The wife’s honey-do list
Defending the shag carpet, the cracked tile and 35-year-old appliances made no sense. The realtor didn’t even bother. Instead, she saved her energy for the bay window ” the only upgrade to the place in the past 10 years. From a seller’s perspective, the window served one purpose: to distract buyers from the rest of the home.
“Now there’s a picture,” she said, tossing back the curtains. It hit Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Robb harder than they expected as she rattled on about bringing the outdoors inside. Moments later, the trio stepped onto the back deck, into paradise.
Less than 50 feet away, just beyond the pier, a trout broke the water’s surface. The splash created a pleasing ripple, harmonizing with sound of distant wind chimes. The realtor did nothing to break the silence. She wouldn’t dare.
After a long drink of nature, the asking price was a moot point.
“We’ll take it,” Floyd said with a smile.
He needed it in the worst way. Ten years from retirement, he spent weekdays playing office politics, maintaining his sanity over coffee breaks ” when, for 10 precious minutes, he could forget about managing two dozen employees.
“Don’t bring me problems. Bring me solutions,” he told them, when they assaulted him with their pettiness. The ex-marine didn’t need to say it twice, thanks to his intense stare and authoritative delivery.
Over coffee, Floyd loosened his necktie and was another man: an amateur chef, an avid outdoorsman, a guy with an infectious laugh. That Floyd now seemed to be taking over at the office ” now that weekends were spent at the lake cabin, at his Walden.
“I kicked back on the pontoon, snagged some trout and grilled ’em on the barbie,” he reported most Monday mornings, sometimes including napping statistics and names of novels that he polished off. No one was surprised to find out that his blood pressure and cholesterol were down. Floyd was living the dream.
Sadly, his joy lasted only 18 months. As though someone had flipped a switch, he suddenly quit speaking of the lake altogether.
“So how’s the fishing?” one employee asked one day, trying to unravel the mystery.
“I don’t know,” he said.
“What do you mean? You didn’t sell the cabin, did you?”
“No. I’m there every weekend, but since we got HGTV, my wife has me putting in new cabinets, painting bedrooms, laying tile. There’s no time for fishing. See for yourself,” he said, retrieving a Honey-Do list from his wallet. His bitterness was palpable.
Two weeks later, he snapped. Instead of taking his tools to the lake, he departed alone, leaving his wife the following note:
To My Dear Wife,
I thought I’d leave you a list of my own this weekend.
1. Turn off the lights in every unoccupied room: This includes closet lights, bathroom lights, shower lights and the oven light. Money (to pay the power bill) does not grow on trees and God knows we need to save all we can to renovate our lakeside Taj Mahal.
2. Turn down the thermostat: Does the indoor temperature need to match the daytime high in Tahiti? Put on a sweater and socks. Wear slippers if you must. In severe cases, apply ICY HOT or BEN GAY … you’ll be warm 50 percent of the time, again saving every penny we can for remodeling.
3. Do not use my razor to shave your legs … EVER!: This has nothing to do with the cabin, but it’s been annoying me for years. The last resort when you run out of Nair or can’t find your razor is duct tape, not my razor. I can’t believe that we didn’t discuss this before we were married, but, then again, we never discussed the slave labor lists that you leave me every weekend.
What a rush! I’m new at this, but I’ll get better with practice. Tell you what: how about you forget my list and I’ll forgive yours?
P.S. I’m not waiting for an answer. I trashed your Honey-Do list. Gone fishing!
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