I am a notorious…
And I’m terribly misunderstood by my wife for being one (actually, I don’t really believe that I am a procrastinator…. I just choose to put off things like chores…. I don’t want to confuse what I do with what I am).
She calls me lazy because I’m not as diligent in doing house-chores as I am at everything else I do in life, like eating. In fact, domestic chores is the one area of my life that consistently induces a sleepy feeling and happy avoidance.
It’s not that I have anything against domestic chores – everyone needs a clean floor and clean dishes every now and then. And, I have never been opposed to my wives and girlfriends, past and present, doing anything they please to please me. Never.
But the idea of lugging around a vacuum cleaner or heating up a skillet is….. man, I can’t even express how these things occur to me! If you asked me which would I prefer, doing dishes or being bitten by a horde of fire ants, I’d reply with, ‘Well, how many fire ants exactly?? ‘
But my wife doesn’t understand. For example, she’s been pressing me to assemble the frame of our king-size bed for the past few weeks (we just moved into our new home). Her timing is always off, though, because she asks me right at those moments when I feel compelled to close my eyes and count those squiggly things that float around inside my eyeballs or when I have something more pressing to do like……..like feeling pressed!
What she doesn’t know is that I am and have always been intimidated by mechanical things like working on a car engine or fixing a printer or turning on a washing machine. These days you need an advanced degree in nuclear phlebotomy to do this kind of stuff!
(Nuclear phlebotomy is not offered as a degree program – that’s how advanced this stuff is!)
I remember when my father attempted to teach me how to change the brakes on the car. I was about 13 or 14 at the time and immediately regressed to my toddler stage when I heard my father say, Come on, I’m gonna teach you how to change the brakes.
My father was so sick of the look of abject misery on my face that he finally dismissed me with an exclamation of how useless I was. I shuffled away pitifully until I turned the corner; then I high-tailed it to the basketball court. Poor Pop, that man never figured out how to get through to me.
Maybe those memories still linger in my cells like mercury fillings, poisoning my earnest desires and efforts to be a dutiful husband at home.
Anyway, for weeks Caroline tried coaxing, cajoling, coercing, and condemning – none of it worked. If Pop couldn’t do it, then who is she to think she can!?
Then, last night, in a flash of kinetic frenzy, I shot up from the couch as Caroline and Solomon relaxed on the deck (where I should’ve been!), and I gathered the parts of the bed frame into the bedroom and went to work.
Having gathered all the bits and pieces, I stared at the pile of with dread and sorrow. I said a prayer (no joke!) and asked for all the powers of the Universe to work in my behalf…. with the understanding, of course, that the powers that fuel galaxies and black holes would have to do so through my mind and hands.
I then started the project with head shaking and ass dragging.
Guess what – my prayers were answered! I have no idea how – maybe the spirit of the tinkering Edison possessed my soul, who knows – but I was able to get the job done in about 90 minutes!
When I was done, there sat before me the assembled frame of our bed. I must have had the same look as I had when Solomon was born – I’m ecstatic! What do I do now??
Caroline entered the room and looked at the assembled frame with a smile. I was eager to hear her words of praise and pride for her husband’s accomplishment.
‘Good job, Sariyd,’ she said in her sweet French accent. ‘Now go do the dishes!’
‘But, Papillon, it’s time for bed, ‘ I pleaded.
‘Dishes first, then the bed.‘
‘No, no, the bed is done. It’s bed time. The dishes can wait ’til tomorrow – we’re not going to eat now.‘
Head hanging low, I shuffled off pitifully, heading downstairs to the next lower level of domestic purgatory.
And somewhere in the distance I heard the voice of a couch, lonely and forlorn, calling me to lay my body on her soft, inviting cushion.