I don’t know about any other gals, but 19 years ago when I said, “I Do,” I didn’t give one darn about whether the Handsome Groom could drywall like a champ, or, on the more basic level, even fix a leaky faucet. Does anybody?
I married him for his intelligence, wit and that mysterious Half-Latin machismo that got me so stirred up at our first lunch date my calves literally burst through my pantyhose – and he didn’t mind!!!!
Then things started to break around the house. ALOT of things. In conversations with my husband about what needed fixing, I started to feel like Emily Newhart and her adorable, book-smart, practical Bob.
Fortunately, my lawyer husband had plenty o’ handy clients who were good-hearted and just a phone call away. Problems solved! At least some of them. I learned that certain men who are genetically challenged in the handy department are also – well, to put it bluntly, pretty lousy GRILLERS, too! We had our share of well-intentioned dinner parties where the guests walked away wondering, “What the hell was that mystery meat I was just served?”.
It was fine, though, we lived in the city and any deficiency of the homemaking sort (I am neglecting to tell you that I, the “Pumpered” Princess, as our Argentinian cousin lovingly refers to me, am completely worthless around the house) was easily solved by finding a “service.”
In 2002, now with two babies, our perfectly appointed household “rescue team” went away because we moved to…..and I shudder to say this …… THE COUNTRY!
In Southern Kansas, a fellow knows how to do many handy things – to infinity. We bought 34 acres – to do what with, I am still mystified. But there went “Brender and Eddie” while their city friends waved goodbye…..
My husband immediately traded in his BMW with lovely seat warmers for a bright red F-150 pick up truck. Perfectly Appalling, Right?
“What are you going to do with a pickup truck?” I calmly inquired one day. Oh, his eyes lit up with wonder as if he had seen Jesus himself as he replied, “You know, haul shit and stuff.”
Okay. That’s fine. We can do this, my Inner Diva told me – we can rise above our pathetic City Helplessness and conquer the untame land of the heartiest souls on Earth known as…...KANSANS. Yes, that very special place where people throw parties to, of all things – burn their land! The place that was once referred to by a City Transplant not terribly unlike myself in the 1800’s as “The land of grasshoppers and drought.”
Soon, our lives became an adventure and our completely privileged and helpless demeanor became a source of entertainment for the locals. One time I was advised to seek advice from the Farmers at the local “CO-OP” about our barn swallow problem. These awful creatures build mud nests on your home then sit atop your roof (because they basically own you at this point) protecting their young. “How do they protect their young?,” did I hear you ask? By divebombing the eyeballs of any threat. So, I put my signature red lipstick on and drove to town to this apparent shrine of intelligence, the Co-op. I was told to tape plastic snakes near the nest of the barn swallow and assured that my problem would soon disappear. What I would give today to hear those farmers’ howls as I left from the Co-op on a mission to the local Dollar Store in pursuit of plastic snakes. The joke was on me: it did not work.
Finally, exasperated by our complete incompetence, I suggested we do something as a family that would be good for the community. We were matched with a Little from the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. He visited every Sunday. Success! And you know what? My sweet husband and son were the kindest, most patient souls with this lost little boy.
Fortunately, for me, our time in the land of awe-inspiring sunsets had an end – because I am just a girl who needs the comforts of a city. George Lopez once said, “I need to get back to horrible crime, terrible parking and great Chinese food!”. But we did have a lot of laughs, and I grew to accept my husband – and his adorable, quirky, country-wanna-be self.
We did what we could to “work the land” we bought and had some memorable bonfire parties in the canyon behind our home. But, alas, the city beckoned us back.
And now “Bob and Emily” are back where they belong – laughing and reminiscing about the times we had trying to be RUGGED INDIVIDUALISTS.