Elaine and I will be having a milestone wedding anniversary this August. It is not one of the really big milestones, but it is milestone nonetheless.
This is not a story about anniversaries, milestones or any other kind. Although……. if you are wondering. Our anniversary date is the 13th of August, and the handle is broken off our CrockPot. If you’re wondering.
This is a story about how long I’ve intensely disliked (hated) one of the manly tasks of marriage, and how history repeats itself.
Elaine and I were married and moved into a second floor apartment over on Petersen Street. The apartment was owned by the mother of a guy I went to high school with, who coincidentally married a girl Elaine went to school with. (They didn’t have any milestone anniversaries. Hey, I’ll bet they have a CrockPot they’re not using.) None of this paragraph has anything to do with the story except, we lived in an apartment.
Elaine was in her senior year of college and I was a dark, handsome carpenter working for a local home builder. (If you are wondering, this is where I learned construction language in both English and Spanish.) Sorry folks, I’m having a hard time staying focused. The point I was going to make was, Elaine and I were living in a small apartment and money was in tight supply. Sheesh… I feel better.
Living in this apartment is where I realized what an artist really was and also, what an artist is really like. Elaine never did get comfortable with the furniture arrangement in that apartment. We spent EVERY weekend of our young marriage moving the couch from one wall to another, and back again. We moved pictures on the wall, we moved the dining room furniture. (One table, four chairs, but I’m not counting.) I learned to hate rearranging furniture.
OK, I’m at a spot where I can tell a story. The only thing you need to remember from what you just read, is that I hate to rearrange furniture. Of course, if you want to remember the part about me being dark and handsome, that would be OK. I didn’t have a gray beard in those days, it was a dark mustache. Oh, sorry. Focus, Monner, focus!
So…… I get to the store this week to find Ivy opening some large boxes that had been delivered by the guys in brown trucks. This is the part where you need to pay attention. I asked Ivy, “Hey, what’s in the boxes?”
Ivy excitedly replied, “Yarn! I don’t know where we are going to put it, we need to rearrange the store!” She was looking around the store SMILING! I felt a tear run down my cheek. I looked around to see if when she said, “WE are going to need to rearrange,” if she could possibly be speaking to or about anyone else. Ivy and I were alone. I felt another tear.
I realized Ivy is not Elaine. Maybe this isn’t going to be that bad.
We have an antique sewing machine on the back wall of the store. Ivy decided it would look better at the front of the store. She moved the sewing machine to the wall by the windows. After ten minutes of rearranging, I pushed the sewing machine to the back wall, exactly where we started. It was a good thing we didn’t have a customer at that time because I was visibly sobbing.
Elaine arrived, I pushed the sewing machine back to the front wall. The two of them, my wife of many years and my daughter, were working against me. With the sewing machine in place on the front wall, I ran out the front door.
I did go back a couple hours later. The evil twins (Elaine and Ivy) had all of the yarn put away. Ivy said, “Doesn’t the store look nice? I had so much fun rearranging the store and working with you. Obviously, she didn’t see the tears.
And then, Ivy said, “The biggest boxes of yarn aren’t even here, yet!”
Our crazy lives!