Jon de Vos: It’s all relative
April 8, 2011
Being able to ignore things you don’t want to hear is a minor gift, much akin to ending the winter with the same pair of gloves you started with. My wife claims she mentioned her relatives were coming (she says, repeatedly), nonetheless, it was still a surprise to be faced with oncoming reality.
Day 7 B.C. (Before Cousins)
“You should clean up your ‘exercise’ room,” my wife said.
I looked at her quizzically for a moment, “That was totally unprovoked.” I said, “Why would you say something like that?”
“My Kansas City clan is coming. Clean up your ‘exercise’ room because some of them are staying there.”
“But,” I sputtered, “how do your relatives arriving translate into me cleaning up my room? And why are you putting extra emphasis on the word, ‘exercise’?”
She stared back, “Hmm, perhaps because the television in that room gets more exercise than you do? Call me when you have it picked up and ready and I’ll vacuum.”
Day 3 B.C.
“Would you have time to pick up a few things from the grocery store this afternoon?” she asked.
“I’d planned some computer work,” is what came out of the mouth.
“No way! ‘Girls Gone Wild XIV’ has just been released on streaming Netflix,” is what came out of the primitive side of the brain.
The mouth carried on without thought, “But I’d be happy to grab a couple of things for you. Just give me a list.”
She thrust a wad of paper towards me that I first mistook for the Fraser phonebook. I opened the cover page and stared dumbly at an index with the first chapter titled, “Vegetables.”
“What is this?” I said.
“Your grocery list,” she said over her shoulder, running off to wherever she goes when she’s not in sight.
I flipped through the first dozen pages. I couldn’t get all this stuff without a wing blade on the shopping cart to scoop it in as I ran down the aisles.
“Shouldn’t we get a couple of bids on this stuff?” I shouted to her ghost.
Zero Hour plus 6
“Gee, that was a great dinner,” I said.
She leaned my way and said quietly, “Would you mind tidying up the kitchen while I chat with the family?”
Out of the mind came, “Color me in on third barstool from the left at the Crooked Creek.” Out of the mouth came, “Why, certainly, dear, I’ll tidy things up and join you in a few minutes.
I turned to a scene that looked like the aftermath of a Missouri State pie-eating contest. Every dish we owned, every glass, every cooking utensil – along with several items not even vaguely familiar – was dirty and piled in towering stacks above me. And Tupperware – everywhere! I stared, stunned, then began looking wildly for the exit.
“What?” she said in a loud whisper.
“I . . . I’m figuring out how to get a forklift in here to load the dishwasher.”
Day 3 A.D. (After Departure)
“That was sure nice, seeing all the family. We should go visit them before it gets too hot.”
“That would be super,” I said, “I hope we can stay in their ‘exercise’ room.”
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