Lyrical Laughs

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The cable guy – Saturday morning musings

The cable guy is here. Naturally, he shows up right on time to find an unshowered customer whispering to him (doesn’t sound at all creepy, does it?) because I’m the only one awake in the house.

I set my alarm so I could jump in a quick shower before the impending “I’m on my way” call somewhere between 8 and 9 a.m. Then I stepped into the kitchen. You know how, when you’re expecting guests, you find 17 things that have to be put away/cleaned/reupholstered before they get to the door in 15 minutes? Well, then you know how my morning went.

I found myself scrubbing counters, lighting a candle to hide some smell I couldn’t identify, feeding the animals, cleaning the floor from slobber and food bits after feeding the animals – you know, the typical Saturday morning I had hoped to never have.

He called at 7:58 and was here by 8. Really?? What cable guy does that? This basically gave me time to put on a bra – everything else was the result of a lick and a promise (to never, ever have my photo taken in this state). And yes, I still have Christmas pajama bottoms on, and a too-well-worn t-shirt.

As he stood in the living room checking the line from the modem a little while ago I tried to discreetly pick up chunks of dog hair curled around every piece of furniture, at the same time trying to convince an 80-pound retriever not to lick the nice man to death.

Right now I am sitting in the living room sipping my coffee while he investigates the inside lines. In my basement. My scary, permanent-construction-zone/obstacle-course basement. I didn’t have time to sheetrock and paint – or move - before he got here, so there you have it.

Why couldn’t it have been an outside line so he didn’t have to come into the house? Why didn’t I set my alarm earlier? Why couldn’t I be like Claire in Modern Family who whipped on something sexy just before the firefighters came into the house when Phil was in pain? Besides the fact that I don't have anything remotely sexy that fits me, I mean.

I know people who wouldn’t be caught dead like this when someone walks in the door – or ever. They are showered and dressed before breakfast no matter what day, and I applaud them for their dedication and determination to never look unkept.

I, however, do not roll like that. If you stay in my house (once I uncover the bed in the spare room) you are likely to encounter me in all my before-shower splendor enjoying a mug (not a cup – a mug) of java and reading or writing at the kitchen table or sofa. On warm summer days I will be planted in a chair in the backyard, taking in the first sun of the day. You could pour yourself a mug and join me, but please don’t expect me to look like hostess material.

Don’t get me wrong – it’s not unimportant to me to make a decent presentation. In a way I guess the morning thing is a bit of a rebellion. Five days a week I get up between 5 and 5:30, shower, eat, dress and head to an office for 8 hours. By the time Saturday morning comes around nothing about my weekend says rush/prepare/be presentable until after breakfast.

My attire does not affect my ability to make guests feel welcome or to make a yummy breakfast for whoever is around. Anyone who stays here should probably not expect me to greet them in a dazzling morning ensemble and perfectly coiffed hair. But they can expect to relax and savor the sights and sounds of an early Maine morning.

As long as they understand those sights might include Christmas pajama bottoms.


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Why we might be Marriage Boot Camp candidates

My husband used up the last of the garlic powder last week, unbeknownst to me until I saw the empty container sitting on the counter. You heard me – not a trace was left. He even had the nerve to act as if he had no idea this could be grounds for divorce.

Have I mentioned in any of my little ramblings that I’m Italian? There are two items you never, ever use up in my kitchen without wisely volunteering to run to the store immediately for a replacement or accepting your punishment for this major violation: garlic powder and olive oil.

Fortunately, the dollar store is a short trip and my supply was replenished soon after. Still, it’s hard to let this obvious act of aggression slide, don’t you agree? I’m sure you’re all wondering if it’s the start of a serious issue that we might need to get serious help for. And what better source than Marriage Boot Camp?

For those of you who have never heard of this entertaining and twisted production, Marriage Boot Camp (we'll call it “MBC”) is a cable television show that would be rated D at best… so naturally I didn’t miss one episode. Yes, folks, I live for bad cable TV.

The most recent season incorporated “reality stars” into the cast. The celebrity version is almost exactly like episodes with people we’ve never heard of (not that I’ve heard of most of these characters anyway). The couples spend several episodes using paint guns, pretend death scenes and nearly impossible scavenger hunts to either bond or break each other’s neck. The celebrity version featured the typical breakdowns, arguments and reconciliations in between makeup touches and a collagen kiosk. A show like that makes you realize you have it pretty darn good – and that you could make a boatload of money with the right reality TV proposal and cast members with names like Tanisha and Slade.

The reason I say the garlic powder travesty could very well put us up there in the top rankings for MBC candidacy is that the featured marriage counselors (and creators of the show – how convenient) will grab onto the slightest issue and deem it a possible matrimonial deal-breaker.  I swear some of these couples had more problems at the end than they did in the beginning. Then again, at least one couple should have worn protective gear whenever they were in the same room because the wife was an arm-flinging maniac who took every opportunity to goad her husband into smacking her. To his credit, he didn’t. Not surprisingly, they were Splitsville by the end. I’m looking forward to seeing her on the WWF soon.

I wonder what would be made of the garlic powder debacle. Would the Spouse be told he has some kind of subconscious need to sabotage my cooking? Did I intentionally set him up to take the fall by not having a backup container of this key ingredient to 90% of my cooking? Should I pack my bags in search of someone who really understands my need to have the house smell like a giant garlic bulb?

This season’s MBC cast included Trista (the Bachelorette) and Ryan Sutter (her hot firefighter husband), nicknamed America’s sweethearts by the other cast members - not always in a complimentary tone.  It was entertaining to see the MBC creators try and throw a wrench into this almost perfect couple’s relationship. The others, especially those who didn't fare so well through exercises like the Ring of Fire (possibly Ryan's favorite) were also hoping to see some tension - perhaps an actual argument - erupt between these two. The closest they got was when Trista and Ryan didn’t go through the same door to their future… but they actually did… depending on how you look at it. Extreme editing assures us that this could lead to major issues between the sweethearts. I’m thinking all it will take is for Trista to convince Ryan to parade around in his fireman’s uniform a couple of extra nights.

My husband and I would not have offered such a challenge – I can assure you if he chose to paintball me or not give me a life vest during the fake ship sinking he would be sleeping in the fake doghouse that night. Seriously, I was ready to hit the eject button on the ride to work upon seeing my beloved garlic powder bottle barren.

I think we’re safe from a marital breakdown at the moment, though. We have both matured in our 30 years together and have learned to talk through our issues – not always agreeing but always coming around to some kind of compromise, as it should be in a good, solid, healthy marriage.

As long as he stays away from the olive oil.