The past week has been dominated by two things: working myself to death in the garden, and the slow realization that I am actually married to an absentminded inventor.
That my husband’s job title is “inventor” is indisputable. He designs, builds, and sells electronic equipment and he’s damned good at it. He gets nice emails telling him he’s a genius all the time. Over the past nine years, understanding that he’s an Inventor might possibly have been of some help to me, had either of us fit the appropriate archetypes for our characters. Him: a pudgy benevolent graybeard gently pottering about the house, leaving teacups in his slippers. Me: the affectionately tolerant wife, trailing after him to clear up his debris.
Unfortunately I’m a bad housekeeper who doesn’t notice trails of debris until they fall on me, and also unfortunately, while my husband is gentle and benevolent, he is also a large man with a fearsome Resting Bitch Face. He’s been untangling a tricksy piece of code this week, and as a result I’ve spent a serious amount of time wondering if I should fear for my safety when in reality he just wants to know what’s gone wrong with his XOR operator.
Because he’s preoccupied with this problem, and because the weather finally got nice, I’ve been escaping to the garden. I have twin mountains of nine yards of garden soil and five yards of mulch to dispose of, as well as a lot of planting to do, so I’ve been getting to it. This has led to sunburns and exhaustion and a lot of positive talk from my FitBit; also I have the planting nearly finished and the mountain of garden soil severely reduced. Today, Memorial Day, the sun did me the favor of going behind a cloud for a bit, so I worked on the pile of mulch, which happens to sit exactly where my Mother’s Day raised garden beds are supposed to go.
Wait wait, you say. Wasn’t Mother’s Day a long time ago?
Indeed it was. On Mother’s Day, my husband ordered lumber to build four 4×12 raised beds for me to garden in, because I’m a hopeless mess with arranging our veg patch tidily. The lumber was supposed to be delivered the following Thursday.
And it wasn’t. And no one called. And I was frantically shoveling dirt and my husband was scowling at his XOR operators, so we didn’t notice until another week had gone by. He phoned Home Depot; he was assured they’d straighten it out and call back within the hour; they never called back.
The next morning he had to call them again to convey his Resting Bitch Face over the phone. Forty-five minutes later they admitted they had sold us material they had no means of delivering, and hadn’t bothered to call to explain this, all the while having charged us on the day the order was made and making no effort to return the money.
I had a Resting Bitch Face too, by this point, but after he brought them to confession, they refunded our money and he ordered different lumber. Which is supposed to be delivered this coming Thursday.
We’ll see. In the meantime, I’ve planted thirty hostas and a dozen other plants in my forest garden, planted a 7×40 herbaceous border and halfway mulched it, straightened out the tangle in the veg garden, and had a fit of hysterics when my husband, still thinking about XOR operators, accidentally stepped on a baby hosta. I still have the forest garden and half the herbaceous border to mulch, hay to lay down in the vegetable patch, raised beds (eventually) to fill and plant, and Guilder to blame for it.
And that, dear literary agent, is why I’ve written no more than 400 words any evening this week. In two different books. That you haven’t heard about.