I don’t have anything to change your life today. I’m tired. Can I interest you in some inconsequential conversation? Good. Keep reading.
What did you do for Memorial Day? I didn’t go to any memorial services. I did take some to think about and appreciate those who have passed, and those who have given their lives for our country. Not much, but more than I’ve done in the past. I think I might go to a Memorial service next year.
I will admit that I have usually spent my Memorial Day weekends selfishly. Facebook changed that.
Did you see any Memorial Day messages on Facebook? The ones with a little boy crying, holding an American flag? His dad died in service to our country. The message would read something like, “In case you thought Memorial Day was about barbecues or planting flowers.” They could have added in parentheses (you selfish, greedy, monster). That’s how those messages make you feel. They work.
In addition to taking time to appreciate those we’ve lost, we decided we’d also spend the long weekend being grown ups. Acting like grown ups is a departure from our typical routine. Scott and I were going to go to Chicago to celebrate our anniversary early. Then we started talking about how you can’t really go to Chicago for a weekend without spending at least 84 thousand dollars. We’re fresh out of all those dollars.
Instead, we decided to work on the house. If that isn’t the most boring sentence I’ve ever written, I don’t know what is. At least Scott and I are in agreement. House stuff is boring. We’d rather play games.
When Scott was a young teacher, I remember him telling me that he had decided to eat lunch in his classroom rather than the teachers’ lounge. I asked him why. He said it was because in the teacher’s lounge they talked about things like lawn mowers, electric bills and property taxes. He told me that he didn’t feel like he had a single intelligent comment to contribute; all those words made Scott feel like weeping from boredom. Amen to that, Husband! I agreed.
His teacher friends would say, “Hey Scott, what’s your opinion of the tax levy they’re proposing in our community?”
Everyone would turn to Scott and wait for his reply. Scott would look around at all the adults and answer, “Touch Down?”
That was 20 years ago. Not THAT much has changed. We still don’t like talking about boring stuff, but at least we now know that sometimes we have to DO boring stuff. We decided to repaint some of our home’s interior. It’s been 10 years. It’s time.
Scott and I like fun so much, that we’ve probably goofed up our kids. We have played with them a lot. When they’re grown ups, they may not realize that sometimes you have to do boring stuff. That will be our fault. I decided I’d try to teach them this lesson over the weekend.
It isn’t that I’m afraid to work. In fact, I grew up in a weird tourist community. All my friends and I started working at an early age. I was selling fruit drinks at a water park when I was in 5th grade. I started working full-time in the summer between my 6th and 7th grade years of school. My children are beyond that age; they’ve never held a real job.
I told them on Saturday that they needed to learn how to work. When a parent says that, their kids magically disappear.
I was sticking to my guns this time. I gave them the whole long and sad story about my slave labor as a child. I said I had to help them understand that life is equal parts work and fun. Today was the work part. I asked them to put in a full day.
Zeke helped me paint. Olivia cleaned and cooked. Eddie was sick. Not the get-out-of-work kind of sick. The real kind.
They did well. I was impressed. There was only one moment where I remember Olivia laying on the kitchen floor. She looked pretty spent. Her hair was crazy and her hand was to her forehead. She was negotiating with me for an hour lunch rather than a half hour. I caved. I’m the world’s best boss.
Zeke and I killed the painting project. We painted a bathroom, living room and dining room in one day.
The next day we took the kids to get a treat to reward them for all their hard work. See? Best boss.
In the car I was telling Scott that manual labor was kind of fun. I LOVE my career, but sometimes I feel a little low on the mental energy it requires. Plus, like many other jobs, it’s difficult to completely check out.
I told Scott that if I became a house painter for a living I could just do my work until I was finished. You listen to the radio while you work, and you don’t have to think. Scott said he totally agreed.
Zeke overheard this conversation. He leaned forward and asked, “Did you just say that you think what we did yesterday was fun?”
I said, “Yes.”
Zeke leaned back hard. He announced, “I am going to HATE being adult so much! That is terrible news!”
I guess my plan worked.
I don’t have anything more to say about working, but I did want to get very serious now. Go ahead and grab some tissues. This may get emotional.
I would like to try to bring something out in the open. This is a little touchy. I’m sorry for that. It’s only because I care. Sometimes I care too much.
It’s flowers. It’s flowers on clothing. It’s floral prints. I’m seeing them everywhere. Oh man, why can’t humanity learn from its mistakes? We’ve done this before. Don’t do it again. Please. Don’t. The results were disastrous the first time. I suppose you think she looks cute:
Every morning my favorite news lady is wearing a dress that looks like a picture of her flower garden. And she’s PREGNANT?
I don’t know how to convince you people to stop. You just should. Because this. Click on it:
I told you. You’re not going to believe me when I tell you this, but those bridesmaid dresses were homemade. You probably thought they were right off the Paris runway. Oh no. Hand stitched, with love.
I had the 6 women I care most about in this world, wrap themselves in flowered table clothes, and stand by my side on the most important day of my life. I look at those dresses and I wonder why. Those women were never anything but kind to me.
So, I’m just saying, if you refuse to listen to me, remember that you’ve been warned. Go ahead and wear your flower prints. Just remember, people like taking pictures. You won’t be able to forget.