The thermostat was flashing change batteries. We were rushing to get out of the house. But truth be told, I had woken up in the middle of the night with my heart pounding and a sense of dread. Coronavirus, yes. So, I was out of sorts. I pulled the thermostat off the wall without shutting the emergency switch. I changed the batteries and remounted it. Nothing. I took it off again and checked the batteries. I remounted. Nothing. I turned the emergency switch off and then on. Nothing. I checked the batteries a third time. Nothing. I gave up and called the fuel company. They asked me if I checked the batteries. I checked again.
The owner came within the hour and he checked the batteries. “YOU PUT THEM IN THE WRONG WAY,” he said – but he did not rebuke me. He was gentle. And son-of-a-gun, I put them in the wrong way.
I confessed: “I’m very nervous about this coronavirus,” I said apologetically.
“We all are,” he said in the most understanding voice I have ever heard.
Well, yesterday it was my husband’s turn to flip out. He was walking around and around. He said: “I can die sooner than I planned,” as if that made any sense. And then when I reminded him to use the hand sanitizer when he went out, he got agitated.
“Breathe,” I said because it was clear my husband had crossed that line.
“STOP TELLING ME EXACTLY WHAT TO DO!” he retorted.