Here I sit on a Sunday morning, trying to take a decision. Do I write something for the old blog or watch something on the TV or pick up a book and read a bit? You can figure the correct response to that simple multiple choice quiz.
The sun is trying to burn through a heavy gray cloud cover. It rained on and off all day yesterday. The sun was off in Florida shining on the vacationing Baby Boomers. The springtime grass is an impossibly vibrant shade of green that the engineers and designers at Crayola can only dream of. With a whole week of rain in the forecast, I will likely need a goat or an industrial sickle to cut it down at my next opportunity.
My honey-do list is growing by leaps and bounds. The wife is entering full panic mode as the boy's graduation nears. The same house that has hosted family and friends many times before is now suddenly in dire need of a make-over. The whole house needs to shine like a blood diamond. The garage must be cleaned and scrubbed (yes, I said garage, do not ask me why), the carpets cleaned, fresh paint on the walls. This is my third time at this rodeo, so I know better than to argue, I will just do what I think needs done and ignore the rest of the list. For instance there is no way I am painting the walls. I will just smile and nod when she dreams up another project. Until things get too nuts for me to handle.
We were wandering around WalMart last evening. She was looking for something (I wasn't paying attention) and chattering away about doing something or the other she wants to do in the closet; storage shelves or drawers. Blah blah. I am thinking she should just get rid of the clothes that don't fit or are out of style and she would have plenty of closet room. Quit buying new shit. The answers are easy and simple. But I say nothing. I have expressed those sentiments before to blank stares. I guess I was speaking a rare dialect of Basque again (but I digress) Out of the blue she says "How much do you think it would cost to have someone come out and redo the landscaping?" She means like professional people. She means trees, shrubs, bulldozers and backhoes. I muster the most incredulous tone possible as I ask her why would we do that. I knew the answer, but I had to hear it.
I try to keep my swearing to a minimum with her, especially the 'f' word, but this was too much. "Are you fucking nuts? Do you have any idea what that would cost? It is just high school graduation. The people coming are the same people who have been at our house a hundred times before. Good God, what is wrong with you?" I probably went to far. People were leaving the housewares department like a pipe bomb had detonated. Even the fat bitch on the scooter made a hasty retreat.
I know what is going on here. It is the old bait and switch. By throwing out the idea of professional landscape design, re-mulching the flower beds and planting some perennials will seem minor in comparison. I have known this woman for 34 years. I know how this game is played. I just don't know the rules.