Monday, April 19, 2010

Most Dreaded Phrase in the English Language (Second in a Series)

“What do you want to do with this?”

Uttered by Mr. Lucky when rerun season starts and he gets it into his head to clean out the garage, a closet, or his man-cave.

“What do you want to do with this?”

My heart sinks like an anchor into the pit of my stomach every time he says he’s going to “clean out” something, because it means I won’t get anything done for the rest of the day. Every five minutes he’ll crash into my office holding up something he’s unearthed and—

“What do you want to do with this?”

Most of the time I tell him to put it back where he found it—especially if it came out of a closet. “If I wanted to do anything with it,” I say, “I would have removed it already and done whatever it is I wanted to do with it.”

But no, he’s trying to create more space in the closet/garage/man-cave by moving everything into my office, till I can’t even budge from my chair for all the spoils of nearly twenty-three years of marriage piled around me like the inventory from Charles Foster Kane’s Xanadu—

“What do you want to do with this?”

—Or what they found in the underground chamber in National Treasure, though I’ve always thought it looked like the same old junk minus the sled.

“What do you want to do with this?”

Trouble is, we’ve only accumulated the kind of stuff that would get us laughed off Antiques Roadshow and Pawn Stars.

“What do you want to do with this?”

I told you, every five minutes. See how annoying it is? He barges back into my office, nearly impaling himself on that cheap tarnished brass knock-off of Anubis that’s supposed to double as a “beverage butler”, and proceeds to empty a bag full of little odds and ends across the keyboard of my computer, even as I sit here typing an opus.

“Look what I found,” he says, thrusting a snow-globe under my nose. As “Lara’s Theme” plays, glitter swirls around a snowy tableau of Yuri Zhivago stealing scrap lumber from a dilapidated Moscow structure while his Party stooge of a half-brother contemplates shooting him for it. “Did you know we still had this?”

“Yes, now please—”

“What do you want to do with this?”

I tell him I had the snow globe put away to keep Baby Bear from dribbling and shooting hoops with it. It is, after all, made of glass and that kid has a thing for breakables. A destructive thing.

“I’ll just put it here for now.” And Mr. Lucky places it on the last square inch of space remaining on my desk.

For now, he says. I know how long “for now” is. Why does he think I can’t get out of my chair anymore? The room was already near capacity from junk he brought in here “for now” the last time he cleaned out another part of the house. I remember that well. Bush was still president. Bush 41.

Okay, so I’m exaggerating, since we haven’t lived in this house that long, but it really does seem as if—

“What do you want to do with this?”

Finally I lose it and yell at him to do whatever he wants with it, just leave me alone.

Why doesn’t he ever seek my input on the really important stuff? Like the time he waited till after he destroyed the receipt to announce he blew all our lottery winnings on the Bioflex 2000 Ultimate X-Treme Digital Family Gym for Home, Office, or Still in Its Original Box Under the Bed. We already had one that’s been holding up our mattress since, yes, Bush 41. With that lotto ticket we could’ve bought a brand new bed frame and paid someone to haul the Bioflex away.

Or the time he traded in my car for a handful of magic beans. That wasn’t what I had in mind when I told him I wanted something “that gets better gas.”

Funny how he never asks, “What do you want to do with this?” in regards to the Bioflex or beans.

Possibly he already knows what I’d say.

(For the first Most Dreaded Phrase in this series, click here.)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Why? WHY?

Ever since we switched back to Daylight Savings Time, I’ve had a devil of a time getting Baby Bear to wake up in the morning. His school bus usually comes around 8:30, and I’m lucky if I can get him even halfway out of bed before 8:00.

But now that school is out for spring break, guess who’s up at 6:30 am playing Frogger with the volume turned up full blast, and the place lit up like Vegas?

I had to check the other side of the bed to make sure that was Mr. Lucky, and not some Elvis impersonator I didn’t remember picking up in the casino bar the night before. No one was there. Then I remembered he’s up in Georgia with the Crown Prince.

And there is no chocolate in the house.

At least I’m not waking up to find my bed floating in overflow from Baby Bear’s bathroom. Let me be grateful for that!

Friday, April 9, 2010

What the Easter Bunny Brought Me

I woke up Easter morn to find this on my dining room table:

At first I thought that was a doily beneath the usual spoils, until I scooped up the bunny and chocolate kisses to find it was a sexy polka-dotted unmentionable with pink lace trim.

I must admit, I like that better than the stringy fake grass. For one thing, I won't be picking ladies' underwear out of the carpet between now and next Christmas.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Notes From the Teacher

Baby Bear’s teacher and I communicate about the cub’s behavior and other issues via handwritten messages in a spiral notebook kept in the boy’s backpack. I like that this particular teacher takes the time to write detailed notes—no mean feat, considering the number of special needs students in his classroom.

One recent entry made me dizzy just reading it—and I don’t know why, since this is nothing our ursine terror doesn’t do at home every day:

[Baby Bear] used up a lot of energy today. He did not get into trouble but he did not spend much time on anything. He moved constantly from the keyboard to the computer to the television to the bathroom to the refrigerator to the door to the cabinets to the kitchen sink to the sofa and on the bed we use for changing.

You’d think he’d fall asleep from exhaustion at that point. I refer, of course, to the teacher. Baby Bear? Not bloody likely. It was the teacher’s energy he used up; Bear’s own reserves never run dry. If only I could figure out how to harness the power of that boy and sell it, I might rule the world.

In the meantime, the teacher stays on his toes just as the Bear stays on his paws and goes for another lap . . . and another . . . and another . . .