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WriteOut of Her Mind

by Kelly Waterhouse

Long weekends at home

Thank you, Queen Victoria for having a birthday at exactly the point in the calendar year where every Canadian is about to snap their elastic bands of sanity if they don’t get more than two consecutive days to play outside, whatever the weather.

The May long weekend is so much more than a holiday; it’s a survival goal. The reward is an imaginary pat on the back that says you survived another frigid, grey winter and a soggy, chilly spring and now, before you get your ridiculous hopes up for a warm, dry summer, you need a Monday off to right all the injustices in your world. Sign me up.

It’s just three days, so it’s important to spend your long weekend wisely. For the Carpenter and I this means we adopt the divide-and-conquer model for household chores: I get the inside, he gets the outside. It’s a division of labour that plays to each other’s strengths - and yes, I accept this means I get to clean toilets and he gets to garden. It doesn’t seem fair, but if you’ve seen me garden you’d know this is how nature intended it. We are going to get stuff done the only way we know how: separately.

The goal? To be married by Tuesday morning. Seems fair.

My joy will be hours of uninterrupted control over the music required to make housework fun. My tunes, my time.

The Carpenter’s bliss is a trip to the transfer station, (a.k.a. the dump), where I am certain there are poker games just waiting to happen for guys like him.  (There are some things in marriage you just don’t talk about. This is one of them. What happens at the dump stays at the dump. Sort of like what happens at the shoe store shows on my credit card receipt only. Never ask why there are so many shoe boxes. Hush.)

We happily coexist so long as we don’t interrupt one another’s efforts.

Somewhere around the midday though, hunger will draw us together for a quick lunch on the patio. We should never sit idle together because I guarantee we will embark in the dangerous game I call “visions of grandeur,” where we start to imagine epic designs for the ultimate back deck (and future hot tub), the garden oasis and landscape plans that will turn our town lot into a dream destination so my anti-social spouse never needs to leave home. We will construct these imaginary plans without the constraints of a budget, naturally, while we ignore the obvious signs of trauma to the current roof, which actually needs to be in the budget with priority status. Home ownership means there is always something that needs doing, and that stark reality will break up our vision session and get us back to the tasks at hand. By late afternoon, the day will end as most of our mutual best intentions do: with a nap, because long weekend naps are sacred.

Whatever happens this long weekend, we’ll unplug from routine. Set our own pace. Get stuff done. Turn up the tunes. Work a little. Dream a lot. And one day our visions of grandeur will become a reality. Truth be told, they already have, because home is the heart of everything.




Vol 50 Issue 20


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