Saturday, July 13, 2013

Pool or Spa? That is the Question

"It's summer," I said grabbing my beach towel with a grin.
"Yep," Mr. Wonderful said pulling on his work boots.
"The sun is hot and the sky is blue."
"Yep." 
"A perfect day to swim in the pool."
"Nope."

Mr. Wonderful was an enigma. He worked at the studio, he worked on The House, he even worked eating ice cream. In fact he worked very hard eating ice cream. With all the rich words in the English language, only one word could describe him and I don't mean: determined, committed, stubborn, irascible, bullish, pig-headed, or un-freakin'-believable. Nope, the one word that described him was: workaholic. Now at the height of summer when we should be enjoying our pool, hosting barbecues and winning P├ętanque championships he wanted to work on the pool. 

One word: workaholic.

Granted, when we bought The House the pool's paint was chipping so we knew from day one that we'd have to repaint it sometime. After starting with fixing up the master bedroom, we'd worked our way from inside the House out in concentric circles until now we were forced to repaint the pool by sheer geometry and lack of circles--concentric or otherwise--because it just needed it. The last time the pool had been painted was during the Civil War. In other words, when Harold was middle aged.

"I painted it back in '62," our 86 year-old neighbor said scratching his nearly bald pate. "Or was it '63?" 
"You painted the pool alone?" I said surprised Harold could do such a huge job solo.
"Hell no. I did it with my father-in-law. Painting it alone? Only workaholics do that." I saw Mr. Wonderful's ears prick up at that one word then I watched his brain gears spin.

Now as I wanted to swim and my spouse laced his work boots he made an announcement.
"I'm going to repaint the pool alone."
"Don't be ridiculous," I said swapping my beach towel for shoes.
"I mean it. I'll do it and you, go to the spa, get your nails done, do what you want." To be honest I paused to think about this. The pause stretched into minutes while I imagined booking an appointment at Burke-Williams and having 14 people scrub, wash, clean, and color me beautiful. I imagined resting in the wet Hammam spa like Cleopatra, then going into the dry Swedish spa like Thor--or maybe I was joining Thor in the dry spa? I pictured myself plunging into the hot tub and relaxing my aching muscles--


But how achey could they be if I were in the spa being fed red grapes and my spouse was repainting the pool alone?  

One word: guilty. 

It took my brain and conscience some time--16 hours, to be exact--but eventually I told him that of course I would not, could not go to the spa while he worked on the pool. I insisted that he and I would repaint the pool together. Like Scheherazade who told her husband a story every night to prolong her life one more day, I decided to toil with my workaholic husband to prolong my marriage one more day. 

One word: smart.

"So where do we start?" I said swapping my bikini for work clothes and my spa daydreams for a brush.
"Before painting we have to drain the pool," he said sinking a pocket-sized sub-pump into our watering hole.
"That will take days," I said looking from the tiny pump to our pacific pool.
"Which means we have time to go to the spa. Together," he said removing his work boots.

One word: brilliant!