Last Friday night as Harry finished his zillioneth helicopter flight and I was shelling peanuts, he asks, "What are you doing tomorrow?"
"Cleaning. Dusting. Vacuuming. Laundry. The whole nine yards. The dust is two inches thick, like fresh snow. I could practice for the Winter Olympics' slalom ski races on the end tables. That's what I'm doing. So what are your plans?" I ask.
Ladies, please note his answer.
Saturday morning Mr. Wide-Awake-As-Soon-As-His-Eyes-Open, jumps out of bed and announces, "I'm going to paint the spare room."
This is the same room my retired husband promised back in November to paint for me. Eighty-six days ago.
My expression between "Are you nuts?" and "Are you STINKIN' nuts?" got his attention.
"What?" he asks in his best clueless Vinnie Barbarino voice.
"Hello? What part of my answer last night about cleaning today did you not understand?" I retort.
"I won't be in your way," he promises.
You know what? You men really are from Mars.
He then decides that everything in the room has to come out.
"Really? We can't push the bed to the center and cover the rest?" I ask.
"No. It'll be easier for me if it's all out of the room."
"Mister, you're on your own. I have work to do," and I leave him to his own devices.
Big mistake on my part.
By the time I come back upstairs from the laundry room, I'm met with a mattress and box spring leaning up against the hallway walls. He has piles of stuff from the bedroom all over the dining room, living room and office.
I'm ready to cry. Or do some intense physical harm to someone.
"How the heck am I supposed to clean around all this?" I ask in frustration as I try to squeeze past the mattress, which at that moment he tries to pass me on his way to get the paint.
He pretends to not see the daggers I'm directing at his heart and smiles sweetly. "You love me and you know it."
At this moment? Not so much.
Did you know that 25 percent of the women in this country are on medication for mental illness? That's scary, because it means 75 percent are running around untreated. All due to having to deal with the men in their lives.
I stomp my way to our bedroom and concentrate on making it "Springtime Fresh."
As I'm stripping the shower curtain off to wash it, I try to talk my way back to a more positive attitude. I focus on a well-known book title by Richard Carlson ..."Don't sweat the small stuff ... and it's all small stuff."
After all, I'm getting the room painted and I'll be able to finally decorate it the way I've been dying to ever since we switched it from Harry's office to a spare bedroom when Becky moved back home for a few months last year.
So I try to come up with some other things I shouldn't sweat about.
Hmmm. Sweat. Heat. Hot summer days. Boy. I sure wish I was sweating about now. But I digress.
Things I shouldn't sweat about ...
*Folding a fitted sheet. I can spend 15 minutes turning it around and around trying to find which is the long side and which is the short side, until I get so frustrated I wad it up and throw it in the linen closet.
*Cursive writing. I find that more and more kids don't know how to write in cursive anymore. When did this happen? Did you know there are 41 states that do not require that it be taught in the schools today? Kids today write in block letters. Maybe I'm just lazy but it seems it's much easier to write in cursive where I don't have to pick my pen up after every letter. One of the drawbacks for kids not learning cursive is, they can't read what I write. For example, in the murder trial of George Zimmerman, who shot and killed Florida teen Trayvon Martin, Trayvon's 19-year-old friend, Rachel Jeantel, testified on his behalf. Many were shocked when Jeantel admitted on the stand that she could not read a document a lawyer handed to her because it was written in cursive. And what about signatures? I thought it had to be written, not printed? Shouldn't sweat? Small stuff?
*Mapquest directions. Why are the first five directions all about getting out of my own neighborhood? If I'm getting lost that quick, somebody please take my driver's license away.
*Why does there have to be Blue Ray? What is Blue Ray? And why do I need it? How many times do I have to buy my favorite movie in different formats? Can technology wait until I'm dead to come out with the next best thing? My wallet can't take it!
*Computers. I love it when someone assures me I can't screw up on a computer. Hah! I tried to go into a Word document and make a few changes. One little change messed up the whole document and I spent three hours trying to fix it. I could have rewritten it in cursive faster. Just saying.
But hey, these are all small things and I shouldn't sweat over them, right?
At the end of an exhausting day, my cleaning and laundry is done. And I have a finished painted room.
My Favorite Martian asks, "Am I still in the dog house?" I smile and give him a hug as my answer.
Still in my warm embrace he asks, "What's for dinner?"
Saturday night. Worked all day. How long do you Martians have to live with us before you understand our ways?
"Whatever you want from the pizza shop is fine with me," I smile because I'm all through sweating for the day.