Monday, July 05, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 599: Le long weekend

It's been a quiet week here chez CF and SH. We started by going to Ravinia, just north of Chicago, in the suburb of Highland Park where even the used purses at the consignment store start at $168, to watch the Prairie Home Companion broadcast with our friends Rob and Lenore.

The show was fun, although many of the audience did not seem to understand or at least put into action the proper procedure for optimizing the seating process, which is to minimize the annoyance to other customers.

To wit, the process should work thusly:

1. When you find your row, look at your seat number.
2. Look at the row and identify the midpoint.
3. Is your seat before the midpoint or after the midpoint?
4. If your seat is after the midpoint, look at the seats between you and the midpoint. Are they occupied?
5. If they are occupied, then go around the back of the auditorium and approach your seat from the other side. Do not make everyone from your original position and past the midpoint stand to accommodate your refusal to walk a few extra yards, especially if the spacing is narrow between the rows and the seated customers are elderly and/or large.
6. Repeat this process at intermission, by which point you should be fully aware of the location of your seat.

I was a bit lonely at the show, though. Two references to Chicago met with opposite responses. One invoked cheers; one did not. One reference was to McDonald vs Chicago; the other to a Chicago native who is the current White House resident.

My reaction was the opposite of the crowd's and that's all I'll say about that.

Our town's Fifth of July parade is happening as we speak. SH is still sleeping, so we probably won't make it. Our Fifth of July fireworks are tonight. Apparently, there is some new research finding that the Declaration was actually signed on the Fifth and we have been celebrating incorrectly all these years. Thank goodness my town has the courage to stand boldly against tradition and Do The Right Thing.

SH is exhausted because he painted the porch - I mean, sealed the balcony - on Saturday and then we played tennis last night. Sealing the balcony is an ordeal that involves

1. Getting the sealant from the basement, opening the can and inspecting it. Is it still good? Yes, it is, I told you it would be because we sealed it really well last time so there is NO NEED TO BUY ANOTHER CAN AT $25.
2. Going to the hardware store to get a new brush because it's pretty hard to salvage paintbrushes that have been used for varnish, so you might as well just buy a cheap one and toss it when you are through.
3. Coming home without the brush because you (=SH) found a Good Brush for Sealant (it is thicker and has a guard between the handle and the bristles to keep the sealant from running down your hand while you are working on the underside of the balcony) but it costs $10 and you remembered that there was a 40% off coupon from the store at home.
4. Saying to your wife, "I guess I could have just asked for the discount rather than coming home" and your wife telling you, "You wouldn't even have to ask because we are in their preferred customer program so when we use your credit card, which is linked to the account, I think we get any discounts automatically." But that might not have been the case and the store is only a mile from the house, so it was worth a trip home to save $4.
5. Deciding it's too late to get started and we'll wait until the next morning.
6. Sleeping late. Getting up. Reading the paper. SH reluctant to start because he hates this job. My telling him (again) that I will be glad to do it if he doesn't want to. His telling me I Won't Do It Right. My saying Just how complicated is it to put sealant on a balcony and didn't I do it the first time two years ago?
7. Me thinking, There's no way he'll finish in time before we have to leave for Chicago. Getting stressed. Then deciding that if he does not finish or doesn't even start that I will just do it myself the next time he goes out of town.
8. Getting the ladder out of the garage. Assembling the ladder - one of those fancy fold it many ways ladders.
9. Finding the painting clothes, which involves looking in every closet and chest of drawers in the house, then opening many boxes in the basement.
10. My postponing my shower until I have assurances from SH that he does not need me to help in any way.
11. My taking a shower.
12. SH asking me to come out and hold the ladder.
13. My demanding Why didn't he say something ten minutes ago before I took a shower?
14. His asking, You took a shower already?
15. My answering, Yes I just told you I was going to.
16. His promising he would not drop any sealant on me.
17. But having to wear a hat on my wet hair ruined my hair for the day.
18. SH finishing the balcony and then noticing that the gutters on the north side of the house have trees growing out of them.
19. SH deciding now is a good time to clean the gutters because he already has the ladder out and he does not want to go through the three-minute ordeal of putting the ladder away and getting it out again the next day.
20. My being torn because I am thrilled he is doing these chores but I want to make sure we get to Ravinia on time.
21. Meeting our friends at Ravinia one minute - exactly one minute - before the agreed-upon time.

The End

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