If you’re a married man, you’re probably familiar with the “honeydew list.” This is a list that your wife prepares verbally or in written form, which boils down to “honey do this” and “honey do that.”
I’m no different than anyone else in this respect, except that when I lost my job, a lot of things on the honeydew list were put on hold because they cost money. For the past five months the list has been growing, populated with necessary tasks that we just couldn’t take care of until I got a job.
Once I got a job offer, the list suddenly became a problem. This is because for 5 months I’ve had lots of time, but no money. Now that conserving money isn’t such a priority, I’m about to run out of time. Tomorrow I start my new job, and at least 8 hours of every day will be consumed by work. What’s left will be filled with catch-up tasks and projects. I’ve been scrambling to finish as much as I can in this last week before I have to go to work.
For example, I needed new tires just when I got laid off. For five months I’ve been driving cautiously on increasingly bald tires. Florida is just about to enter the rainy summer season, and bald tires are frighteningly dangerous in a tropical downpour. So I went out and treated myself to a complete set of first-rate tires. Unfortunately, the tire mechanic told me that I also need brakes and probably shocks. Those will have to wait until my first paycheck.
The work I have been doing for the past five months has been the hard physical kind. For example, I had to clean the pool deck and patio. Fortunately, I own a pressure washer (if you live in Florida, you need one) that I use to blast away the mold, mildew, algae and clumps of pollen that have accumulated over the winter. Even with the pressure washer, it’s exhausting.
Yard work has been accumulating as it tends to do in Florida. Just because it’s winter here doesn’t mean things stop growing. I used to pay a kid to do it, but until we start seeing some money, I’ve been doing it. It’s brutally hard work for a guy my age. Today I used a chainsaw (if you live in Florida, you need one of these also) to cut back the philodendrons that threaten to engulf the house. I have nightmares about philodendrons.
The problem is that lists are easy to make. If you make lists and the things on the list get done, there’s a tendency to add increasingly difficult or unrealistic things, hoping that the boundaries of the list will continue to expand until your slave armies conquer the planet and make you God-Queen.
Today I found the following item on the list: “Pull out palm tree in front of house.” It’s almost as though my wife has no concept of the work involved. I like the use of the words, “pull out,” reducing what is sure to be a difficult, hot, filthy, job to two simple words. I have only two words to use in response: “Yes, dear.”