Subourbon Mom

October 9, 2012, 2:00 am
Filed under: Misc. Humor | Tags: , , ,

I have a new word– “redundies. ”

“Redundies–” the act of repeatedly dropping and picking up the same pair of underwear over and over when you are carrying a load of clothes to the laundry.

Apparently, I do not learn from doing things incorrectly the first time. Or the second. Not only do I repeatedly stoop and pick up the same pair of underwear when it drops over and over on the way to the laundry room (instead of shifting the pile or actually placing the load in a laundry basket), but I do the same thing with the piece of lint that the vacuum won’t pick up. I look at it, stoop down and pick it up, then place it on the floor again to see if the vacuum will work better this time. Do I bother to just toss it in the trash? Of course not.

For years I’ve been doing things like this. Cleaning the house is one giant “redundie” for me. Why else would a person vacuum, mop, wipe and dust a place that in ten minutes will look exactly the same? And yet we do it over an over and over!

But a couple of years ago I finally learned how to use this trait for good.

A friend once told me his wife said he was “an Eighty-Percenter.” That meant that whenever there was a project to be done, he was happy as long as it was eighty percent done, or done eighty percent correctly. I’m more like a Sixty-Percenter. Especially when it comes to painting. I just want color. I don’t particularly care about ceiling lines and chair rails and bannisters.

But Hubby does.

One day, it dawned on me that if I only did my usual Sixty-Percenter job on a project, he would HAVE to finish it. A Ninety- or One Hundred-Percenter cannot stand it if something is done less. So, periodically I would threaten to start a project, knowing Hubby would never be satisfied with my half-assed job, and would be compelled to finish it. Hubby never seemed to recognize this pattern.

Recently, I tried it again. I threatened to start a painting job we’d been putting off for months (ok, twelve years–we still had builder’s grade white paint on a few of the walls in the house). Hubby, the One Hundred-Percenter, panicked. He went to the fancy paint store (no Lowes or Home Depot for the One Hundred-Percenter) and purchased two gallons of paint in some flavor of “sand.”

There was nothing sand-colored about it. It was yellow. Margarine that has been sitting on the counter three days too long yellow. We stood staring up at the one painted corner unitl 7:00, then decided we should get something else. So, it being a holiday and the store already closed, we kicked back with our drinks and vowed to go back the next day. (And no, it never crossed our minds to get the little sample sizes, slap them on the wall, wait several days while we observed the light at different times like modern-day Michaelangelos. We are people of action. Watching and waiting do not become us.)

The next day, in we went back to the fancy paint store with Daughter #2, fresh from the stable and under protest in her stained and smelly jodphurs and boots. Daughter #2, never paralyzed with decision-making like some members of this family, marched over to the paint swatches, yanked one out and pronounced, “This is the one you want. Can we go now?”

Sure enough, it was pretty darn close to what we’d talked about. Victory was within my grasp. The house would be painted, Hubby would be house-bound for days to keep me company, and I wouldn’t have to do any of it!

Then my plan totally backfired.

I was not only allowed to tape the edges of our work space, but I was also allowed to actually use the roller and paint the big spaces. But despite the fact that I would have to re-wire our entire relationship in my head, my heart sang, my spirits soared, and I went to work with great gusto. Why? Because I knew a small miracle had happened in our Subourbon home.

After being together for twenty-two years, we had GROWN as a couple. There was a new level of trust in our relationship. Not only was I being allowed to paint, I was being allowed to paint the foyer, the very first place people will see when they walk in. My One Hundred-Percenter had trusted ME with such an important space. Naturally, I was on the receiving end of ample instruction on how to use the roller, how to hold it, where to start rolling, how to smooth out the globs I’d left behind, when to inhale, when to exhale, etc.

But hey, it’s a baby step.

Any miracles after twenty-two years should be celebrated. Maybe I’ll embrace the “redundies” and clean the house this weekend!

3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Wow!! Another great read…and so true. Way to go daughter #2, she just might have saved your marriage…ha ha


Comment by stephaniehudnell

Perfection is the enemy of accomplishment.


Comment by tom fuhrman

Great story, love that daughter. I may have to borrow her, I can’t pick paint either, I just panic, paralyze and over analyze. Picking the paint for the jumps took over 30 minutes to decide and they aren’t even in the house.

Love the underlying message even better.


Comment by Kimberly Anderson

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