My dear Duh Hubby retired last week. At 60, he’s young-ish to do so but he’s worked very hard for a long time and I don’t begrudge him. The night I popped open a can of Fancy Feast Gravy Lovers’ Beef Feast and headed toward his dinner plate was really all in fun. Hahahahahaha.

    Let the record show Duh has been looking forward to retirement for a while. In his resignation letter, he wrote, seriously, “Retirement has been a goal of mine for the past 25 years.” Honest to a fault, that Duh.

    To prepare, Duh hired a personal trainer and was as conditioned as any 60-year-old could be. He swam in the ocean, rode his bike for hours, benched 260 pounds and, at 6-foot-four, was in peak shape to return to his first love: basketball. Specifically, seniors pick-up at a city-run gym.

    And so it came to pass that in HOUR TWO of his official first day of retirement, following a halfhearted offer to sweep the kitchen floor which I happily accepted, Duh did play basketball, until he felt a weird “pop” in his leg. The orthopedic urgent care confirmed he’d ruptured his Achilles tendon.

    I’ve never used the word “ruptured” as much in my whole life. The very word sounds violent. The injury means poor Duh can’t walk normally for months. I’m sure all of y’all are thinking: “Hey, that’s super sad but how does this affect Celia?”

    Kidding! Only a complete sociopath would try to make this wretched injury all about me. I mean “her.” But it did occur to me after announcing he would be helping around the house, ONE kitchen floor sweep will have to do until…September.

    Kind friends have asked, “What does he like to eat?” and I respond with a loving, warm smile: “Well, he came mighty close to eating cat food that one time so he’s not that picky, but I enjoy the occasional whole tenderloin. It’s up to you whether you have it sliced into steaks.”

    Well. Gracious is so overrated, don’t you think?

    It’s not all bad news. As often happens when there is a setback in life, we have bonded over simple things. Like how if there is an able-bodied anybody in a parking lot that can lift his knee scooter into the trunk of my Kia, we will be utterly shameless about asking. When the phone store folks couldn’t help us AT ALL with an issue, Duh slyly told the clerk, “You’re going to have to put this scooter in the back of the car now.” The clerk said, and I am NOT making this up: “You serious, man?” We glared. He complied. We high fived in the car. This was kinda fun.

    When a repairman showed up, I pointed at Duh, looking forlorn on the couch in his space-age Kobe Bryant-designed boot from knee to toe, and said: “Hmmph. Lookit that. He used to bring in that 50-pound water jug on the porch and put it on the stand in the kitchen but now…”

    “Would you like me to—

    “Obviously. Also, we could use some Jimmy Johns…”

    Don’t judge me; it’s going to be a long summer for me. I mean, Duh. He’s actually a very good patient, having snapped at me only once ever so briefly in the doctor’s office.

    “Bring the car around,” he barked.

    “Go (bleep) yourself,” I said cheerfully.

    Cue laughter from absolutely everyone in the waiting room.

    Humor helps you survive this stuff. Duh’s had cancer and he nearly died from a clogged “widowmaker” after I said, “Just take some Pepto, it’s probably heartburn.” Soooo, I owe him. Big time. But if you see me wrangling that knee scooter into the car, you know what to do.