|Millet - Gleaners|
I'd been supposing I should mow all week, but never got around to it. I used every excuse I could think of. My bee phobia. Potential rain. Potential wind, sunshine and maybe the need to be at the ready to fetch a sick kid from school. How would I hear the phone if I had my iPod set to deafen and the mower going?
Yesterday, I did what is most effective for me. I dove into the job without over thinking it. When MathMan came home from baseball practice, he noted that I'd been a busy beaver. Oh, baby, I can do it all. Oven fried chicken, corn pudding, strawberry shortcake and a pile of leaves that stretches from here to Chattanooga. And I didn't even ask for a ride back home from Tennessee.
As I did my thing yesterday, it occurred to me that it's wired into my DNA to receive a certain pleasure from committing acts of manual labor. My people were not philosophers, clergy, or aristocracy of any kind. Heck, they weren't even shopkeepers like MathMan's grandfather who owned a grocery in Chicago. No, my ancestors were the farmers, the sharecroppers, and before that - the peasants of Ireland and Scotland. They didn't own the land, they just worked it.
So when I spend my time doing things that require a lot of physical exertion, I feel a sense of satisfaction that I don't get from doing things on the computer, for example. Just this morning, I used the flexible snake thingy and pulled the equivalent of a small, dead animal except it was mostly my hair, out of the shower drain. I really should get a haircut, I guess. Anyway, despite its unpleasant smell and sliminess, you wouldn't believe the pleasure I received from having accomplished my mission of drain cleaning. I was ready to find an aircraft carrier and hang a banner. But then, just like our former President's declared Mission Accomplished, this war with the dirt, clogs, grime and general muck is ongoing. You can't fix other countries and you can't ever clean and be done with it forever.
Someone steer me back, please.
So this morning before MathMan left for work, I mentioned that I'd like to dispatch those piles of leaves for good before they start to blow around. I wanted to be done with the job thoroughly and without question.
"Would it be bad if I walked by with a lit match and accidentally dropped it into the leaves?" I cooed, stroking his chest fur. I knew what I was up against so I was using my feminine wiles to persuade him.
It was no use. He gave me one of those Oh, Lisa looks and issued his verdict. "No, you can't burn the leaves. It's too dry."
I hate it when he's practical. I offered to stand by with a hose, to make a circle of wetness around them, to haul them out to the dry creek bed behind the house and do the fiery deed there.
After a few more minutes of pleading and promises of sexual favors, he called me Beavis and escaped to have a shower.
He can afford to worry about things like brush fires. He's not the sorry sucker who'll be loading those damn leaves into bags to haul to the dump, I griped under my breath as I made the bed and considered how I could explain the burn marks where the leaves had been at the end of the day.
MathMan came out of the bathroom as the local news reported about a firetruck in an Atlanta suburb that was involved in an accident as it sped to put out a brush fire. I avoided his eyes, but he wasn't letting me off the hook. "Brush fire," he said pointedly.
"Fine," I snapped, my best impression of my fourteen year old self.
This martyr is going to spend the day not writing or reading or doing anything to further her career, but rather bagging up stupid leaves in stupid bags and calling the recycling center to see when I can bring them over. It's going to take me five trips, at least. All I have to haul them with is Chloe's little Toyota Celica Roxanne.
I hope MathMan's happy. He'd better enjoy it while it lasts because he's probably not going to feel so happy when he sees the little present from the drain I left in his shoe.
Who are you spiting today? Any martyrs out there?