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My husband doesn’t scare me. Try as he might.

And he tries. He really tries. But it doesn’t often work. Because I’m not the one who jumps at loud noises; I’m the one who tries to figure out what caused them.  I’m the “what was that?” to his “holy *&%!”

I don’t know why my hubby is so jumpy, but the fact remains that I have startled him without intending to, just walking past him minding my own business when he wasn’t expecting me to. He reacts badly enough to that — accusations, curled fists, pounding heart — that I seldom even try to scare him anymore. He’s never actually hit me when I’ve startled him, but “fight or flight” always results in the “fight” impulse first, with him. Fists up! (I’m the same. Except, you know, not jumpy.)

So last night we come home from being out, and it’s dark outside, and only the kitchen counter lights are on. They cast light into the front hall and the dining room, so we don’t walk into walls when we come in. I plunk my purse down on the dining room table (terrible habit), put my doggie bag of food in the fridge, and then go back to the hall, to the bathroom. I come out into a still-dark hallway, and see my husband, partially silhouetted against the kitchen door down the hall. He’s two feet away from me. I don’t move. Neither does he. I realize what he’s doing, and laugh, just as he shouts “boo!” and grabs me around the middle.

“I can see you, you idiot! You’re backlit!” I collapse against him, helpless with laughter.

“I think I scared myself, there,” he says sheepishly after a moment. And then we’re both laughing.

Do you lurk and try to scare someone you live with? Does someone do it to you? How does that usually work out?

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