From the very beginning of our relationship, my husband and I agreed on pretty much everything. We were both reporters who loved our jobs, liked the same types of movies, had great ambitions to play tennis (never happened), never met a flavor of ice cream we wouldn’t try, and loved practical jokes.
After 31 years of marriage, the similar tastes remain, although less so regarding practical jokes now that jumping out behind a bush and yelling “boo” may actually kill one of us. We even have, over the years, developed the same decorating aesthetic. We love Mission style furniture, comfortable couches that somehow all end up being shades of gray, brown or burgundy, and love driving around after dinner with our two dogs to just “get out of the house.”
The other week, I was sitting in our back yard, staring at our postage-stamp size grassy area. And then glancing at the concrete patio surrounded by different-size decorative pavers. “Why,” I internally pondered, “do we have mostly a concrete back yard? I love grass! We have two dogs!”
Sometimes, when I am internally having a conversation, I forget that I’m not talking out loud. Over the years, my husband, family and friends have learned to extrapolate meaning from visual clues when I burst out with a disjointed statement.
So it was when I recently was pondering the patio while enjoying an evening glass of wine (and whines). I turned to my husband and stated, “I think we need to pull them all out.”
He stared at me. I stared back.
He looked at my feet, resting upon pavers.
“I agree,” he said, with nary a pause.
We chatted a little longer, and in a break in the conversation, he strolled over the garage and grabbed a shovel. Within 15 minutes, a third of the pavers were in a small pile on the driveway. My husband knows me. When I have a plan, I jump into it immediately. Most of the time, that’s good. But sometimes — especially with paint jobs in which I maybe, just perhaps, might start when the hubby has gone to bed so he can’t micromanage me — the results are disastrous. Don’t even ask me about the bathroom I decided to paint once at 10 p.m.
Pulling out the pavers, luckily, was a good, quick mutual decision. It was what happened afterward that caused one of our rare tiffs.
We spent two days raking bags of mulch across the area, then doing the same with about a dozen bags of dirt. We then sprinkled grass seed.
The next morning, it was a scene straight out of Hitchcock’s “The Birds.” I looked out the porch sliders and birds of all shapes and sizes were swarming, munching on the grass seed. I called the hubby and asked him to buy some straw to protect the seeds on his way home from work.
He went off the plan. He came home with this lime green mesh-y “carpet” stuff that would protect the seed. He spread it out. It looked like we covered our yard with a really bad carpet. I googled reviews. The stupid green carpet didn’t work, said Yelp and Google reviews.
I thought about it for a while and then yelled. “Forty dollars wasted!” I ranted. He got mad. I got madder. We snarled and went to separate corners, of course making up before going to bed.
So here’s the thing. The green carpet stuff seems to have been very, very effective. In less than two weeks, the area is almost covered with 2-inch-high new grass.
I don’t want to eat my words. But I will go on record with this.
You were right, Brian. I was wrong.
I hate when that happens.
Contact this reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 440-871-5797.