportune moment – like when he comes in from the garage.

Buuuut……what if I was covered in grime too? A couple squirts from a spray bottle so I look like I’m sweating and a bit of dust on my cheek would certainly give the impression that I have just been working incredibly hard. There are all sorts of things that are hard to clean that no one really notices….like under the sofa or our bed or behind the fridge.

It would be pretty hard for him to be all judgey if I look worse than he does. He would think that I really deserve to play Solitaire for a few minutes. He may even tell me to play longer because I look like I need a rest. I would sigh heavily and say “no….I have too much to do. Don’t worry about me.” But the tables could be completely turned! Suddenly he would feel bad every time he wants to play Solitaire.

A loophole! I may finally get the upper hand in one small, insignificant theatre of operation we call our relationship.  I’m not asking for much.  He can still be Mr. Right-All-The-Fucking-Time, and Mr. Know-It-All-Mechanic, just let me have this one little thing.  If I have that, moving the office to the back doesn’t seem as bleak because I can still play Solitaire.

PS: Upon proofreading this post, I realize that some people might construe my solution as a bit devious. To those people I can only say:

“Yes, it’s devious but the end justifies the means. I am actually doing The Viking a favor by eliminating the sudden blood pressure spike he would suffer walking in the door and seeing me doing fuck all except playing Solitaire. He’s not getting any younger, you know, and he needs to reduce his stress.”

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