Sunday, March 23, 2008

Dress her up, but Don't Take Her

There is such freedom in a small town. The children run unconfined off to play in the creek or trek up the mountain. The children can run off for the day, reminiscent of the “see you back here at suppertime” like in the days of my youth.

It's great when I can use them to run over to the hardware store a block away for nails, or glue, an occasional bolt, just the right size to repair the hole I’ve just made. Unfortunately, their freedom means that occasionally I lose my errand runner and that I have to change out of the sweat shirt and don a ball cap to go to the hardware for my latest item needed to repair my repair.

The first week I made a concerted effort to be civilized and clean up before I trekked to “town”. My Mom, the consummate lady, who would still wear hats to church if she wasn’t so fashion aware, tried to instill some refinement in me. She would never be caught dead without looking beautiful—and would never consciously frequent the hardware store.

One day I just gave up. "I’m only going for a minute," I tell myself and what will it matter.
That day I slipped over to the mailbox and while dropping off, I hear, “Hello Cuz.” Yikes! I should have known, I should have known. I’m looking my scroungiest and there is my cuz.

Nearly everyone in town is my cuz, that was why my husband, a transplant, was such a catch! He flooded new blood to the gene pool. I don’t mind looking like I’m working, when I’m working, but work necessitates stuff and somebody has to go get it. And hardware stores are accustomed to seeing hard working people right?

Dad and I went there last week to pick up some liquid nails and some mud. I love working with Dad because he gets so much done in so little time. There will be no changing clothes when we drop into town for supplies. It’s drop and go and get back and work!

Bikes be darned, for the block-away trip. We’re driving the Tracker. The hardware store owner, Stefan, is also a transplant and he makes every effort to bring in business by being cordial. It’s apparent that he knows Dad, greets him by name and wants to know what project he is working on now.

My husband dropped in there a day or two later and introduced himself as my fathers son-in-law. The owner said, “Oh yeah, he was in here the other day with his wife. I don’t think I’ve ever met his wife before.”

My husband, who knows the genteel nature of my mother, responded, “I think that was probably my wife he was with.” Stefan’s only comment, “Oh, I’m sorry.”

And so am I... on so many different levels.