2017-08-11 / Commentary

Trinkets of the Heart

I’m just saying...
Julia Rogers Hook

Most weekends my husband Marty spends at least one night at our house up on Lake Murray. This has become pretty much a trend since we got the place, and I often join him, but whether I go or not, I always expect him to head up there to “bond with nature” while I stay home and lunch with my girlfriends or see a movie or just chill out the entire weekend.

So, after a particularly ambitious (and clandestine) bout of internet shopping earlier in the week, when I got an unusually large amount of mail-ordered things delivered Thursday afternoon before he got home, I wasn’t really concerned about any negative feedback.

After all, these were things for the house and yard…not clothes or such for me. This was stuff for US! I wanted to dress up the yard a little bit, so I had ordered all these really unique and enchanting yard art pieces…things that add just that right amount of panache and a touch of flare! I was anxious to see them, but I could wait a day or two until Marty was safely ensconced at the lake.

I simply tucked them into a corner of the dining room and planned to open the box when he left, and then when he got back and they were all in place, it would take him a while to even notice them. It was the perfect plan!

Only he didn’t go.

AND he found my hiding place!

You can imagine my surprise (and chagrin) when I got home Friday afternoon and saw Marty sitting on our back porch! He was surrounded by opened cardboard boxes, mounds of packing materials, and yards of bubble wrap. Some of that Styrofoam stuff they use for fragile packages was stuck in his hair, which wasn’t quite combed into place. As a matter of fact…it looked like he had been running his hands through is hair. Backwards.

He was clutching a screwdriver—the tool, not the drink—and his face was all scrunched up in concentration as he was holding three pieces of multi-colored metal in his other hand.

OOPS. Busted!

“Hi honey!” I was all smiles as I walked out on the porch. “Whatcha doin’?”

He looked up dolefully at me and reached for his water glass, which I fervently hoped had more than plain water in it. He took a long sip, set the glass down, and spoke.

“Why?” he sighed holding up the screwdriver.

“Why what sweetie?”

“WHY is it that EVERYTHING you buy…and I mean EVERYTHING comes in PIECES??? WHY does EVERYTHING have to be PUT TOGETHER?”

“Well Marty…I’m sure they send things in pieces because it would be too hard to mail them otherwise. And some things are delicate and have to be carefully wrapped, you know….” I explained rationally.

“Oh I KNOW how delicate things are! And TINY! AND hard to hold while you’re putting them TOGETHER! BELIEVE me Julia….I KNOW ALL ABOUT THAT!” At this point he was sort of waving the screwdriver in the air and using it to enunciate his words. I was hoping he had a really good grip on it.

I spotted a pretty, multi-colored smiling sun face and scooped it up to show him.

“Look Marty…this is just one piece!” Victory was mine!

“THAT is one of THREE parts that have to be screwed together with TWO different SCREWDRIVERS!” He was holding up the other two parts of the wall hanging. I couldn’t help but notice exactly how “delicate” they were. They were also sharp so I wanted him to put them down.

“Oh Marty…thank you so much for doing this…but take a break now, huh? Let me just clean up this packaging, and you just relax, ok?”

He seemed to actually visibly calm down a little. He took a deep breath and sat back in his chair, setting the pieces down. I began to pick up some of the bubble wrap and paper and stuff it into a box.

A box that had another box in it.

Oh no!

Marty spotted it just before I could bury it under the bubble wrap.

“What’s this?” He reached over and took the smaller box out of the bigger one. “Oh LOOOOOK! We have ANOTHER package! Isn’t that great? Let’s open it, shall we?”

I took a step back as he whipped out his pocket knife and began slashing open the cardboard. I stealthily glanced up at the sky and prayed for a quick thunder storm to distract him, but all I saw was blue.

After much finagling and cutting and grunting, he got the box open and cut through the Styrofoam.

“Oh looook…” he said with his words dripping with sarcasm. “It’s another ‘darling little TRINKET’ for the yard!” He pulled out a small statue of a boy and a girl sitting on a bench about to kiss.

“It’s called ‘Puppy Love’ Marty!” I huffed. “And I thought it was cute! It’s US!”

“Yeah…it looks just like us,” he said slumping back in his chair again. “It’s just PRECIOUS!”

Marty doesn’t use the word “precious.” Ever.

I wonder if I can put a hold on our mail until he goes to the lake…

I’m just saying…

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