I set out almost immediately to spoil Carol once we began our new life together. I had spent five years with Carolyn perfecting the dynamics of spoiling a human being, and I was confident I had command of the basics.
The first roadblock I ran into was serving Carol’s morning coffee in bed. When word had gotten around I was serving Carolyn her coffee in bed, I was approached by a semi-distraught husband who told me: “Because of you, I'm getting up even earlier now just to keep up."
It was easy with Carolyn because she was a children's fairytale sleeper, logging solid rack time at the poisoned apple level. That usually meant bringing her coffee after I'd already been up a couple of hours. Carol is a solid sleeper too, but she wakes up like a jack-in-the-box. She's generally finishing up her first cup by the time I finally roll out of bed, which I used to think was early, but Carol has redefined as "well, look who's finally out of bed."
My punctuality when it comes to mealtime was another easy route to spoilerhood with Carolyn. Having lived alone most of her adult life, Carolyn's idea of meal planning was to look up from her photographs, realized it was almost 7:00 p.m and make a dash to Trader Joe's for a microwaveable bbq chicken dinner. Getting used to being called to dinner like a Leave It To Beaver episode, and then sitting down to bbq ribs and homemade potato salad or homemade spaghetti and meatballs was a real treat for Carolyn, especially when she saw she didn't have to slip a pair of jeans over her night shirt for a quick run to Trader's.
Carol spent her adult years raising two children and then being grandmother to four. Meal prep for her was as natural as staying in a nightshirt all day was for Carolyn. Meal prep now is a team effort of me grilling and her chopping veggies, and it's unclear who is spoiling who.
But good, healthy spoiling is a two-way street, and both Carolyn and Carol have cheerfully indulged my sports-aholism. When we were going out, Carolyn always differentially and without a hint of derision, asked whether I was ready, "or did I need to finish watching the game first."
Carol, whose initial reaction to my purchase of the MLB.TV season package was a true W.H.I.G.M.I moment, has seen it for the animated wallpaper and occasional babysitter that it is for me. But she has proven to be a bit of a sports fan herself (Carol was a high school cheerleader) as it applies to the Angels in baseball and the Clippers in the NBA. (Recently, I had magnanimously switched from the Cubs game to a newly released and popular chickflick series on Netflix. Following the episode, she checked her phone, saw that the Cubs had won and, on her own, put up the garden Cubs "W" flag outside.
It's pretty obvious to me that being blessed twice with two women to spoil, I'm the one, cosmically speaking, who's being spoiled.