I am a nit picker. I am problem focused, goal oriented and outcome driven. I am a perfectionist, and I am insecure. I occasionally have problems.
On Easter day I felt like a toad. I had gained four pounds and my new Easter dress was snug. I had a meltdown and went into fat mode. Fat mode is no place for an insecure perfectionist. I finally had Mark pray for me so as to be able to escape my abyss of self hatred. Did the trick. Recognized all the good things in my life not connected in any way shape or form with my shape or form. Day was then great...until about 2pm when Mark said, "let's put up the
I am a perfectionist. Mark is not. My credo, "Any job worth doing is worth doing well." Mark's credo, "The best is the enemy of the good." See a basic philosophical difference there? Has caused us no end of problems and this latest project was to be no exception.
I love to hang clothes on the line. Always have. Puts me at one with past, present and future. A farm woman thing maybe. This new rented house does not have a clothesline and the owners nixed us putting one in using cement. Mark likes to make me happy. (This statement alone should be enough to cure all my ills.) When the neighbor offered him her old clothesline he took it. It is a cast iron pole with a top resembling an open umbrella. Clothesline wire is strung between the ribs. It does not require cement to stand it up. It is home made and heavy as sin. We lifted the umbrella top off the pole and carried it over to our yard. We then dug the heavy pole out of a snow bank and also drug it home. That was two months ago. On Easter day in the rain Mark decided it was now time to put up this contraption. Said it would take ten minutes at the most. It took us five hours.
The PLAN was to, "Put the stake in the ground, slip the pole over the stake and then set the top on the pole." Now is always the time when our basic philosophical differences begin to tell.
I said, 'Is this the same size stake as the one we dug out of her yard? (He had gone to the store and bought a new stake a week earlier.) It doesn't look like it. Did you measure them?"
"Why do you always criticize anything I try to do?"
"I am not criticizing I am just asking. It looks smaller than the stake she had."
"Size doesn't matter," said he.... The new stake was indeed smaller. We then proceeded to pound the green and white steel fence stake into the ground. The rain was supposed to make the ground softer. It didn't. We took turns with the sledge and half and hour later it was in. "Now we just have to slip the pole over the stake."
"Which end goes in the ground," I asked? He looked perplexed. "I think it was the flange end," said he.
"I don't think so. I think the flange end will keep it from going far enough in the ground to stand up. I don't want it to wobble. With the skinnier stake I think it is going to wobble."
"You think I am an incompetent boob don't you? You are never satisfied I can do anything right." Things were getting warm in spite of the freezing rain.
"No I don't think you are an incompetent boob, I am just saying what I think."
"Just leave me alone and let me do this."
"Okay but I think you're wrong." Have you ever tried to pick up a cast iron clothes line pole and hold it up vertically even if you are mad at your wife? He couldn't lift it without my help. I went and got a ladder (which made him madder) he silently climbed up it, I stood the pole on end by leaning it on the ladder, and with both of us lifting we got it high enough to be able to drop it over the stake. It wobbled.
"Go get me some dowels. I will jam them on either side of the stake." I eventually found the darn things and he pounded them in. The ten minute project had now taken an hour and a half and I was soaked to the skin. (No raincoats, this was only to take ten minutes.) The pole was not solid but wobbled less. "Okay now lets put the top on." I decided ordering me around was better than no talking at all. We picked up the aluminum top and dropped it on. My clothes line looked like a slightly wonky open umbrella but at least it was up. With one small problem, it was at least eight feet tall. I am 5"5". "Maybe you could use a stool to hang the clothes," he said. He looked so dejected I decided to be nice.
"Lets get the sledge hammer and just pound it down some more," I suggested. He looked decidedly uncomfortable.
"We can't he said."
"Why I asked?'
"We've got the pole in upside down and the flange won't allow it to drop any further into the ground." I came unglued. I hate it that I swear. And on Easter day. I was so mad I cried. Mark felt worse. "We'll lift it off and just turn it over. It will all be fine." Remember the dowels? We could not get it off. And the rain continued. "Okay. I will just saw it off to the right height." Have you ever tried to saw off the top of a cast iron pole with a hacksaw, in the rain.
"You can't do that. It will make the pole wobble worse and it will take forever."
"Go away and leave me alone," he yelled. He never yells. He went and got the hack saw, climbed the ladder and began sawing. The pole wobbled.
"Hey, I yelled over the furious sawing, don't you need to measure that against my height?"
"No, I know how tall you are." I came over and stood by the pole.
"I think that is too short I said. The lines have to be tall enough to accommodate sheets." He ignored me and kept sawing. The pole kept wobbling. I went over and silently braced my body against the pole. He kept sawing. It was cold tedious hard work. We eventually began talking. A sort of comrade in arms feeling developed between us. We both felt a great sense of accomplishment when three hours later the pole was two feet shorter. We went and got the top and dropped it on. One of the ribs rested on my shoulder. I stood there in the rain exhausted, cold and angry. I had spent all afternoon doing something I had not wanted to do in the first place, and doing it in a way that went against every particle and fiber of my nature. I had a choice to make.
We went indoors, showered, sat in front of the fire and carb loaded. After much popcorn later, I decided in this instance "the best was the enemy of the good." I will simply hang the sheets in fourths. But, my perfectionist self is silently screaming.
Take care of yourselves. Love Bea