Monday, January 30, 2012

Old Business

 I may as well admit it. Brian drives me nuts at times. Having been with him for over 40 years, I suppose that’s bound to happen. Who am I kidding – there were times he drove me nuts after six months.

It’s actually a little miracle that our marriage has lasted so long. We are polar opposites for the most part.  If someone asks him for a 7/16th wrench, he goes to his toolbox and there it is – in the same spot it has for over three decades. Same wrench.  If someone asked me for a pair of scissors, I say … ‘Okay – give me a minute.’, while I root through drawers and eventually come up with one of three dozen pairs of scissors I have strategically placed throughout the house.   

Once I was rushing with something on a deadline and somehow lost my good fabric scissors, mid-stream – I had been using them all morning.  I searched for an hour & finally had to have one of the girls go to the fabric store in town to get me another pair.  They were sold out. A fabric store out of scissors – what’s the chances? I was forced to institute St. Anthony. As I was standing there, giving him a few minutes to work his magic, the UPS truck drove in.  It was delivering a huge box of stuff that I had won at the Creative Needlework Show in Toronto - $800 worth.  Sure enough – there were scissors in there – three pair.  True story. Thanks Saint Anthony. I found the scissors a year later, in between layers of fabric

But I digress.  The issue is not that I get pulled through by some miracle, but that Brian never has to rely on that. He can put his hands on every single thing he owns at any given moment.  It bugs me.  When I need to borrow something from him, he makes me turn my back so I don’t see where he keeps it. That bugs me too.

And yet another thing that irritates me is his unswaying focus.  When he determines a task, he keeps his eye on it and does not waiver. He basically becomes obsessed with seeing it to completion. Me … one task is just a little blip on the road to another one.  I like to kind of think about my tasks – have a cup of tea, mull it over awhile in my head, see if anything better comes up.  Him … full steam ahead til he gets to the station.  Me … oh well, another train will come along. Or I may I decide to take the bus – there might be new and different scenery.

Take his project of stripping the hardwood floors in the kitchen. The plan was to take everything out, then do the outside by hand on one day, use the orbital sander the next and then get on to the three coats of finish.  On Day 1, the girls and I were out until 11 pm. The comment was “Knowing Dad, he’ll have started the floor today.’ My response was “Knowing your Dad he will have FINISHED sanding the floor today.” I won.  Not only totally done sanding, but there he was, finishing up the first coat of varnish at eleven o'clock at night. Who works at eleven o'clock at night on something like that.

I have been on my own mission in our January project of reviving the kitchen.  He did the floor, ceiling, trim, cupboards and table. I did the walls and the thinking.  I have one tiny little bit to do and the whole thing will be completely finished – every square inch. It’s the backsplash above the counter.  The colour is so close that no one would even notice it wasn’t done. But then it would not be ‘every square inch’.

I have the paint. I have the tape.  I have 2 days left in January to make my goal.  But, my focus is shifting. Some other stuff is calling.

Brian left for Toronto early this morning. Not that he knows or cares that I have left one little piece of my personal goal undone. It's MY goal.  I started heading towards my new project when his voice started seeping into my head … the same message I have heard time and time again over the years. His mantra:  “No new business before old business.”  I tried to quell it. It got louder.  ‘No new business! No new business!!’ Oh man. He's burrowed right into my conscience. It should bug me, but it doesn't - I know he's right.

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