Eileen T. Donovan
4906 Terrence Dr.
Winston Salem, NC 27103
Word count: 1,000
By Eileen T. Donovan
“Why did we think this was a good idea?” I wondered. He is as happy as can be. Sure, it’s another new adventure, but why? Sometimes I think we move because we don’t know what else to do with our lives. He doesn’t have to worry about meeting and greeting new neighbors. He doesn’t have to help the kids fit in at school. He doesn’t have to try to fix dinner with half the pots and pans in boxes. He’s going to start his new job on Monday and fit right in with his colleagues. I’m the one who will be stuck at home faced with the enormous task of turning this monstrosity into a home. Oh, and did I mention – this house is a monstrosity. The kitchen and both bathrooms need to be completely gutted and redone. There’s a freestanding stone fireplace between the dining room and the living room that’s nine feet wide and goes right up to the ceiling. It is definitely a behemoth of a fireplace, and an ugly one to boot. According to the realtor: “All those stones came from the fields right around here. All picked by hand. Isn’t it a beauty!” Of course, he fell in love with it the minute we walked through he door. I never stood a chance. The kids love the woods behind the house and the great driveway, which will be just perfect for sledding. Perfect! It’s so steep; I’ll probably kill myself going down it the first time it snows. And, to add to my almost nervous breakdown state, the movers told me there’s a creek about twenty-five feet below on the opposite side of the road.
“Be real careful on that driveway Miss. We don’t wanna hear about you goin in the creek.” Nice parting words from my solicitous southern, always gentlemen, movers.
Now, where do I start? I guess the kids’ bedrooms would be first. But where are the kids? Oh, that’s right. He took them into town so I could have some “quiet time” to put the house in order. How generous of him! Doesn’t he realize I need the kids here to set up their rooms? What was he thinking? Why didn’t I stop him? Have I totally lost my mind? I think I’ll make myself a drink and sit on the patio until they come home. About the only think that looks organized right now are those wicker chairs out there. There has to be a better way to make our lives interesting or exciting than moving every three years. The drink, the patio will have to wait. I can’t possibly relax with a thousand boxes to unpack. Where to begin? I know it will all work out, it always does. But, I think tonight we will go into town, have dinner, stay at the hotel, and then tackle this mess tomorrow. Everything looks better in the morning. Oh Lord, now I’m beginning to sound like Scarlett O’Hara. I am definitely losing my mind.
“Mom! Mom! I decided to paint my room orange! Dad said I could. We even bought the paint while we were in town. Isn’t that great? Dad said it would be one less thing for you to worry about. I’m going to love my room. It will be just like living inside a pumpkin, or having Halloween all year long. I can’t wait to get started. Can we start right now, Mom? Can we?"
Maybe I should just blow my brains our right now. A PUMPKIN? ORANGE? What was he thinking?
“Okay hon, well maybe not right now. There are so many boxers in your room; we need to clear up some space first. Let’s look at it tomorrow, okay?” Scarlett O’Hara again! What is wrong with me? What happened to the independent businesswoman I used to be? Oh, that’s right; I got married and became a stay-at-home-mom. What a smart move that was! Now everyone in this family makes decisions except me.
“Mom, I can’t decide if my room should be NY Giants blue or San Francisco 49er’s red. Which one do you like?”
Oh my God, I’m being asked for my opinion and I don’t want either of those colors in my house. But if one room is going to be pumpkin; I guess it really doesn’t matter what color the other bedroom is painted.
“Gee hon, I don’t know. I like the Giants, but your Dad’s a 49er’s fan. I thought you liked the Packers. Why don’t you paint your room yellow for the Packers?”
Did I just say that? Now I know I’m losing my mind.
“I guess I’ll think about it for a while. What color is your room going to be?”
“Well, I hadn’t thought about it just yet.”
Amazing! How did I not think about it! Could it be the thousand other things that are wrecking havoc inside my brain? Could it be the image of stringing my husband up from the hooks on the patio instead of the usual mundane flower baskets? Could it be that I really am losing my mind?
“Tony, hon, what do you think about our bedroom?”
“Oh, I’ll leave that up to you, sweetie. I know how you get a kick out of decorating.”
Right now, I would get a kick out of kicking you right in the nuts. STOP! STOP! Breathe!!
“Well, I guess I’ll have to think it over for a little bit, okay?”
“”Sure, whatever you say sweetie. After all, we’re not going anywhere. We just got here.”
Not going anywhere! That’s what he says every time we move –“This will be our last house. This time we really lucked out and found everything we could want or need.”
Until the next opportunity/possibility of a transfer/wanderlust kicks in.
As I watch Tony and the kids grabbing paper plates and slices of pizza (“Thought we’d just bring home a pizza so you didn’t have to worry about dinner.”) I think maybe this will be the last move, maybe this is the perfect house. Nah! But, in the spirit of Scarlett O’Hara, I grab a slice and tell myself that I’ll deal with it tomorrow.
Eileen T. Donovan