Saturday, December 10, 2011

Manly Day, Ending Badly

Well, it started off as a manly day, but it's not ending in a pretty way.
I was up at 4:30 AM, fresh coffee in hand at 4:40 and read through four newspapers and the Huffington Post by 8. Put my clothes on, brushed my teeth, combed my hair, took my blood pressure medicine, fed the cats and began tossing the bags of trash into the back of my pickup by 9:30. By 10:30 I'd brought the trash to the dump and emptied my truck, had walked a mildly-manly but fast 1/2 mile around the track fast and come home and made Madeleina a good breakfast. I cleaned the kitchen, in a manly way, then took a manly nap. At 1 I got up and saw that I'd sold 10 copies of my book today--a lot--and then went out and raked all those beautiful leaves that fell like snow, like rain, the other day in the cold. Seven manly piles of about three large garbage bags each and I collected 4 of them, Madeleina collected one and we put them by the front fence. Emptied them on the front fence, outside, and told Madeleina it was fence mulch, to keep the weeds from growing there next summer.
"Nice try, dad, but I think you're just being too lazy to carry the leaves all the way back to the corner where we have all the mulch from the last 10 years. You know, the perpetually steaming pile of grass cuttings and leaves that will one day burst into flames and consume us all?"
Of course, she was right. I just didn't feel like doing those extra manly steps to way back there, particularly since the goats were in their own manly moods and bucking me every time they had a chance.
Getting on 3:30 PM, I decided to mow the lawn that had sprung up underneath the freshly fallen leaves--it looked like me, ready for a haircut--but discovered I was out of manly gas. So I strode mightily around the grounds until I found a plastic gasoline container and brought it to the truck for fueling. Then I told Madeleina to make haste and we were off to Walmart. I wish I could tell you that we were off to the local produce store, but it was closed, being Saturday. En route, I did another manly half-mile walk around the park, then walked a full mile around the Walmart Supercenter before entering.
I checked my blood pressure in a manly way while Madeleina looked for girly bluejeans. She's a girl so that was appropriate.
"Dad!!!!" she would exclaim later, "I'm down two sizes!!!! I am the blast, daddy-o!!!" and all I could do was smile in a simple dadly--not particularly manly but nicely dadly--way. Good for her. She's working hard and beginning to lose her baby fat and is so beautiful that when she smiles the whole world gets a little better.
And while she shopped for the jeans--we are going to the athletic store tomorrow for new sneakers for both of us--I shopped for spinach, chicken thighs, red onions--all manly things--plus a little fairly manly sharp cheddar cheese and sweetened condensed milk for the pretty manly banana bread I'm going to bake in a manly way tonight.
And so all that was manly and rigorous, more or less.
But all of it took all my manly prowess and when I came home and discovered that the little kittens had shit 12 times out of the box and on the floor, I lost my manliness and began crying like a Boehner. I really had a hissy-Gingrich fit and nearly sent snot up my Palin nose. Nonetheless I did a Pelosi, held my nose and cleaned up everybody else's shit, then did an Obama and washed it down with cleansing bleach so it wouldn't stink so bad, even if it was caused by my sworn enemies.
And then I washed my hands like Lyndon Johnson after he put his dick on the table in public view and dared the leaders of the Viet Cong to measure theirs to his, and began dinner. The dinner is a manly salmon filet in nice garlic'd olive oil, with a side of giant manly scallops, just four of them. All will be put on a bed of manly sauteed spinach--garlic olive oil and very manly balsamic vinegar with lots of good manly rough ground black pepper--and topped with a sauce I have not invented yet but which might include some ginger/diced onions/scallions/roasted sesame seeds, and which might just include some good shaved cheddar tonight just to check it out. I've got good and manly basmati rice left over from last night that's on low, and I have a small pot full of fresh green beans, yellow squash and broccoli that might work well as a veggie menage a trois if I can infuse a bit of fresh garlic and a videographer of olive oil and minced onion.
So it was all still going good till Madeleina, who presented me with a bill for her band for $244 this morning and the urgent, "Dad, I need this Monday. I don't know why you haven't paid it yet," plea, and then needed new jeans and now needs new sneakers tomorrow and then needs a real piano in January and refused to feed the goats, suddenly announced: "Dad, the Norton Anti-Virus program ran out today on my new computer. You better buy one now," and then suddenly, all the manly was gone from me. All the decency, all the strength. I have not paid the mortgage this month, or the water bill, or the electricity, or two of the three credit cards. Christmas is here and I don't know what the freak I'm supposed to do to fill those seven stockings or buy presents and I am doing as many manly things as possible but I cannot come up with another two hundred bucks for the Norton anti-virus. At least not on Saturday night.
So I screamed and yelled and in a very very un-manly manner tried to make Madeleina wish she'd never asked about that last straw.
But I know it wasn't manly on my part. It was just the little kid in me, afraid that I can't pay the bills this month and wondering if I'll be able to pay them next month. And I can do all the manly things in the world to puff myself up, but if I can't pay the bills, I'm not a hunter and if I'm not a hunter, I'm nothing. Not very manly at all.
But human.
Sorry I yelled, Madeleina.
I'll try to figure out something tomorrow. I'll do my best.


Unknown said...

What kind of piano does she need?

Peter Gorman said...

Any old used upright that has functioning keys and foot pedals and will maintain a decent tuning for a while.

Ben said...

Microsoft essentials.. Free and better than norton! :)