Our family “celebrated” an anniversary this week. Elaine started drawing electric power poles twenty-seven years ago this past week. For most families that would not be a big deal, but for our family it is a remembrance of one of the happiest days in our lives.
You might find this hard to believe, but Elaine did not plan on a career drawing power poles. Elaine planned on being a junior high school art teacher.
Elaine and I were married during her senior year of college. Looking back, that might have been the biggest mistake we’ve ever made. CALM DOWN! Getting married wasn’t the mistake, getting married while she was in school was the mistake.
Elaine’s parents paid for the wedding and handed her the keys to an eight year old Volkswagon Super Beetle and said “See Ya!” Paying for Elaine’s last year of school was something we forgot to plan on.
Oh, she finished her degree. We lived in a dump, ate wood chips and old shoes, but we survived. OK, we ate at my mom’s a bunch. Shoes would have been too hard to digest, so we sucked on them for awhile and then spit them out. (Sorry, I might have gotten carried away.)
Elaine’s junior high mentors were still involved in Elaine’s life and had placed her on the fast track to teach in the local school district. She did her student teaching at the same junior high she attended as a child, a few years before.
Things were looking pretty good for Elaine’s teaching career. And then……….some (construction language) little (construction language) student stabbed Elaine in the back with a compass. You know, that tool you use to draw circles with that sharp needle thing on one end. Elaine’s teaching career had come to a painful end.
I tried to get Elaine to go back and kick the (construction language) out of the kid, (She had decided teaching wasn’t anything she was going to do anyway.) but she decided just to change careers.
After a few weeks of discussion, I told Elaine that I was going to school to become an architect. Elaine said, ”That sounds nice, I think I will go with you.” Together, hand in hand we enrolled in architectural drafting.
After the class, I went back to construction. Elaine went to another class. Her/our instructor found her a job drawing lawn sprinklers systems for the King’s palace in Saudi Arabia. (Not making that up, folks.)
After a couple years Elaine found herself working for an actual architect. Using the term, architect, for this firm is being very generous. This company was designing retail gasoline stations. Did you ever wonder why gas stations all look alike? It’s because they are all designed by the same guy.
This architect (sort of) was the worst boss, if not human, on the planet. He/they actually counted the number of times his employees went to the restroom. He/they kept facial tissues in one location to make sure employees were not abusing the privilege of having facial tissues. I want to tell more stories, but I will get a little fired up and every sentence will contain (construction language).
As if a gift from God, a help wanted ad appeared in the local paper. It was to draw power poles. I convinced Elaine to apply. She was awarded an interview.
At Elaine’s job interview, Elaine agreed with the interviewer that she did not have the qualifications for the job. Leaving the interview (and realizing she was going back to that piece of (construction language) Elaine might have shed a tear. OK, she did. The interviewer asked why she was crying.
Elaine explained the working conditions of her current job. The interviewer hired her on the spot. Elaine has been there twenty-seven years.
It’s Valentine’ Day!
Boy Twin surprised me this past week. He has a girlfriend.
Boy Twin didn’t tell me he has a girlfriend, he just kind of implied it. The wizard that I am, I was able to watch his actions and figure it out for myself.
The twins were shopping with me at the local Wally World when I saw Girl Twin coming down the aisle with a stuffed animal. I told her, “You need to put that back because I’m not buying it.” She replied, “It’s not for me.” Boy Twin was standing next to her with a really strange (if not dumb) look on his face.
The stuffed animal was a white bear holding a red heart with the words “Be my Valentine” on the heart. I knew he wasn’t buying it for me. Actually, I knew he wasn’t buying it at all. That would be my job. I couldn’t imagine Boy Twin using his own money. Boy Twin mumbled, “It is for E&%$#.”
Me: Why is Girl Twin carrying it?
Boy Twin: She likes to help me.
Girl Twin: He’s embarrassed to carry it.
Boy Twin and this beautiful young girl went on a “date.” If a “date” is walking around the mall. Elaine, I and Ivy met the parents. Nice people. I wonder if they know their daughter is “dating” a kid that stuck a popcorn kernel in his ear to see if it would fit.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Our crazy lives!