Forgive your man—and hope for bigger things

Bent over like a comma and wearing kneepads.
On Saturday, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror again and, oh brother, I really had gone over the edge. I looked like a loser.
First of all, there was the jean shorts. I must have had my eyes closed when I cut the legs off as one side was markedly shorter than the other. They were “Daisy Duke” look-a-likes gone wrong.
I’m cute, but not in shorts that short.
And the knee pads only made things worse. My “larger than life” piano legs were hopeless fastened with what could have doubled for jock straps.
To add to the picture, I’d pulled the Velcro tabs too tight the first time I put the knee pads on and burned the skin off the backs of my knees while applying sealer to the #@!&? ceramic tiles.
Then I had the bright idea to stick dishcloths behind my knees under the bindings. Green ones at that.
I’d just had my hair cut even shorter and, with bed head, had shoved what little there was under a painter’s cap (on backwards)—my ears sticking out like those of a newborn elephant.
But, hey, it was Saturday. Nobody ever comes over and if they do, it’s usually on a weeknight, at the supper hour, while I’m still in my work clothes.
Except for this particular day. Neighbour #1, who’d been away on the job for the last month or so, decided to pay us a visit. He’s a great guy and I’m always glad to see him, but on this particular day, I wanted to throw down one of those black holes from the cartoons and jump in.
Pete, who’d been sitting in the big easy chair an arm’s-length away sipping on a whiskey, watching me seal #@!&? ceramic tiles and trying to convince me that I looked cute in my outfit, invited him in.
(All the brownie points he’d racked up in the last six months just went down the tube).
Lucky for the two of them, I demanded a toll for walking across my newly-sealed floor and also wouldn’t let them do anything but tippy toe around like men in high heel shoes.
That sent them scurrying outside to talk about the upcoming shed-raising project on tap this coming weekend (that adventure is sure to produce a month’s worth of things to write about).
In the meantime, though, it occurs to me that I may never see the day when my husband fits the bill of the ordinary man. And, quite frankly, that’s okay. He’s a whole lot of fun—even if his idea of thoughtfulness takes a bit of getting used to by the likes of me.
Take the other week, for example, while we were having a “cold one” on the porch. I had just reminded him, for the umpteenth time, that if he ever wanted to buy me something, I sure would love to have a really big jewellery box.
“Oh, that reminds me, I have a present for you!” he blurted out, smiling, and jumping up. “Come see!”
I tagged along, following him with a curious eye to the back of his truck (at long last, I thought to myself, he finally bought me a jewellery box). My anticipation was high as a kite.
He heaved on the door hatch and there it was . . . a buffalo skull?
It just laid there with wide eye sockets looking at me, still in the process of being “cleaned” by the bugs. One molar, its creases deeply embedded with brown stuff, had popped out on the ride “home,” leaving a gross cavern in the jaw.
And it smelled bad.
“Well, what do you think?” said he, clearly proud. I didn’t have it in me to turn him to stone.
“I think it’s great,” I replied, my fingers crossed behind my back to ward off evil in wake of the lie I’d just told.
I’m sure my bland reply was of similar tone to when I was 11 years old and forcing out a thank-you to my aunt for the pair of multi-coloured wool socks she’d given me for Christmas.
The skull spent a few days on a rock at the edge of the driveway before I got up the courage to move it to my front flowerbed as an ornament alongside an old wagon wheel.
In fact, over time I became quite fond of “Mr. Buffalo.”
So did “Griffon,” who decided—while I wasn’t paying attention—that the skull made for a really good chew toy. By the time I got wind of it, it was bone meal.
I was crabby for about two seconds. With that little something out of the way, maybe there are bigger things on the horizon, right?

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