(What Have I Gotten Myself Into)
This one’s about me this time. This past Saturday night, Carol fell into bed and sighed, “I need a day to do nothing.” I was thrilled for two reasons. First, I never thought I'd hear those words coming from The Little Engine That Could. Ayn Rand may claim the Virtue of Selfishness, but I own the Virtue of Idleness. Second, well, it was a wish to spend a day doing nothing, an offer I couldn't refuse.
After a leisurely Sunday breakfast (leisurely, because there were no prospects for anything afterwards) Carol asked if I'd read from A Walk in the Woods. “We could go to Irvine Park and sit under a tree.”
I was ecstatic. Sitting under a tree and reading was exactly what Carol had come to define as doing nothing, while, for me, it fulfilled my ideal of an active lifestyle. We’d hit a whole new level of compatibility!
This pastoral idyll was shortly shattered, however, by Carol’s reminder we should look for a new master bed. “We're moving in to the house tomorrow, remember.”
The furniture store was a short stroll from the hotel, so I figured it wouldn't be that much of an intrusion on our Day of Nothing. It wasn't. It was everything that came after that was.
The cascade (I hesitate to use terms like “avalanche,” “tsunami” or “dumpster fire") of events began when the furniture store could not deliver the bed on Monday.
“You need a bed to sleep in on Monday,” Carol said, her simple declarative carrying an ominous implication. “We'll have to get the bed I stored at Mimi's.” In the meantime, the realtor confirmed the house was available to move in on Sunday. That led to the clincher. “I'll call Mimi and see if it's okay to come get it today.”
Mimi was no help. “Sure. Come over about four.”
That left plenty of oh so recently “do nothing” time to go to Lowe's and get bungee cords to tie the bed to the top of the car (Carol has a car, as she is fond of saying), and then ride over to our new house to look things over.
There we immediately answered the question of whether or not we would need new carpets. Just as I was admiring how good the carpets looked and that would be one to-do we could cross off the list, Carol intoned, “Well, we definitely need new carpets.”
On the way over to Lowe's earlier, Carol had called the movers, who were surprisingly available next Saturday. Surprisingly I say, because I was surprised they hadn't said, “Oh, we can come out today!” But next Saturday meant getting the new carpet installed within the next five days, and was suddenly (why not “naturally”?) a very tight window. We'd have to hop on that project right away as well.
With some able and timely assistance from Mimi’s soon-to-be son-in-law, we were able to tie down the mattress and box spring to the top of the car. But we'd be on our own to off-load both items and get them into the house. Picture Melville having Ahab say, “Forget harpooning, boys. We’ll carry Moby Dick back to land,” and you have a pretty accurate visual of two approaching septuagenarians tag team wrestling a box spring and mattress into a double wide.
By the way, we did somehow manage that reading in the park, I should add (almost parenthetically). But even that got Madiganized. As I finished a chapter, Carol pointed to a trail and said, “Okay, let's go for a walk.”
I'll never look forward to her wish for a day of doing nothing the same way again.