Monday, February 16, 2015

Colds, Batteries and Bunky Boards - Isn't It Romantic?

On Friday my husband came home from a business trip, and, deprived of my fair company for far too long, he rushed home to my arms - after getting his oil changed. While waiting he was actually going to buy me overpriced chocolates, but the line was long with hapless men who had no clue what they were getting. So my man came home, and I offered him my cheek, because I had a nasty cold, passed on from our rotten children. He then sprawled on the recliner, having gotten up at 4:30 am, and watched a MeTV marathon. I languished on the couch, giving him a watery look of longing every half hour or so.

On Saturday morning - Valentine's Day at last! - the battery died in our van as we were leaving for Matthew and the kids' soccer game; Matthew flexed his muscles and jumpstarted it with his manly cables and SUV. The game went well, except for the fact that we tied an old nemesis again and some moms from the other team, upset over perceived fouling on our part and probably high on milk chocolate kisses, challenged a few of our dads to a fight, one of them throwing her fancy phone down as a sort of dueling gesture. (I missed all this.) Leaving the field of goodwill, the van wouldn't go again, so we begged friends to aid us. Matthew, afraid to stop the van, very authoritatively and romantically demanded, "Get out!" as we passed the house, kicking the kids and me out of the vehicle on his way to the dealership to replace the battery. He spent a few hours there, contemplating how he was coming down with our cold x 10 because of his plane-weakened immune system and his reentrance into a house of germs.

Meanwhile I was home yelling at the kids, having inherited the BeEverAngryandRagewhileSick Syndrome, otherwise known as BEARS, from my dad. In between my bouts of extreme irritability I cleaned the house, told my kids to stop being bums and searched for the illusive lasagna recipe I was supposed to make for V-Day dinner.

Matthew came home, and not intimidated in the least by my out-of-control BEARS, shuttled the family back out of the house to shop for bunk beds. After hastily navigating several stores and eager salespeople, we finally realized the first store had a far better price then anyone, so in conclusion to weeks of waffling, we decided to purchase it. We really liked the sticker price until the salesman said casually, "Now, you know about bunky boards, right?"

I might have said, "No, is it some kind of torture device?"

He then showed us how without bunky boards the so-called "bunk beds" could not actually support the mattress, something which any reasonable person would assume they had been designed to do. But no, as I understand it, without bunky boards we risked our top kid falling on our bottom kid or we risked mattresses that could turn into hospital beds without all the fancy controls, folding our kids up slowly into precious upside down caterpillars.

Then we had to choose a mattress, but because the board shock had gotten to us first, we settled on a mattress that could possibly be viewed as a torture device by sensitive adults. Matthew, always the pragmatist, said it wasn't that bad. I comforted myself with the fact that the young uns' backs would surely recover someday, at least when they left home for college, and we could always buy a foam topper in the future.

The salesman cordially invited us to sit for the final total. He graciously told us delivery would cost us another $69. We then told him we would pick up the bed, board and mattress ourselves at which point he informed us that they didn't keep the merchandise in store. No! They kept it in a warehouse so far out west in the virtual wilds of this metropolis, that it could only be delivered to the store for a price.

Weary, ill, and stripped of all romance, we were about to drop out of the deal until he said he could waive the charge.

At home, our pockets whistling with the breeze as the money blew out of them, I told Matthew flatly, "I can't find my recipe, so I have no clue what's for dinner."

Not about to splurge on even the most economical take-out, he began a frantic search for it. I then finally remembered where I put it, and he insisted on helping to make it until I realized I didn't pick up fresh basil. We had bean, green chili and cheese burritos for supper, because the romance had so far removed itself from us that we no longer worried about gassiness.

The next morning our main sewer pipe backed up. I prayed the plumber would come in time for all of us to shower and leave for church. He did, and we bid a fond adieu to more of our money, took hasty showers, and made it to church on time. Then Matthew took a long nap in hopes of recovery from the weekend while I read the paper. Sadly, I had to wake him rather abruptly, so he could climb a ladder with a long, heavy, dangerous pole to poke some kid's football out of the high branches of our gargantuan eucalyptus tree.

Needless to say, there were no amorous interludes this weekend. The most romantic moment happened when we were watching episode 7 of Downton Abbey, and I cried because Robert's dog Isis is dying. Matthew glanced at me for a moment, his big brown eyes shining with something between sympathy and humor, before going back to his phone.

Then I exclaimed, "That was the best episode ever, don't you think?"

He responded a little too exuberantly, "Oh, it was!"

I think he was being sarcastic, the sexy devil. Isn't it romantic?


  1. Great post, needs to be syndicated.
    However, I resent my genes being blamed for yet another of your made-up emotional maladies - in this case, BEARS.
    I want to point out that I am not easily irritated, even when sick.
    Well; at least I am not the most easily irritated person in our family.
    Okay, maybe Plano, or Texas.
    On this continent, anyway.
    Perhaps the world.
    I am certain that there is someone on another planet somewhere that is more easily irritated than me. Perhaps even several of those nasty folks.....

    1. Ah, Papa...I wasn't exactly blaming you. Oh, okay - I was. But out of love and solidarity.

      And I, too, am certain that there are extraterrestrials more irritable than you and I. I will tell Matthew; it might console him.


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