Years ago, I called my spouse in a panic one afternoon. I was one block away from the paint recycling station, with a collection of used, partially full paint cans. I thought I had taken my left-hand turn gingerly enough, but...no. A nearly full can tipped over, the lid popped off, and a very large pool of Martha Stewart’s mustard yellow paint plopped onto the carpet of our car. I never really liked Martha in the first place. This sealed the deal.
I was panicked because a gallon of paint was loose on the floor of our car, and I was miles away from home. I was mad and I needed somebody to blame. But I was the only person in the car. I was the only person who put those paint cans IN the car. I was the only person who didn’t check to see if the lids were on tight. HA! Clearly, it’s Mrs. C’s fault! So I called her.
What does she mean, “what?” Don’t play that calm and collected game with me, lady. I invented that game!
“You heard me!!!”
“The yellow paint spilled?”
“Oh no...how much?”
Ooh, that’s priceless...she’s the one that brought Martha-in-a-can home to adorn our kitchen walls, only to find that her designer yellow looked like diaper goo. She knew exactly "how much." We had nearly a full gallon...well, before I managed to spill it, that is.
“How much?! ALL of it!!!”
“....well, what do you need from me?”
And this, friends, was the moment the world slowed down to a crawl, and I was the only person on the planet still operating in real-time. One of those split-seconds at which I know I’m about to say something regrettably stupid. Still, I proceed because I’m preprogrammed to be an idiot during these moments.
Brilliant, Kel..Really? That was your big profound thing you needed from her?
That statement hung in the air momentarily, unsupported...like a hot air balloon that was about to experience a rapid descent and a crash landing.
There was a long silence, like maybe we were cut off or something.
...”did you hear me?!”
Geez, I’m going to have to spell out my plan for her. Hmmm...I’d better make up a plan while I’m talking.
“I need you to get the garden hose ready...”
Yes, the stupidity just kept going from there. Not one of my proudest days. We never got the paint completely out of the carpet. We eventually just got rid of the car.
Nowadays we can laugh about that interaction. “Do Something!” is one of those framed memories in our journey that just hangs by itself on the wall of infamous blurtations.
My spouse seems to understand that there are not always explanations for the things I say or do, but she seems to stay committed to the idea of keeping me around.
Besides, I’m much more careful on left turns these days.