A perfect life: No house,no pets, no wife
The Boss thinks his life would be perfect if he didn’t have a house, a Yankee wife and a pack of pets. One out of three might be tolerable, but the trio is a recipe for constant aggravation.
Years ago, when we’d just finished building our house as still-deluded newlyweds (the only good time to build a house together, while still in a rose-colored dream world), The Boss picked me up at the sign shop where I worked. My real boss, Earl, asked how the house was coming along, to which The Boss replied, “I’m glad it’s finally done.”
Earl laughed and said, “Son, it will never be done.” The wisest of sages has never uttered truer words.
Since the day our house was “done,” we’ve added a two-car garage, deck, tons of landscaping, new flooring, several new windows, an apartment addition, new siding, several new light, sink and bathroom fixtures and numerous paint jobs. Whenever The Boss is working on something, I’ll say, “Son, it’ll never be done.” He doesn’t find Earl’s wise words as amusing as I do.
But it’s the pet projects The Boss gripes about most, because if it were up to him, we’d have none. First was the installation of backyard fence when we got out first dog. The Boss put the gate in sideways to accommodate the riding mower. Tramp jumped the shorter gate, so The Boss added chain link to the top. That worked until Scooter arrived and figured out how to climb and push between the added chain link and post. The Boss installed a brand new, higher gate. Then dog-escape prevention was needed for the fence bottom, from rocks and stakes to 6x6 posts lining the outside, with staples holding the chain link to the wood.
The Boss also built a front yard fence when our old beagle had trouble navigating the steep back steps. He even replaced the two front steps with a ramp for the old gal. And upon my insistence, when the two cats took up residence in the apartment, he added a cat fence to the front so they could go outside safely. When Tarzan climbed a tree and jumped over the fence, The Boss chopped it down.
For me, the projects are cheap and easy, because The Boss does it all himself—carpentry, electrical and plumbing. All I must do is listen to the complaining. I’ve offered to help, as I’m a tomboy who doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty. But one thing The Boss isn’t, is a patient teacher. He prefers working alone (no one to point out mistakes or make suggestions), rather than having to tolerate the incompetence or slowness of others. And since I’m the bossy sort, I don’t appreciate being talked to like I’m an imbecile. So I stick to cleaning up the messes and serving as the sounding board for his gripes about how the dogs go in and out constantly, dig holes, wake him up with barks as they greet me when I come home from work and why they trip him up by lying in doorways.
I put up with him, because, in addition to all of the above, he deals with things I can’t, like live rodent removal.
The other night I was playing with the cats in the apartment. Catfish was scratching around the garbage can. I figured a toy was out of reach, so I moved the can, only to see a huge, furry, rodent-like creature. I screamed like a sissy and ran to fetch The Boss.
He doesn’t understand why I can’t take care of such things (just like I don’t understand why he can’t clean a toilet), but he came to the rescue. The invading beast was a mole, probably carried in by one of the cats for playtime. The Boss snatched it up with the litter scoop. I worried (out loud) that it might be injured. “What do you want me to do? Give it CPR?” he said. The mole survived.
I put up with his snarkiness because the only other choice is to take care of such nasty chores myself, and if I wanted to do that, I’d never have gotten married. And then both our lives might be perfect. Perfect, but boring.
posted by Sandy at 7/30/2007 02:44:00 PM