Sunday, September 2, 2007

One of Many Things I Don't Understand

Don't get me wrong: I have nothing against Sarah Ferguson (aka Duchess of York) or Ivana Trump or Name Your Own Favorite Unemployed Rich Person. I am perfectly happy for them to live their lives the way they want to live them, same as I'm perfectly happy to live my life the way I want to live it.

But every time I read about their (many) vacation trips I just have to ask: VACATION FROM WHAT????

Saturday, September 1, 2007

The Week of the Full Moon

A smart woman would have hidden under the bed Monday morning and stayed there until Friday night.

I am not a smart woman . . . or at least I wasn't this week.

It began with Adventures in Gardening and Home Repair, another festival of Dangerous Husbandly Escapades that involve twenty foot ladders, plywood ledges, and chain saws worthy of a horror movie. Not to mention the wasps, spiders, and poison ivy. Or the blistering hot sun. Or the oak tree growing inside the junipers. Or the fact that I am most definitely not an outdoorsy kind of girl. I like fresh air and sunshine as much as the next woman but I don't want to make a habit of it. I am much more an indoorsy type who likes to commune with nature through a nice wide window.

Which is a bit of an exaggeration but not much.

I seem to have spent a great deal of time the last few months holding ladders while Himself climbed to great and lofty heights in order to do something Totally Stupid and Utterly Irresponsible. I mean, isn't there an age limit on this kind of thing? Once a man is over forty shouldn't he have gained at least a passing knowledge of mortality? Shouldn't he understand that risk-taking often results in a trip to the emergency room? Isn't it time to start paying somebody else to do the scarier bits and pieces surrounding home ownership?

The thing is we both think we're still the age we were when we got married and that ain't good. In our heart of hearts we're still a pair of teenagers (18 and 19) with $10 in our bank account and no idea what the future might hold. We learned to do things for ourselves because, quite frankly, we couldn't afford to hire someone else to do them for us. Like the car, for instance. we can't imagine letting a stranger repair our brakes or install a new starter or ball joints. I wish I could tell you how many hours of my life have been spent sitting in the driver's seat with a book pumping the brakes so he could bleed them properly. (Did I ever tell you I can gap a spark plug with the best of 'em? If this writing thing ever goes south, I have something to fall back on.)

We learned to put down tile floors, rewire a house, put up drywall (I'm great at seaming), paint, wallpaper, put in new bathroom fixtures, and all before the DIY craze hit the mainstream. We didn't do it because it was borderline trendy. We did it because we were broke!

And now here we are. We're older, not so broke anymore, and for some reason our instinct is still to do everything possible for ourselves. Oh, we'll break down now and again and let a professional install a roof or sweep the chimney but for the most part we still want to do it ourselves.

But I'm telling you here and now that there comes a time when a woman needs to draw a line and I've finally reached it. I've had enough trips to the ER to last a lifetime, thank you very much. If I could, I'd hide all of his ladders, the chainsaw, the hideous ax he uses to chop firewood, and the always scary snow shovel but he'd probably head right out to Loew's or Home Depot and replace everything before I had a chance to pat myself on the back for being so clever.

I don't want to change him but I wouldn't mind a few minor alterations. Preferably ones that don't require a ladder.

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