Man, it's hot here in Oaktown, CaliforneyeA. So after a long, cool shower, I walked naked into the kitchen where my chef husband was cooking dinner, and I struck a pose next to the oven and asked, "Do you think I could get into Playboy?"
"Yeah," he said, "but you might have to pay a lot."
Hahahahaha, we laughed. Then I asked, "What does my body make you think of?"
My husband was peeling garlic. He glanced up for a nanosecond. "Sex," he said.
Good one! I'm glad he didn't say, "a potato," or "like watching the grass grow."
So all was well until I got dressed and we started talking about HOUSE STUFF. We often don't agree about what to do about the house stuff, the painting that needs to be done, the garden that needs to be macheted, the eave gutters that are overflowing with pine needles, (both of us are afraid of ladders), who is cleaning/fixing what, who has done what and who needs to do what else. And the prime, annoying, essential question: WHEN WILL IT BE DONE? We adore this house, but between us we possess one half ounce of domesticity. I would say I possess more of that quality because women seem to be born with a picking-up-dirty-socks-from-the-floor gene. I have learned to enjoy gardening, but there are limits such as ladder paranoia and hacking away at a cherry tree (or is it a small plum?) with a kitchen knife. My suggestion is always to PAY to get someone who knows what he/she is doing and get the thing done. My husband, who doesn't want to do the thing, says he will do the thing and then a year or so passes and now the house has been eaten by the cherry/plum tree, and I say, "We have to call someone," and he says, "You always want some expert to come out here when we can do this ourselves." One time, he did prune the entire yard after I complained about it, and I came home to a nuclear bomb site. There was nothing left except a twig of my beloved apple tree. Just a stick with a crunched leaf sadly dangling. I cried. I was so upset. My husband stood there, covered in dirt, holding a chain saw. It's his pruning tool.
Our recent discussion (argument) was about Kenneth wanting to tame the weeds by putting newspapers under the dirt. I panicked at this. Kenneth already saves way too much stuff. I don't think he's a hoarder, but he tends to keep a lot of junk. Newspapers, magazines abound in his office to the point where, like the consuming cherry/plum tree, there is no office anymore; the chair and computer are buried underneath a mound of newspapers and magazines. Kenneth says he will save lots and lots of newspapers until he has enough, and then he will fix the weeds with them. You cannot imagine the horror I felt. Like dirty socks, these newspapers are everywhere; I'm always picking them up and throwing them in the recycling bin. Now, with this weed solution, Kenneth will have a legitimate reason to KEEP newspapers around, no tossing them. Well, I had to say no to this. And by the way, is this even true? Do newspapers stop weeds? Isn't there another way? We have a weed whacker in the basement. Why is it in the basement? Because Kenneth doesn't like to use it. I don't know why, really, just like I don't know why Kenneth never swims in a lake, river, or creek. I mean, he likes the chain saw but not the weed whacker. I suspect it has something to do with how the weed whacker gets its juice to work-I think it is a more complicated and labor-intensive situation than the chain saw. About the lake, river, and creek: I still don't know after 15 years of relationship. I say, "Kenneth, it's 110 degrees outside, and we are right next to this beautiful lake. Want to take a dip?" No. He sits there miserable, swatting at sweat drops, and finally stomps back to the cabin. But he loves to swim in the ocean. However, he hates sand. That's a problem when you're at a beach.
So we had this big fight about the weeds/newspapers. I finally had to tell Kenneth the truth, I had to tell him about my deep concerns about the hoarding of newspapers. He subconsciously knew that was the problem, and he really didn't have an argument for that one. He shrugged and said it would take time to get all those newspapers, that's the way it was if I wanted the weeds fixed. Oh, God. I had to hold onto the table so I didn't rocket out of my chair and go ballistic. But dinner was ready, and we were hungry, so the fight moved on in favor of good eats.
We ate outside, at the patio table in the front yard so we didn't have to view the rioting plants in the backyard. It was a warm and gorgeous evening, the sunset blazing orange. I should have stayed naked. Sex is so much more interesting than house stuff. But it's nice to have a house to have sex in. It's nice to have a house, period. And a very good thing that Kenneth and I are similar in our lack of domesticity. We keep house casually. Do you know that great Issa haiku?
"Don't worry, spiders/I keep house/casually."
Hey, it's another hot one today. Go for a swim in the ocean and try not to get sand on your feet. Maybe that's a metaphor for...what? Relationships?
Causes Susan Browne Supports
Run Together, A Race to Raise Money for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society