As Molding Snapped In The Wind, A Marriage Held Fast

janet's world

April 19, 2009|By Janet Gilbert | Janet Gilbert,Special to The Baltimore Sun

There are two types of people in this world: those who will drive home from the Home Depot with a big hunk of trim sticking out of their car window and those who will say "I told you so" afterward.

Oftentimes, these people are married.

If you are a regular reader, you are probably accurately predicting which adult in Janet's World was the proponent of driving a 10-foot car with a 12-foot piece of molding sticking out the passenger window. And to you I say, "Thank you, regular reader. Your faithfulness is rewarded with your correctness."

You see, I like to get things done. I don't like to make multiple trips, especially for something as needless as exchanging cars to be sure the items you purchased fit inside. I also like adventure, though not always in the form of projectile molding. But sometimes things get a little crazy when you are rushing about in the "repair" stage of life.

When you are newlyweds in your first home, you often journey to the Home Depot to buy all sorts of new things: new curbside trash cans, new blinds, new storm doors, new plants for your foundation beds. This is the kind of money you don't mind spending, because it results in a visible improvement that is exciting and - let's face it - new! Lots of times in this particular life stage, you have a spanking new vehicle to accommodate all these purchases. Before you know it, you'll be loading that thing up with new child safety seats.

Fast-forward about 20 years. That same minivan, having survived a close encounter of the Bambi kind and now boasting more than 120,000 miles, is off at college with your oldest child. Suddenly you find yourself heading to the Home Depot for considerably less glamorous reasons - to repair or replace all sorts of stuff. And you just might be running your errands in a "greener," downsized vehicle - in our case, a Toyota Yaris.

Recently, we drove our cozy, mobile crate to the Home Depot for a piece of trim to repair a drywall gap under a bank of cabinets in the kitchen. Noting that it came in 12-foot lengths, my husband said, "Maybe we should go home and get the Explorer."

"It's a short drive," I said. "I'll just hold it out the window."

We positioned the trim kitty-cornered in the Yaris. I climbed in and ducked under the thin strip of wood, holding it firmly in my fist alongside the hood, out the front window.

"I don't know about this," my husband said. "I think we should tie it down."

"Don't worry, I've got it," I said.

"We'll take back roads," he said.

It was a windy day, and I could feel the trim bending in the breeze whenever we accelerated over 25 mph.

"So far, so good!" I exclaimed as we turned onto a main road, smiling brightly at my husband. From the look on his face, I wondered whether he might sometimes prefer his stressful job to some of his weekend activities.

In an effort to ease his worried mind and give him that extra boost of confidence, I raised my arm holding the trim just a fraction, saying, "Would you look at how flexible this stuff is?"

At which point we heard a massive crack, and the trim snapped off just in front of my fist and went sailing off into a random front yard.

My husband quietly pulled into the next driveway and got out of the car to pick up the trim. Now he would have to repair the trim, before repairing the drywall gap with the trim.

To be truthful, he didn't say, "I told you so." He just got in the car and smiled the kind of smile Ricky used to smile at Lucy.

I guess he believes a sense of humor makes a nice trim on true love.

To contact Janet Gilbert or hear podcasts, go to www.janetgilbert.net.

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