FEEL GOOD FRIDAY: A Streaming Consciousness
Some weeks, I have a lot to say and words fall like raindrops onto the page. This week I just have thoughts, random and spotty thoughts without any common theme tying them together. I suppose this is representative of my life, in that, the story is not always clear, but simply a collection of fragmented daily moments that, which when blended through the magical alchemy of living them, become more than the story of a moment. They become the story of a life.
“Dad… DAD….DAADDDYYY!!!” And so begins my daily dance. I never answer the first time, because I like the fairytale idea that she might fall back asleep or forget that I am here. She never does. She persists and will persist until I move from my comfortable spot and begin my morning service. As I enter her bedroom, she asks, “What took so long?” I reply that I was comfortable and did not want to leave my blanket and warm spot on the couch to get her stuff. I say this very sincerely, but she just rolls her eyes in disbelief. She cannot comprehend that I might prefer my own comfort over doing things that improves hers. This seems to be a common idea in my house. I am built to serve, period.
Now and then, I will revolt. I will not answer the call. I will not start the shower or make the sandwich or melt the cheese on the after-school quesadilla. Some days, I will not make coffee or breakfast or find shoes. Some days, I say “screw it”. Though I think it is easier just doing it than listening to the incessant complaining when I don’t, sometimes a man has to make a stand.
My little revolutions are rare and don’t make any difference in how my household is run. It is not run by me. My wife and kids rule. I understand this and they understand this. And while I may sound whiny and ungrateful for all that I receive from them. I assure you, I am not…well, maybe I’m kind of whiny…but not ungrateful. My wife works harder than anyone I have ever known. My kids are good kids with good grades and good friends and even adults unrelated to them, like them…for the most part. This says something. I like a many kids unrelated to me, but not all of them. Kids are kind of annoying, mine included, but I don’t have any choice about dealing with mine. So, having kids that most adults don’t mind being around is, to me, a positive. Or having friends that don’t tell me that my kids are annoying is a positive. Either way, I’m protected from feeling like a bigger failure as a parent than I already do.
In our living room, we have plant. It is a palmy-type of thing and it is not healthy. The fronds are yellowing and the stalks are dry and cracked. The cause is unknown. We water it, not too much, just enough. It gets sunlight, enough, not too much. But this sucker is knocking on death’s door. The other day, we noticed some dirt in the planter had been “disturbed”. Actually, my wife’s little dog, Grace, had dug a big hole and we suspected she may have been peeing in this planter. My wife took it harder than I did. Grace is pretty spoiled, but my wife still takes it personally when this dumb little dog behaves too much like a dog. Normally, this involves her pooping or peeing in the house. “Correction” is swift and sure. My wife is small, but fierce, with a heavy hand.
While discussing the mystery of the dying plant my wife asked me if I had done anything to it. Due to the fact that I don’t really care if this plant lives or dies, I was only half-listening and replied, thoughtlessly, “I don’t think so. I mean I put a booger in there the other day.” This statement, once again, proved to me that unfortunately my mouth works faster than my brain. Following my admission, my wife looked at me, dumbfounded, then left the room to, no doubt, ponder all of the other options she had to choose from in her choice of husband.
During her absence, I understood that whoever said, “Honesty is the best policy” was an idiot of magnificent proportions, only outdone by a slow-thinking slob of a man who would first commit and then admit to such a crime. Honesty was not the best policy in this case by a long shot. Oh well, I guess breakfast tomorrow better be a good one.
[EDITOR'S NOTE:"Feel Good Friday" is a regular column written by Des Moines resident Dave Markwell, who extols to all neighbors: "Enjoy where we live. Put your feet on the pavement and truly feel how great it is to live here!" Also, you can "friend" Dave on Facebook here. Or work out with him at his new exercise company Waterland CrossFit!]