Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Tape That Sh*t Down

Some days I feel like I'm fighting for my life in a world full of people who are nothing like me.

I can empathize with others. Sometimes I can so clearly imagine myself in a different life. I drive down the street, and I see a jogger, a dog-walker, a mailman. If my life had taken certain turns, I could be each of these people. My life may even be one heartbreak away from becoming the town bag lady or one free pet adoption away from becoming a cat lady.

But for now, I keep striving for more, to improve the person I already am. All I know is that I want to be a good worker, a good wife, and most importantly, a good mother who creates a clean, safe environment to raise my daughter.

Every day I plan how I will improve some part of my life. It's simple things like, "I think I'll move our bedroom tv into the kitchen so I can clean with a movie on." This task becomes my reason for being, the obstacle that stands between me and clean -- between me and self-improvement.

This is what I wake up Mark for at 8am on a Saturday, a task more important than saving the environment or launching a satellite into orbit. He must move the bedroom TV and hook up the Wii, so that I can watch "my stories."

And, God love him, he does it! Maybe it's out of love, fear, or both, but he does it. And in that moment all is right with the world. He is my Ed from Twin Peaks... (Side Thought: ...which makes me the crazy curtain-runner lady? Yikes.)

So, here I am. I have my TV set up, and all I have to do is balance the Wii remote receiver on top of the TV to complete the picture, literally. It's a thin, light piece of plastic that falls off easily if the TV gets bumped (or jostled from opening the refrigerator door). But, as luck would have it, the makers of Nintendo have provided sticker reinforcement on the bottom of the receiver for just this purpose.

As I proceed to remove the sticker paper, Mark says, "What are you doing??"
"Um, removing the sticker paper so that I can stick the receiver to the top of the TV," I reply. (Duh.)
Mark shudders, "I don't want to use those." (He has an irrational fear about using stickers for their intended purpose.)
"Right, ok," I said.

I respect his weirdness and his need to keep things pristine. After all, he just helped me on my journey to home organization and cleanliness by installing a full-blown entertainment center in my kitchen. You can now play Mario Kart while looking through the fridge... if you want to.

While he goes off to tend to more important things (um, the baby), I roll a small piece of scotch tape and tuck it under the receiver, securing it in place on top of the TV.

Mark returns, and (instead of announcing my handy work and ingenious compromise) I stand back and watch in glee as he very gently opens the refrigerator a few times, then reaches up to try to better-balance the receiver on the TV, not knowing I had taped that sh*t down so well, a crowbar couldn't move it.

He finally realizes it is super secure and looks at me in horror. "You used my stickers!!"

I smile at him, throw my arms around his neck, wipe his tears away, and say, "Nope, I used some scotch tape." He smiles gratefully at me, looks deep into my eyes, and kisses me.

Then he leans back and says, "Why didn't you tell me that while I was trying to reposition and balance it for the last 10 minutes!?"

Uhhh... Well, the short answer is, "...for entertainment purposes."

The long answer is, " I could laugh for a moment at your crazy, to not feel so crazy myself, so I wouldn't smack you and then have you divorce me which would lead to Ellie and me moving back into my parents' house where I would start collecting bottles to save for Ellie's college education and taking in stray cats to compensate for my lack of human interaction and empty-nest syndrome."

It now seems that my life is being held together by one piece of scotch tape.

That is all.


KJ Gifford said...

People are strange... First, I want to say this made me cry. Second, I don't think you need to worry so much about improving yourself, I think Ellie is pretty damn lucky to have such "Unique" parents and will turn out all the better for it -- what a horribly boring world it would be for her to live in a pristine apartment where everything was secured with its proper stickers -- better to sometimes insert slot B into slot E rather than slot A if you know what I mean. And, third, this for no reason of yours, made me feel strangely insecure -- which is what I mean about people being strange -- I thought, wait a minute, I save bottle money and spare change for just about everything and um, pugs are about the size of stray cats...oh no...Sigh, why can't we all just see that we're pretty much okay anyway! LOVE You Gretch, another really cool post.

Gretchin said...

Hahaha!! I love you!! You are in no way a "crazy cat lady," or crazy pug lady for that matter, and we are already collecting bottles for Ellie's college fund. The woman I speak of is real, though. She walks the streets downtown with her Shaw's shopping bag. She hasn't changed her clothes since 1933 and has a permanent excrement stain on the back of her pants. If you reach that point in your life, by all means, feel insecure. Haha! Until then, please don't feel any less than beautiful, amazing you! And yes, we're all okay -- even the bag lady. I make a point of chatting with her in Kinney's. She has a kind smile.

Gretchin said...

I should also clarify that a "cat lady" by Gretchin terms is a hermit who hoards hundreds of cats. And that the "me" I'm afraid of becoming is not you. I just figured out what you meant... I'm clueless, really. Best to assume with me that I'm completely oblivious/ditsy, my intentions are in the best place, and I love you with all my heart. And if you ever doubt that or how much I love you, just ask, and I will remind you. I worry the exact same way!

Gretchin said...

Mark says I over explain myself. :-(