Sunday, October 24, 2010

The perfect banana

I swear I am not a blog addict, and in fact came upon this through the twitter feed of some sports writer I enjoy. There has been no contact with the author and I've never even read another post by this author. However the credit for the inspiration of this post is here. It is well worth the read.

A lot of times we struggle with the idyllic perception of perfection only to come up short. Recently I had a bulbous pimple right on my sit spot that forced me, in humiliating fashion, to ask my wife to examine and perform surgery. My wife, the great sport, sympathetically told me, "No." My struggles in marriage.

Earlier today my wife exclaimed that I should attempt to feed Sadie. All of my previous attempts involved massive baby meltdowns complete with mucus spit ups. When our crying alto soloist gets worked up into a nice sweaty ball of uncontrollable angst - she'll calm down a moment and then wretch, bulge her eyes and then eject viscous clear liquid I can only describe as "sticky" and "ew." My association of feeding Sadie solids has been one of hazard. She actually did not work herself into a tizzy today, but instead tried a new tact. Her mouth became a sealed vault where nothing shall pass. After 10 tries of ramming a banana puree loaded spoon against her sealed mouth, exacerbated, I handed over the tools to my wife. Immediately my daughters mouth became unsealed, wagged, and pleaded for mom to insert her favorite food into her cavernous welcoming gobbling spot. Hands into the air, hmpth's stated, I sat on a couch watching my daughter ravenously devour. My struggles with daughter.

I am the king of poorly executed DIY projects. I am a perfect engineer in that I understand how to do everything, how everything works and why things need to happen in a particular way. I am however, poor in execution. Actually poor is a bit generous. In Arizona we do not have lawns. Actually lawns are frowned upon as they use a lot of water and generally have to be seeded twice per year for each season (hot and less hot). We do have a lot of shade trees and drought tolerant bushes.

Huge industry revolves around people trimming bushes to look like spherical lollipops or cubist paintings. Apparently it is totally taboo to have any sort of plant adhere to its natural shape; instead we must manufacture man's touch upon nature and turn these growing monstrosities into neat geometrical shapes. We have 9 bushes in our front yard of which 4.5 actually require attention more than once a year. When we moved into our house I was approached by a company who trims bushes.
"How much?"
"Is that a yearly fee?"
"Each time - $40."
"I have 4 bushes to trim. Is that ten dollars a bush?"
"Flat fee per house."

I bought an electric hedge trimmer for 40 bucks 3 years ago. I used it yesterday. My shapes aren't very good, but they pass the almighty HOA's pay-a-fine-for-ugly-bushes test. I think my neighbors hate me. Yet I'm contemplating whether or not 40 bucks is worth it.

We have a pool. Standing water, potable water, is a precious resource for insects. Last year hornets laid claim to our pool. I know right where their nest is - approximately. Their lair of hatred and pointy stingers and terror is somewhere in the middle of the biggest bush. The one that requires the most attention. Yesterday I got out the trimmers, unrolled the extension cord, examined the biggest bush, and immediately rolled the extension cord to other bushes with less growth and no hornets. Once the weather cools they go dormant and I can trim the bush and attempt to kill their nest. It is not yet cool enough.

As I was nearly done trimming the last bush in my daily work (the size of my trash can limits me to two bushes a weekend) I got stung. By a hornet. On my thumb. I immediately squealed like a girl, fought off big tears, and stormed inside complete with a slammed door. I promptly held out my throbbing thumb to my wife who shrugged her shoulders and said, "Yes, it hurts" and continued doing whatever thing it was that didn't include sympathy to me. My struggles doing manly things.

I'm not perfect, my family is not perfect and all the people who I come in contact with - certainly not perfect. But I wouldn't change any of it. In fact, I revel in it.

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