You might think you have everything figured out, you’re batting a thousand, then life throws you a curveball, and no matter how fast or slow it comes at you, you have to decide in a split second how you’re going to manage the play.
I tend to bunt.
I used to think nothing will ever change. You know what I mean? I’ll never finish grading papers, I’ll never get all the laundry done, the dishes finished, the house in order, lesson plans updated, the food shopping done, a blog written, or respond to a mountain of email piling up in my inbox. Forget about it.
When I finally look up from my predictable, and well-ordered life, I realize nothing is the same.
And I mean nothing.
This is not good for Cheryl Lynn.
I’m what you call slow when it comes to radical change, I feel as if I’ve been thrown in a damn blender, and now I’m macerated by some overzealous osterizer. Don’t judge me, I tend towards the dramatic, but I think I’m not alone here.
I became an elbow bumping, unmanicured, zoom specialist overnight, all the while some sort of aggressive tarter has taken my teeth hostage, I’ve purchased more books then I’ll ever be able to read, and I’m pretty sure the UPS guy thinks I’m a hoarder, but that might be TMI?
My only source of entertainment is Netflix and heavily buttered popcorn?
Speaking of which, have you watched the Netflix original called Ozarks? They’re not paying me to advertise, but the Byrdes (the family that the drama is centered around), live in constant turmoil. It makes my life seem relatively uncomplicated in retrospect. It’s their own damn fault, their ability to make rational decisions was limited by their first decision, which was to launder money for a Mexican cartel. What could go wrong?
Marty, the main character, just keeps going. It doesn’t matter if the cartel is pulling out his toenails one by one, someone is shooting at him, or blowing up his dock. He stays calm and does the next best thing, which is debatable under the most lenient standards, but seems rational to him. Marty Byrde, “sometimes people make decisions, shit happens, and we gotta act accordingly.”
It’s absolute mayhem, which makes for some nail-biting entertainment, but I’m exhausted by the end of each episode. This is how I feel about my own life, my hair is restive, zoom is exhausting, and my elbows are sore.
See, if I were to star in a sitcom (not that they’re calling), it would be about some sort of turtle, who enjoys remodeling her shell, but only comes out when it’s safe to do so. I’m sure it would be a hit.
I thought the appeal of Ozarks had something to do with watching people make one bad decision after the other, but against all odds, they manage to stay alive. I suppose it made me feel better about my own tawdry mistakes, but now I believe I may be attracted to anxious lifestyles befitting of my own?
Marty Byrde says, I’m just saying that any decision made, big or small, has an impact around the world. Ain’t that the truth. Think about how iPhones and youtube have changed the world. “The bite of the apple was not the original sin. Lucifer’s fall was, says Mason Young. Like the Byrdes, every decision we make is limited by the first one.
That has huge implications but I can’t quite figure it out. Moving along.
On a recent weekend at the lake, I woke up one morning, wandered into the kitchen for a cup of coffee, and wham…curveball.
Me, “What the hell is on your head?’
Larry, “A headband.”
“Is that really necessary?”
“Yes.” (Please don’t expand)
‘Where did you get such a god awful thing?”
“Cut the arm off my t-shirt.”
“It seems a little girlie don’t you think?”
I get the look as Larry unpacks a breakfast burrito from Country Kitchen in the Oaks. This means he went out in public, “haired up like a summer pig” (Ozark slang for being unshaved, hair unruly), and for reasons unknown this makes me giggle.
So this quarantine thing is taking us places we never thought we’d go. I talking uncharted territory, mapless, and no mom to call.
What’s next, hoop earrings? I’m at a loss for words.
The truth is Larry’s hair is unruly, man can not tame what God wishes to be wild, it matches his personality, and his motto on life for that matter. If he insists the sleeve of an old t-shirt helps to keep his unbarbered locks out of his eyes so be it.
I think a man bun is our next pandemic hurdle? Lord have mercy.
It wasn’t until we were having dinner with my brother and sister-in-law (Larry adorned in ragged beard and t-shirt headband) when Rachel observes, “I think the headband thing is sexy.” (that was after a liberal glass of wine so keep that in mind)
If anything will force me to rethink the “girlie” comment is someone putting the word sexy in the same sentence with headband. David Beckham and Sergio Ramos certainly know how to pull one-off? So maybe it’s a matter of perspective, most things are, and all you have to do is see it with new eyes.
Yeah, it’s still girlie.
Anyway, Larry is a type A for those of you who don’t know him well, I’m a C. Bahaha
Makes for interesting quarantine mates, arguments over programming choices abound (Ozarks vs Modern Family), and of course, debates about our next COVID project. See, “I sit on my ass for hours doing nothing (Larryism),” but Larry would pull his own toenails out if forced to do so, and so we have the classic tortoise and hare controversy.
Who wins again?
Snuggled in my favorite chair at the lake, it’s early morning, laptop on my lap. There’s a cup of steaming coffee next to me, I’m lost to the sound of my fingers gently hitting the keys, words emerging on the page, thoughts turning into sentences, total bliss. When I hear, “Cheryl, could you come here?”
“Honey, I’m introverting, go away.”
“I need your help.”
Nevermind the world is coming to an end and I have a self-imposed deadline I going to miss again. Charles Swartz reminds us not to worry about the world coming to an end today. It’s already tomorrow in Australia, which comforts me in a weird way, because I know Mic and Lynelle are holding the front line. Good on Ya.
Larry has decided this is going to be a project weekend, I suspect a type A and C conflict in the near future, but what can you do? We scored some shiplap from my niece Tammy and we’ve been deliberating how exactly we want to use it. We finally settled on shiplaping (is that a word) one wall of the lanai room, Larry and his headband are anxious to get started, which means he needs help clearing the room. Why do his projects always take precedence over mine? Back to Byrde, and the consequences of every decision, big, or small.
As I’m carrying out a luggage rack he says, “Are you going to stay in your pajamas all day?” It’s a quarter past 8:00 in the morning, but now that he put the idea in my head, I’m thinking these duds are really comfy. I’m sort of stubborn, part of the C personality, I think we have a plan, folks.
I say, “maybe,” in an effort to appease, because the ingredients of health and long life are great temperance, open-air, easy labor, and little care says Philip Sydney.
We start breaking down the bed, moving side tables out, bedding, mattresses, and lamps. He has arranged his compressor, saws, and nail gun alongside 14 boxes of shiplap, and various tools. This is my queue to exit the scene or get sucked into the vortex of his project. I back away slowly as not to be detected and return to my chair, laptop, and cold coffee.
By noon my husband and headband are covered in sawdust, the wall is two-thirds covered in shiplap, small pieces of boards are scattered everywhere, tools abandoned where they were last used, it looks like a project gone mad. “Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of chaos, and sometimes in the middle of chaos, you find yourself,” says Boonaa Mohammed.
He looks up from his saw, a freshly cut piece of shiplap in his hand, and says, “you’re still in your pajamas?”
“Hey, you’re wearing a headband?”
I get the look.
“I love this shiplap, it’s gorgeous.” (distraction)
“Yeah, it’s coming out nice. We have enough to do another wall, any suggestions.”
I start walking around the house looking for possible locations when something catches my eye. “How about the front bath?”
He has to inspect, measure, consider, “that’ll work. Are you going to get dressed today?”
He’s persistent, I’ll give him that.
Sometimes you just have to ignore the thoughts of others, thank God he found something else to do, I’m back to the pages, and my chair. As Bill Copeland notes, I’m a turtle at ease in my own shell.” Oh, that is so fitting.
By evening we have two new looks going in the lanai room and the front bath. It’s fresh and clean. He did a great job headband and all.
He’ll be stove up tomorrow.
Yes, I’m still in my pajamas, it’s how I bunt.
How’s your quarantine going?
- “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and loved more than you’ll ever know.” — A.A. Milne
- “No matter what happens in life, be good to people. Being good to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind.” Taylor Swift
- “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” Lao Tzu