The Way Things Are






I just wanted to let you
2005-09-30, 4:43 p.m.

I just wanted to let you all know that even though I have now located the means by which to take pictures of the boxes, the untouched-up paint, the tools, and dust everywhere, I shall now commence to procrastinating until the house is PERFECT and I can present pictures here and you will all adore, admire, and maybe even want to BE me. Just a bit. A bit. Ah, the fun of being a perfectionist. (note to self: color hair this weekend FINALLY, ok?)

Iím sure that sentence reads like a verbal and emotional train wreck.

Well, DW is off to Dallas this week to play in an old man flag football tournament, not, as Frank supposed a day or two ago in the comments, to play for the Saints. It would take a disaster much bigger than a category 4 hurricane to score a halfway out-of-shape 43-year-old a place on a professional team, although I am sure that if they just gave him a chance, theyíd really value his input on the sidelines as some kind of motivational coordinator of some kind. He would DEFINITELY lead the prayers, and might digress into the evil of liberalism. Wouldnít that make a kind of a fun movie? Like ďThe ReplacementsĒ? I like sports movies.

You know whatís kind of chapping my ass today? Besides the heartbreak of psoriasis?* As SOON as that house is ďfinishedĒ (I use that term loosely, almost sluttily), what does the man do? Does he relax and hang around with his wife and bask in the glow of a ďfinishedĒ house? Does he hang out, finishing closet shelves and installing towel bars and shower curtain rods? No. He does not. He jumps into the old man flag football league, and is gone just as much in the evenings playing football as he was before, working on the house.

Honestly. Last night, it was the New Orleans Saints.** This whole weekend, itís the Cowboys.*** Will he ever stop playing football?

I have a to-do list a mile long for this weekend, and quite frankly, I really look forward to being alone**** to get all my stuff done without having to deal with, talk to, or clean up after other people. Just me, the dog, and Gary the carpenter, who has been instructed that he is to listen to ME and do what I deem to be the priorities. I will tell you all right here: a built-in cabinet for the freaking satellite receiver thing for the TV is NOT a priority. Just so weíre all clear on that.

*I do not now have, nor have I ever had, psoriasis. I understand itís heartbreaking.
**Well, he was playing football in San Antonio last night. Letís just leave it at that.
***Not really. Dallas, but not really.
****Alone with the carpenter, that is. Itís OK Ė I like him. Heís good people.

I can plow through a to-do list when Iím not interrupted, as long as thereís plenty of TLC and Court TV, and a bottle of wine to keep the busy, clicking, whirring part of my brain busy while I tend to the mundane business of vacumming sawdust out of bathroom cabinets and unpacking dishes.

In other better news, it is positively crisp today. It was less than 70 outside this morning, and has gotten no warmer than 90, I think. Fall is here! We can run our air conditioners without breaking them from overuse! Brrr Ė sweater weather.

But in other kinda -Ėeh-- news, I donít feel at home in the new house yet. I feel like Iím staying in somebody elseís house. Not in the sense that I somehow am not good enough to live there (Wow! This is so nice! It canít be mine!), but in the sense that itís weird (Hey! This is weird!). Howís that for descriptive? Yíall understand me now? Itís weird. Itís different. I have to take a lot of steps to do the things that I used to get done just standing still. Itís echoey because there are no rugs, and nothing hanging on the walls. The TVs work differently. The water smells and feels different. Itís super-dark at night. My worry of stepping on cockroaches barefoot in the middle of the night has been replaced by a worry of scorpions dropping on me from the a/c vent under cover of dark.

I donít know where we keep all our stuff yet, the stuff that has actually been put away. I donít know the light switches yet. Itís not as clean as I like my house to be. Our room is rather warm and stuffy, while our room at the old house was nice and cold. Thereís no high-speed internet. Yes ::gulp:: weíre going to be on dial-up. How did I ever okay the move into a neighborhood into which the wonders of cable have not yet been introduced?


The neighborhood I grew up in in Dallas was one of the last to get cable. In the world. In fact, I had never seen cable TV until I went to college, at which point I sat mesmerized in front of MTV for hours on end. When I moved to San Antonio for grad school, I was far too poor for cable. When Mr. Surly and I married, he refused to pay for cable, and went through all kinds of contorted procedures (1) stealing cable and (2) intercepting and deciphering other peoplesí satellite signals. One of the first things I did when he moved out was to call the cable company and get me a legitimate account.

And now? What the hell? What is this, Dallas c. 1981?

Sorry. This turned into a completely pointless and shallow rant about television, didnít it?


Anyway, thereís no great heartburn about the house, or about DWís midlife career as a flag football SUPAH STAH. Iím just feeling mildly discombobulated, and Iíve checked, and thereís no medication that works as an anti-discombobulant. I have to work hard all weekend to recombobulate myself, so that when I check in here on Monday, I am completely combobulated. I shall emerge triumphantly combobulant!

In the meantime, I donít enjoy hanging out in my room, watching ďWhat Not to WearĒ while folding laundry and sipping wine. I donít enjoy getting into bed to read a book. Iím not enjoying sitting at the dining room table, drinking coffee and reading the paper in the morning.

See? Itís weird. Or maybe, hmmmm, maybe Iím weird. I just have to get used to it. Or maybe, hmmmm, maybe it has to get used to me.

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