Back yard project day — it’s nice out, not too hot, so I decided today was the day to start the small planter project we’ve been planning. Buy the bricks and materials and get started. However, I conveniently forgot the lifting part. With my husband still recuperating and not allowed to lift more than 10 lbs. (which he happily reminded me), I lifted 370 lbs. of bricks onto my cart at Home Depot, begged nicely for someone to help me get them into the car, and then managed to get 300 lbs. of them up the stairs, through the house and into the back patio (which, yes, is on the upper level and, no, doesn’t have any other access short of helicopter) before deciding the cat box need to be cleaned, proving once again that anything is better than hard labor.
So, what does this have to do with men? Well, in addition to the fact that I decided a while back that everyone needs a wife (or an extra one), I’ve now decided everyone needs a husband or a mule or something that doesn’t mind carrying bricks. But, that’s not really it either.
While I was out today, I encountered several interesting men. First I came across a cool green guy standing on the very bricks I was looking for, like a sign — pointing them out so I wouldn’t miss them! He had the right attitude for helping with today’s home improvement project and aside from laughing out loud when I saw him, I was tempted to bring him home! (I opted for a photo instead, leaving him to point the way for the next shopper.)
Also at Home Depot, I had to admire the kid they sent to help me load my bricks — he couldn’t have weighed more than 90 lbs. Wet. And yet he hustled those bricks like they were nothing, loading 10 to my 2. I thanked him profusely and went about my errands.
On my way to the next stop, Target, I came to a stop light and noticed yet another person with a sign asking for cash, food, etc. ( I hate to see people like that because I feel so bad about it all. No one should be in that position. But that’s another post.) His sign made me laugh out loud (that’s twice in one day): “Ugly, broke and hungry. Please help!” The guy was far from ugly; he was well-weathered and scruffy looking but not ugly. I thought he had a great sense of humor so I gave him $10 and headed for Target, still laughing. [No photo for this one because when searching Google I was dismayed to find his sign was not original. Oh well, it made me laugh and netted the guy a few $.]
At Target I happened to enter the automatic doors behind a very well-dressed, very elderly couple, the man using two canes to help him balance. [Just an aside, don’t you just love how when someone gets older their clothes no longer fit correctly? His suit jacket hem was a little short, middle of the back — he’s obviously bent over a bit. Her skirt hem hung down in the middle back — she’s obviously dropped her butt somewhere along the way. It always makes me smile and rejoice that neither of those things will EVER happen to me.]
Back to Target and the couple in front of me. As they entered the store, he headed left at a fairly slow and steady pace, one cane, one foot, the other cane, the other foot. She immediately started poking through purses and things at the first display she found. He barked at her to hurry up, she barked back that she was right behind him and to just go ahead.
He continued down the main aisle, grumbling and every now and then chiding her to hurry up. I’m not sure why since he was moving so slowly. I finally found a way to pass them and headed into the shampoo aisle. When I came out to the main aisle again, they had caught up to me — he was in front of me, she still lagging behind. He was still barking at her and, this time from a rack of baby clothes, she told him to just be quiet and keep walking.
Between them they took up most of the aisle, with the help of the canes, and I just gave in and followed a ways behind. Every few steps, he stopped to look for her and chastise her loudly and she murmured an acknowledgement and kept picking over everything she passed.
As they progressed, he got louder and crabbier and she got slower and less focused. I began to notice people coming around corners to find the source of the fuss.
I lost them (well, her) in the laundry soap section. And, then found them again a few minutes later as I heard him complain loudly that she was a nuisance to shop with. “If you were any kind of help you’d figure out where the watches are. I know they’re around here somewhere.” They were about one aisle off the watches and I listened to them barking and chattering for a while before I nicely pointed them out to him.
Expecting a gruff reply, I was genuinely startled to hear him say, “Why, thank you young lady!” with a big smile. When I left them he was mosying over to the watch aisle and she was taking all the silver necklaces off the rack.
I decided later that she was getting slightly daft and he somewhat crotchety with age and that they’d probably been married for 75 years. High school sweethearts. It made me smile and appreciate my husband even more. I hope we’re together and still niggling each other over little things when we’re that old. As long as we’re doing it together, I’ll be happy.
So that you don’t worry that I’ve lost my edge, I’ll add here that I truly appreciated my husband and thanked my “lucky stars” (does anyone say that anymore?) for him all the way home. Until I walked in the door and he reminded me he could only lift 10 lbs.
I will get even.
Time to carry the last 70 lbs. of bricks up the stairs. *sigh*