Recommended wine for today’s entry: A glass of Margan Shiraz Saignee, from the Hunter Valley in Australia. This is a dry rose that I had on Friday for the first time, and I am now a fan. Last night my friend Jody and I were teasing our friend Jan, who was nice enough to have us to dinner, about her penchant for pink, boxed wines. (We once had an intervention, but it didn’t stick.) I think Jan would like this wine; it may be just the thing to take her from spigot to corkscrew. You’ll like it too. And no, it’s not good manners to tease your host, but that’s why I don’t write an etiquette blog.
I think I may have gotten in trouble with God today. If so, I probably deserved it. I mean, I didn’t do anything that hurt anybody, but I may have harbored some bad thoughts.
First, at church I was praying. That’s good, right? For the children’s musical to end.
Then I took all the things I really need in life – my cell phone, a fresh glass of iced tea, a crossword puzzle with a super-sharp pencil and a good eraser, and the new issue of Good Housekeeping – and got all set up out by the pool. If this sounds like that scene from The Jerk where Steve Martin is leaving and he says, “Just this ashtray. And this paddle game, the ashtray and the paddle game and that’s all I need. And this remote control. The ashtray, the paddle game, and the remote control, and that’s all I need. And these matches. The ashtray, and these matches, and the remote control and the paddle ball. And this lamp.”
That is the greatest movie scene of all time and it is exactly what I look like when I go out to the pool. Except my hair is different than Steve Martin’s.
I didn’t mean to get off-track there, sorry, but sitting by the pool is where I really got on the wrong side of God. First, I coveted. And one of the screechy songs this morning was about the Ten Commandments. But I was looking at Good Housekeeping and it made me remember my friends Jan and Billy’s new addition and new kitchen that I saw last night. Wow, do I covet that. God was probably mad at me and my husband was for sure mad at me. What do I have to do to make you happy with your house? he said as he was rebuilding the insides of the grill so we don’t have to buy a new one. That’s simple, I said, let me move in with Jan and Billy. So now he is at the race track having fun and I am not.
Then I made fun of one of the Jonas Brothers – not only are they good Christians, nice, polite, talented and wholesome – but I think I even made fun of the one who’s diabetic. I didn’t make fun of him to his face, though. So it might be OK. And all I was thinking was, “holy crap (that might be an infraction too), if he knew he was going to be in pictures, couldn’t he mold his hair so that it was at least SYMMETRICAL? There’s always one side higher than the other. He looks like Gumby.
It was about this time that God gave me a little warning. I was walking around the pool and I discovered a snakeskin. Yep, it’s about three feet long and exceedingly ugly. Now I’m not afraid of a snakeskin. I’m afraid of the fresh-and-frisky snake that just dumped the dead weight and can now rise from a tight coil to strike at my heathen ankles faster than my synapses can send my legs to motion.
Settled safely back on my lounge, I started a puzzle. Good for awhile. But then I was consumed with bad thoughts about the man who does the announcing at the horse shows across the street. I hear him two weekends a month, droning on and on like Charlie Brown’s teacher. How am I supposed to concentrate on the Jonas Brothers article and my Wall Street Journal crossword puzzle with this in the background? So, I was thinking that if I were to run into him at say, Kroger, and I heard that voice ask the butcher about the ribeyes, I would recognize the drone and go berserk and claw at his throat.
From there, I just got grumpier and grumpier, scoffing at the article where some woman debates if it’s ever OK to lie to your kids. (I told my kids from an early age that I lie to them a lot and they’ll just have to be smart enough to know when I’m doing it.) I was just starting to rant about a woman who prefers potatoes that she describes as waxy — yuck — when the thunder and lightning started!
Then I had to get everything I needed – this cell phone, this tea, this perfectly sharpened pencil with an excellent eraser … – and, dodging lightning bolts, I ran like I was escaping the wrath of a rattler. So consider this my repentance. I’m very sorry.
But goodness, Gumby, symmetry. It’s all I ask.