The fact that I am constantly hungry is my excuse du jour for why I am cranky. I have no OTHER reason to be cranky, really—the children are taking turns being rotten, as I’ve always taught them to do; work is somewhat under control; no one in the house is sick or having a crisis—so it’s only this stupid “getting in shape” and “always being hungry” thing to blame for how grouchy I am.
Make no mistake, I am incredibly grouchy. If someone were to stuff some Godiva chocolate into my whining yap I’m pretty sure it would improve my mood immediately and significantly, but alas, that cannot happen. For one thing, I see no one willing to perform such an altruistic act. I spend the day with the dog and the most SHE’s willing to do is lick me after she’s done licking her butt, so, you know. For another, eating little more than spinach and lean meats and vegetable soup are causing me to lose NO WEIGHT AT ALL, so eating chocolate would surely catapult me into obesity.
So I’m a little tense, is my point.
Otto is generally quite good at sensing and responding to my moods, as any good husband should be. Right now I think he realizes exactly what’s going on with me and my marked lack of chocolate, so when I get a little snappish he’s apt to offer me piece of fruit or some cheese. Sometimes it even works. Other times I just become more obnoxious because I WANT CAKE and I can’t have it and instead it seems prudent to bite off the head of the nearest person.
Anyway, like I said, he’s pretty good. I am very fond of him, after all.
But the other day we somehow got into a discussion of whether or not we should fence a section of our yard for the dog. We’ve had this discussion half-a-dozen times since bringing her home; because we have a pool, there’s a fence around it and our deck, but not around the ENTIRE property, nor would such a thing make sense. When we take the dog out, we take her on a leash. Many’s the day when I wish I could just open the door and tell her to come back when she’s done doing her business. Plus, it’d be kind of nice for her to be able to run around out there with the kids without being tethered. So we always get to talking about a fence.
Given the size of our property and the layout of the house and driveway and neighbors and woods, figuring out WHERE to fence is always where we get stuck. Do we try to fence the whole back? Just half? A small pen or a large area? Is there any way to set up a fence that runs along the house such that I could, indeed, open up the back door and just let the dog out?
Now, keep in mind that this is a conversation we have a lot. Also keep in mind that I AM HUNGRY. The other day, the conversation ended up going like this:
Otto: So if we ran it down along the side here, using the pool fence on one side, I think that would work.
Me: That makes sense.
Otto: Of course, we need to repair a few parts of the pool fence. She’s small enough that she can probably get out in a couple of places.
Me: Oh. Yeah.
Otto: Of course, that fence is going to need to be replaced soon, anyway.
Me: Does it make sense to get an estimate on the whole thing? I mean, replacing the pool fence, adding another fenced area?
Me: But we’re also going to need to replace the deck soon, right? Maybe we should wait and do all three at once?
Now, understand that after NOT EATING CHOCOLATE and EXERCISING REGULARLY the thing I hate most is SPENDING MONEY. I thought I was handling this conversation pretty well, considering the mess/annoyance/expense of what all we were now discussing. I was totally proud of myself!
But then it all went sideways.
Otto: That would make the most sense, to do them all at once.
Me: Oh. Well, maybe we should wait a while, then.
Otto: Maybe. Also, we should figure out what we REALLY want.
Me: I want… a fence and a deck…?
Otto: No, I mean, like if we’re going to replace the deck, we should think about design.
Otto: Sure, we can change it if we’re rebuilding. Like, we could move the gazebo. Or rework the part right outside your office, because we really don’t use that bit right now.
Otto: We could talk about turning part of it into a screen porch. Maybe take out that tree, there, then screen in that section.
Me: I like that tree.
Otto: Well, yeah, so do I, but if we took it out it could be screened right there.
Otto: Also if we redo the deck, we should do a build-in grill instead of what we have now.
Me: That grill is practically new!
Otto: But a built-in grill would be really cool, and would use the space better.
Me: Uh huh.
Otto: And then there’s the kitchen.
Me: What does this have to do with the kitchen?
Otto: Well, you’re always talking about redoing the kitchen—
Me: —after the kids GO TO COLLEGE.
Otto: Well, yes, but we have the grill out there, and there’s no door out of the kitchen onto the deck.
Me: That’s because there’s a door out of the dining room. And a door out of my office. Both of which are conveniently located on either side of the kitchen.
Otto: Still, it’s weird not to have a door straight out of the kitchen. When we remodel in here, maybe it makes sense to add a door.
Me: Really? Add a door? WHERE?
Otto: Well, probably right here…
Me: This is where the TABLE is. Where would the table go?
Otto: I don’t know, I’m just tossing out ideas.
Me: Uh huh.
Otto: I am!
Me: I hear you. Just tossing out the idea to rip a hole in the side of the house! Redo the entire fence! Remodel the deck! Add a screen porch! Make sure this side of the house has ten doors to the outside!!
Otto: I think ten is a little excessive.
Me: I think YOU are a little excessive. Which child are you planning to sell to PAY for all of this?
Otto: Um. I love you?
Mir: That’s what I thought you said.
I need more calories to deal with my husband “ideas.”