If you want to call walking upright and making sense “composure,” go right ahead!

We made it through yesterday.  I was the worse for wear by the time everyone got home from work, but I got from morning to bedtime in a somewhat functional state.  Perhaps the green beans were less al dente than I would have wanted, and the mushrooms turned out downright soggy, but it was dinner, and they ate it, and that was the end of that…  I actually went to the kitchen and put some effort into cooking a meal when all I wanted was to have something materialize out of the blue.  Carry-out and delivery were NOT an option…so I cooked…with one eye closed and the other blurry, but I cooked…

In spite of my tiredness, the hot flashes and J’s persistent efforts to confuse and confound me, I had a rather productive day.  Relatively speaking, of course.  I managed, for one, to not burn the house down.  I also managed to roll with the punches and not, regardless of how badly I wanted to three distinct times, raise my voice unnecessarily.  I also managed not to cry, and I REALLY wanted to after the fifteenth replay of the Easter Bonnet song that I wish had flown out the window on Easter…

We planted corn and Swiss chard.  We watered plants already planted.  We vacuumed the living and dining rooms, and we washed dishes.  We made grilled sandwiches for lunch.  We went to get the mail.

J’s new scrum cap arrived in yesterday’s mail (all the way from England!!!) and we were both happy about this.  The red one, sadly, was much the worse for wear and smelled like a wet sock with an incontinence problem.  As soon as I pulled the package out of our box and said “Oh, J!!!  It’s your NEW ha…” out of my hands it went and J held it aloft in much the same way Mufasa lifted Simba so the animals could see him from up on Pride Rock in The Lion King.  We were a few yards away from the mail room when J motioned for the package to be opened.  This took quite a bit of effort.

Is it me or are things packaged more…impossibly these days?  I mean as in “impossible to open,” “impossible to find the spot where you specifically have to cut or tear to get it open,” “impossible to open without losing a nail, sweating like a pig, using your teeth, requiring a hunting knife, utility shears…” you get the picture.  This package, I swear to you, was nothing more than a pouch, but it seems like someone in Wonderland designed it, and that someone was possibly the Mad Hatter.  The thing could be fitted over the arm like a bracelet, but was completely sealed and the compartments didn’t seem to connect but did.  We made it to the corner and J, old hats in hand and urging a little more expeditiousness with the other hand, tapped his foot impatiently as I tried to free his new hat from this…thing.  Either I am getting older or these things come equipped with a secret camera that records you desperately trying to get at the contents so that the employees at wherever it is you bought it can have a laugh at your expense.

Anyway, after five minutes of very vigorous exertion, I opened the package and J found yet another package inside, which he ripped open more easily and (with what I swear to you was a triumphant look that belongs on top of Mt. Everest) he got out his new scrum cap.  And a thing of beauty it is.  I told him so even though I was out of breath, sweating, and even more exhausted than we started out on our leisurely stroll to check the mailbox.  The package I’d managed to rip to shreds trying to open it was still in my hand and that’s when I noticed the “tear here” with easy to pull tabs that would have saved me the public display of herculean (and obviously unnecessary) effort I’d just expended.  Oh well…

Handing me the ratty, old red scrum cap (which will receive an all-honors burial later,) J firmly planted his new cap on his head.  It is very attractive and it fits quite well, but…

I ordered a X-Large cap and, clearly, it is because it fits J’s head quite nicely.  The strap, however, is too short.  J was not deterred by this, and he immediately strapped the hat on and developed three chins and a bluish tint to his face.  I stopped and looked at him.  “J-man, I think this will need some adjusting.  Apparently, X-Large doesn’t mean HERE what it means THERE…or you’ve surpassed X-Large.”  WAH-WAAAH!!!!  Clearly this was not going to work as seamlessly as I hoped.  I couldn’t very well return this particular cap when J was holding on to it with all his might.  Ok, I COULD return it, but was it WORTH it????  The hat had taken three weeks to get here…it would take three weeks to go back…is there such a thing as a XX-Large hat?  No, there isn’t.  A quick glance at all the websites I regularly visit for J’s head-to-toe apparel made this quite clear: the strap was too short and I’d have to deal with it…

J sat on the couch looking at me as if I had every intention of taking his new (and suddenly deeply beloved) scrum cap, stomping on it and then setting it on fire.  Have you ever had J pull the “don’t be evil, Mother.  I LOVE it!!!” puppy eyes on you?  No, you haven’t.  Believe me when I tell you they are the saddest, most piercingly accusatory eyes you would ever confront.  I sighed and mentally ran over the list of possibilities for fixing this hat.

Ten minutes later, courtesy of my beloved aunt’s insistence that one should a) never toss anything simply because it SEEMS useless, b) never pass up buying what people say you have too much of because there’s no such thing as too much of anything non-perishable, and c) never surrender when faced with a child’s (regardless of how overgrown he/she may be) desire keep a thing they love (regardless of how sudden this affection might seem)…I had a solution.  I removed the strap, put a two-inch long piece of black elastic in, reattached the strap to that and returned the hat to J.  He had been looking at the whole procedure as I’m sure Dr. Christian Barnard’s cohorts were observing the first heart transplant.

I’m sure the recipient of that heart was grateful.  I also am sure that when J hugged me (knocking the air out of me…I who had little steam left in me for the rest of the day,) he meant to say THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUYOU’RETHEBESTEST.  Ok, maybe all he meant was “that was cool,” but I was buoyed for the rest of the day (not enough to not overcook mushrooms and green beans,) and THAT is all that matters.  I may have been unable to take three steps without being winded, and I might have swayed as I did the dishes, but I fixed a hat…how’s THAT for composure???



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