April fools rush in where angels fear to tread

Miriam Richter

April 01, 1993|By Miriam Richter

YOU tried to pull the wool over my eyes, but I had my eyes peeled and could see the writing on the walls. And once I'd read between the lines, it was all I could do to bite the bullet and to keep from losing my cool.

I never would have thought that you, someone older than the hills, would leave me hanging -- and with the ball in my court, no less! Actually, I was none the worse for wear, but I was waiting with bells on while you beat around the bush, happy as a clam, pleased as punch and generally too big for your britches.

I'd always been taught not to look a gift horse in the mouth, but your telling me that the squeaky wheel gets the grease was really just the pot calling the kettle black. I don't care if you were just blowing off steam. You really flew off the handle, and you had me so up in arms over the whole kit and caboodle.

I was ready to give up the ghost and throw in the towel when I realized that I'd have to face the music because the whole problem was right up your alley. When they all saw the light and realized that you'd been lying like a rug, I was in hot water up to my neck! That really had me singing the blues until I remembered that every cloud has a silver lining, and that it was always darkest before the dawn. I was just whistling in the dark and looking for the light at the end of the tunnel, when I suddenly realized that I had to lay my cards on the table and throw caution to the wind!

But once the cows came home, it dawned on me that I'd gone off the deep end again, throwing the baby out with the bath water. In over my head, I knew that it was time to put my nose to the grindstone and use a little elbow grease. I tried to keep a stiff upper lip, although my legs had turned to jelly, because I knew that big girls don't cry over spilt milk. Of course, at that point I was between a rock and a hard place, on the horns of a dilemma since you were being a stick in the mud, and acting like you were bearing the weight of the world on your shoulders.

In all honesty, how was I to know that she'd taken the family jewels and gone laughing all the way to the bank? I'd thought that the rules of the road were written in stone, but then again, that was just something I'd heard through the grapevine. I would have gotten it straight from the horse's mouth, but the cat had gotten its tongue, and besides, I had just realized that I could lead it to water, but I couldn't make it drink.

The point is that I was burning rubber like a bat out of hell because I realized that a rolling stone gathers no moss, while he was moving as slow as molasses and trying to up the ante. That was just the icing on the cake! The whole thing should have been as easy as pie, but this really just tipped the scales off the chart. He must have been marching to the beat of a different drummer, so I refused to cough up the dough when he started calling in his chips. (I never thought he was playing with a full deck, anyway.)

And you! You were just trouble looking for a place to happen! Day in and day out you'd rise with the sun, insisting that the early bird always gets the worm. Once you'd had your cake, and eaten it, too, you'd always be singing a different tune, looking like the cat that ate the canary, in spite of the fact that a bird in hand is worth two in the bush. I don't care if beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I'll still never judge the book of love by its cover!

You were going off half-cocked when you flatly refused to act your age. There you were, walking around with a chip on your shoulder, cruising for a bruising and generally being a pain in the neck. But I did do a double take when you took that knuckle sandwich on the chin and then turned the other cheek.

Who would have thought that my letting the cat out of the bag would give him the chance to air all your dirty laundry? I know that it was the straw that broke the camel's back, so you put your skeletons back in the closet and shut the door on them, lock, stock and barrel.

But that still doesn't explain how you can see the world through rose-colored glasses even after being to hell and back. Even when I gave you the golden opportunity to skirt the issue, you were still bending over backward to make a mountain out of a molehill. And the whole time I was seeing red because even though I was pulling your leg, you'd managed to get the other one up, and were climbing the ladder of success! Who says that the road to hell is paved with good intentions? Not me! I took the high road and ended up taking a bad fall down into the dumps.

I would have given you the shirt off my back, but then I realized that you were already the one who wore the pants in the family. I knew that life hadn't dealt you a fair hand and that you had just begun to realize that when it rains it pours.

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