I was wondering if I’d gotten away with it. For the past three days, I’ve wondered if anybody would remember. I was beginning to think I had gotten off Scot free. But thanks to an alert reader from the other side of the pond, I’m busted.
Well, I guess that would depend which side of the pond you’re on. In this case, the “pond” is the Atlantic Ocean, and I’m on the western side. The reader whose memory brought me to my knees is sitting safely on the other side in the U.K. Or maybe she’s just down the road at the University of Kentucky. I guess anything’s possible.
Last Friday I wrote about the growing list of household projects that demand my attention, and how one thing leads to another and a simple chore becomes a complex project. Just taking the trash out requires strategic planning, funding approval, and environmental impact studies. Or I could just wait for my grandson to come over. It sucks being ten.
So I went into the weekend with every intention of tackling at least one of the household projects that have been staring me in the face for at least six months. Mom always used to say the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. Personally, I think it’s paved with all those “honey-do” lists that didn’t quite make it into the fire. Mine could be used as a speed bump.
And it’s not that I didn’t get anything done. I accomplished several things this weekend, and none of them involved the television. Well one, but it was a movie my wife wanted me to watch. So that’s her fault.
I just didn’t accomplish any of the things I set out to do. My hair still needs to be cut, my office is still cluttered, and the basement floor hasn’t been touched. Everything that was on my list Saturday morning is still there.
See, that’s the thing about “the list.” Nothing disappears on its own. Well, unless it was something trivial, like changing the oil in the car. If you wait long enough on that one, it’s no longer an issue. You can cross that off and replace it with “buy a new car.” Just ask my daughter.
But I don’t play games with that. The oil in my truck gets changed every 5000 miles. A quart leaks out the bottom, I pour a new one in the top, and voila! Fresh oil. I think you’re supposed to replace the filter every now and then, but so far the idiot light isn’t blinking, so I guess that means it’s still okay.
Wouldn’t it be fun if cars really had an “IDIOT” light? Every time you do something stupid, the light starts flashing. Better still, replace the driver-side airbag with a boxing glove. Then if you do something really, really stupid, you get punched in the face. My son-in-law wouldn’t be able to drive around the block without getting pounded. This is sounding better by the minute!
Okay, I’m drifting off topic. It’s called tap-dancing. I’ve got my feet to the fire for not doing something I promised to do, and I’m changing the subject. You women have your own skills, and this is one of ours. I’m one of the world’s best at the art of diversion. Just ask my wife.
So back to the weekend. Friday evening I helped my grandson paint his pinewood derby car. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the pinewood derby, it’s a downhill race involving hand-crafted cars that are made of wood (interestingly enough, pine wood), weighing no more than five ounces.
The kids learn two valuable lessons. First, they learn that spray paint doesn’t only hit its intended target. Sometimes it hits the front porch rail that Grandpa painted last summer, and then Grandpa hits the ceiling. I guess we should have used a bigger box.
The other thing they learn is the art of humility. Because I don’t care how much time you spend on your car, how many coats of paint you apply, and how well you decorate it after the paint is almost dry to the touch, somebody else’s car will look better. I still think the kid with the Batman car had some help. And I’m not entirely sure the supercharged V-8 he had under the hood was fake. I’m sorry, but that car popped a wheelie. Twice.
Saturday morning we went to the derby. My grandson’s car ran well. By that, I mean it rolled down the hill and made it past the finish line without losing a wheel. He lost both heats in the qualifier, but won in the consolation race. And he’s the kind of kid that was happy just to be in the race. Like his Grandpa, he’s learned to lose with dignity.
After we got home, my wife wanted to go shopping and that meant I had to babysit her mother. She doesn’t get out very often, so I agreed. Later that evening, we went out to look at some bedroom furniture. That’s a project on her “honey-do” list. Well, the list is technically mine, but it’s one she wrote. And that list usually takes precedence over my own.
Sunday we went to church, then went out to look at more furniture. It took most of the day, but we finally found a set she liked. We located a sales clerk, which is usually not a problem in a furniture store. Normally they’re perched on a rail by the front door like vultures waiting for a small animal to hobble in. This time she had to wave her checkbook in the air to get their attention. I wish I was making that up.
By the time we got home, household projects were the last thing on anybody’s mind. We collapsed in the living room, watched a little TV (okay, I lied), then went to bed without dinner. I guess that was my punishment for not getting anything done.
But I did get something done. It was something on her list, but at least it’s behind us. Except just like everything else, crossing that one off the list meant adding a few more that had to be done first. Like getting the room cleaned up so they’d have room to bring in the new furniture. Also we had to get rid of the old dresser. But first it had to be emptied into the plastic totes we bought to box up everything our daughters left behind when they moved out. And this is the perfect time to install those new window blinds that we bought two weeks ago. Do you see where this is headed?
Things were going fine until yesterday evening when the warehouse called to say our furniture was on the truck and would be delivered today. The store said it would be delivered tomorrow. Apparently the guy who loads the truck won that battle. So all the things we planned to finish up tonight had to be done last night. We worked hard and we worked late, but we got it done.
Except I never did get the new window blinds installed. But to my credit, they’re still sitting there in boxes, neatly stacked at the end of the hallway. Hmmm. Guess I’ll just have to put that one on the ole “honey-do” list.
Copyright 2011 – Dave Glardon