But swiftness was all in my favor: The less she knew about me, the better--that was my thinking.
It wasn't long, of course, before she began ... discovering ... things ... about her new husband that were a little ... awry? Most of them are none of your business--but one continues to endure: my absolute adherence to routines. There are times when I might as well be a rat in a maze, electricity in a wire, water in a pipe: I have about as much flexibility. As I've written here before, I tend to do the same things every day at the same time and in the same way. (No hit man would have any trouble whatsoever figuring out my routines.)
Joyce is ... different. Take her college graduation (Wittenberg, 1969): She was barefoot (I think) and wore flowers in her hair. A Love Child of the Sixties. I, on the other hand (Hiram, 1966), looked like someone from the Middle Ages--from 1266. She was alarmed to discover after our marriage that I do not ask What do you want to do today? but What do you want to do for the rest of the decade?
My students are aware of this trait in me. At the start of each year, I would hand out a yearly outline; at the beginning of each marking period, a calendar with day-by-day activities listed. I deviated only for Snow Days and other dilemmas (all of which upset me considerably). Something about predictability--routine--comforts me. If I can just stick to my patterns, you see, I will not die.
I've not changed much. Take our Sunday mornings--which, for me, begin on Saturday night, just before bed, when I feed our sourdough starter. Sleep. Then ... Sunday commences ...
- up around 7; downstairs to unload the dishwasher and mix the bread dough and set it aside to rise for a couple of hours; shower, shave, and head out
- stop #1 (BP--we usually fill up the car on Sunday morning)
- stop #2 (the recycle bins in the Acme parking lot: I take our paper and cardboard there every Sunday morning; I have already dropped Joyce at nearby Panera)
- stop #3 (Panera--where we read the New York Times and eat a bagel and chat)
- stop #4 (Acme--grocery stop #1)
- stop #5 (Heinen's--grocery stop #2)
(PAUSE: I buy the same things every week, too, but that's another post.)
- stop #6 (home--unload groceries--write in journal (I've kept one every day since 1997--I'll post about that one of these days, too); update Quicken accounts; work on blog; write snail-mail to Mom--always on Sunday and Wednesday)
- 11-ish (shape bread and set it aside for 2nd rise)
- noon (lunch with Joyce)
- 1-ish (bake bread--work on writing, etc. while it is baking; oh--almost forgot: I sharpen the kitchen knives while the oven is heating)
- 2-ish (bike or drive to Starbucks to do my Kirkus reading quota--I read 100 pp/day for them, seven days a week, write a couple of reviews a week for them)
- 4-ish (home: fuss around with writing projects, Facebooking, etc.; supper preparation--I do 95% of our meals)
- 5 (sharp!--eat supper, watching DVR of some of last night's SNL)
- 5:30 (go with Joyce to get a decaf Americano at Starbucks)
- 6:30 (home: work on tomorrow's Daily Doggerel + other writing)
- 7-ish (upstairs to read in the six or seven books I have going--10 pp or so in each one)
- 8:30-ish (stream some British mystery on Netflix)
- 9:30 (lights out)
Weekdays are somewhat different--I get up earlier, spend more time reading and writing.
Joyce goes along with most of this--realizing, probably, that it's generally better policy to humor rather than commit a harmless Old Mad Man. Perhaps, however, a time will come when Bedlam is the only answer for the likes of me. (Can you bake in Bedlam?)
Gotta run--time to shape the bread ...