I’m just sitting here thinking that I may need a new name for my pseudo-dating category. But that would require more thought than I’m willing to expend right now. Time! Time is at a premium! There are a million things to be done and never enough time in which to do them. Why waste precious minutes renaming a blog category when I could be… trying to pry open my windows.
(Once upon a time, someone painted all of my windows shut. I would like to hunt that person down and use his tibia to bang against the window frame every time I have to try to unstick things just to get a little bit of fresh air in here.)
ANYWAY. Hi! How are you? I am well! But my house is ailing and I had forgotten that Having A Man Around means Fixing The House. Whether I want to or not.
Otto is coming to visit this weekend. Yay! This is a Very Good Thing! I like to see Otto, because, um, I like him. He makes me laugh and he smells nice and good LORD but he has been on his very best behavior with this whole Winning Me Back thing. I am considering breaking up with him again the moment the whole You Are My World routine shows any signs of slowing, because it is THAT AMAZING and if I have to be miserable for a couple of years to get this going again, that’s just a sacrifice I’ll have to make. I mean, at some point he’s going to remember that I am a complete BRAT. But for now, it’s all good. Well, up until I wrote this paragraph, anyway.
I’m sorry; can you wait a minute? I have to go doodle OTTO in a big heart on my spiral notebook. Won’t take me but a second.
Okay, I’m back.
What were we talking about? Oh! Right! So Otto is coming for the weekend, and he is a man on a mission. Any time I mention anything at all that is broken or in need of attention here at Casa Mir, he immediately pipes up with an assessment of what it will take to rectify the situation, and a directive to “put it on the list.”
So far the list contains about 382 hours worth of work. (You think I’m kidding. I’m so not. I will spare you the conversation where I mentioned that I need to paint the fence, but I hate the fence; and then Otto waxed solutionary for half an hour about how we could take the fence out and fill in the holes! Or build an additional piece of fencing where there is currently none! I swear, I had to tell him I was naked to get him to stop talking.)
And I am not bringing these things up to elicit Otto’s solemn pledge to be my handyman, or anything. We’re talking everyday conversations. Like, take today. I hopped onto the computer spitting mad because my mower decided to die when I was ALMOST done with the lawn. There was Otto, on Instant Messenger, and I was sure he could lend a sympathetic ear.
Me: Is there any mower on the planet OTHER THAN MINE that starts up right away when it’s cold but utterly refuses to restart once it’s warm?
Otto: Sure, one that’s running rich or experiencing vapor lock.
Me: Huh. That’s funny, all I heard just then was Charlie Brown’s teacher. WAWAWAWAWAWA!
Otto: [explains vapor lock and gas mixtures]
Me: [doodles "Otto" inside cartoon hearts in my notebook]
Otto: I can take a look at it this weekend. Put it on the list.
Me: I didn’t tell you that so that you’d come up here and fix my mower.
Otto: I know. It’s okay. We can take a look at it before we seal the driveway.
Me: You know, it would be okay if you just came to visit. We don’t have to do all this house stuff. I’ll figure it out.
Otto: I’m happy to help. It’s not a big deal.
Me: Yeah… but… I don’t NEED you to do this stuff.
Otto: I know.
Me: But… ummm… uhhhhh…
Otto: It’s okay.
Me: You smell good.
So that’s going well. My lawn is five-sixths mowed and I’ve apparently made plans for a romantic weekend of pushing tar around and cleaning gutters, but I am complaining out of habit. I know that having The List makes him feel better, much the same way that eating ice cream makes me feel better. And this is a part of rebuilding, too. Measurable projects with visible outcomes. There is comfort in that.
Just as there is comfort, for me, in finding a space between “seal the driveway” and “install new mailbox hinge” and penning in “take a nap on the couch.”
Hey, it’s all right there in my notebook. You cannot deny The List.