I was lying on the couch last Friday night, sipping on a glass of wine and pondering what to give Jimmy for his birthday. I have a recurring issue with the fact that my husband’s birthday falls exactly one week after mine every single year. Like most girls, I love my :
d. All of the above
Nonetheless, by the time his birthday rolls around, I am all birthdayed out. A person can only take so much celebration before they crave calm, quiet normalcy. I happen to know for a fact that Jimmy agrees with me, because I asked him that very morning what he wanted as a present and he said,
“A relaxing, peaceful weekend!”
What a Jinxer!
When my son interrupted his X-box playing to come downstairs and inform me that a river of water was flowing into the playroom upstairs, I immediately sprung into action. With an armful of towels, barking out orders to the boys, dialing numbers on my cell phone for all I was worth, I took the stairs two at a time. Sure enough, water was pouring out of a bathroom faucet I had turned on earlier in the day, and forgotten to turn off. It gushed into my son’s bedroom, creating a river down the hall and into the playroom.
Fortunately, I have tons of experience with UN-NATURAL DISASTERS, due to a life-long association with myself. Turning my back on burning flames and running water has led to my burning down a handful of kitchens (’74 & ’92) and flooding more than my fair share of domiciles (’89, ’91, ’96, ’05, ’16). So, I know just what to do and who to call. In fact, when I got the Water Restoration company on the line, the dispatcher rattled off my name and address. We were actually “in their system!” I looked at it as being “Regular Customers,” but Jimmy saw it more as being “Repeat Offenders.”
There is a new movement these days against “Mother Judging,” which I wholly endorse, for obvious reasons. With that said, I think when I was a kid, my own mother might’ve focused too much on making lemonade out of lemons and failed to establish appropriate consequences for my high level of absent-mindedness. I think she actually was the person who initially invented the concept those insurance companies are constantly touting on their commercials called, “Accident Forgiveness!”
One day, when I was 11, I decided to make nectar for our hummingbird feeder. This involved boiling red food-colored sugar water. I put the concoction on a flame on our stove, set on high (I did then, and still do, cook EVERYTHING on HIGH) and then promptly left the house for a few hours. When I returned, there were 3 fire trucks lining the curb of our peaceful street. My mother’s state-of-the-art, Ultra-modern 1970s Avocado Green and Harvest Gold kitchen was now a smoky black hue. No one, including the local hummingbird population, was getting a meal out of that kitchen for a long while. Doris’ solution was to pack all 3 of her kids up in the station wagon and drive us 14 hours south to Orlando, Florida for a fabulous Disney World Dream Vacation, leaving our dad at home to deal with the aftermath and the contractors.
I think that’s why I never can seem to reconcile the way Jimmy overreacts when things things go a little awry like this. He persists in wading around in the muck and mire of finger-pointing and blame assignation instead of focusing on the fact that it’s raining in the kitchen – again.
No matter! I didn’t really need much help from him by then anyway, I had everything pretty much under control. There was really nothing much left to do, except say, “Happy Birthday! I’m still a RAINMAKER!” He wasn’t suitably amused, but people like me can be useful here in Oklahoma during our severe drought conditions.
When my mom heard what happened, she was speechless for a minute or two. But then after she thought about it for a second, she suggested we plan a trip to Florida, as our house will be teeming with pesky contractors for quite a while.
Anyway, I’m sorry I made it rain on my man’s birthday parade – but still, it’s not like we had anything else planned…