Friday, August 9, 2013

Getting Out

"It's Friday! I said thrusting open the curtains.
"Hmm," Mr. Wonderful said knotting his tie.
"It's the weekend!"
"Hmm."
"It's time for sun, fun and--"
"Another house project."


If Mr. Wonderful looked in the thesaurus--dot com or Roget's paper version--he would find the following entry: "Fun is a synonym for doing a DIY home improvement project during the weekend for 396 hours straight without food, water or oxygen". If anyone else on the planet looked up "fun" they'd discover that it means a "good time, enjoying, entertaining, lively, merry, or a pleasure-romp-whoopee!" (The exclamation point is part of that last word.)

But Mr. Wonderful is not like other people. He's a workaholic, which after a while gets very un-fun for his spouse. But I wasn't the only one who thought so.

Retrieving the morning paper from the driveway I found tucked underneath it a copy of the LA Weekly newspaper. Next door I saw my 86 year-old neighbor futzing with his flag.

"Harold, is this your LA Weekly?"
"It's yours now," he said adjusting the flag pole. "And it's not a 'paper' but a publication advertising things to do in Los Angeles."
"I don't want to take your newspaper."
"Take it. Read it."
"But--"
"You need it more than me." 

Harold needed younger knees, more hair and clean arteries but clearly he didn't need any suggestions on how to have fun out on the town. So this old slip-a-roo he did with the LA Weekly meant something more.

"Harold's sick of us working on the house," I said pouring my morning tea.
"That's his opinion," Mr. Wonderful said sipping his espresso.
"He thinks we should forget the House for one weekend and go out on the town for some sun and fun."
"Does he?"

I couldn't blame it all on Harold because I, too, wanted to do something besides another DIY project on The House. But before I could say another word Mr. Wonderful jumped in his car and went to work. As I climbed into my convertible I saw a Triple A magazine on the passenger seat. Next door I saw my 85 year-old neighbor trimming her petunias. 

"Norma, is this your AAA magazine?"
"Take it," she said under her sun hat. "It has a lot of ideas of fun things to do in our area."
"But--"
"You need it."

Over lunch I called my spouse. 
"Norma is sick of us working on the house."
"Is she?"
"Every weekend this summer we've been tinkering and making a lot of noise."
"And her point?"

I couldn't let Norma take the fall for this because I shared her frustration. How many concerts had we missed at the Hollywood Bowl? Shows at the Ford? And fun friends' karaoke birthday parties even when I was horrible at karaoke? The past few months my spouse and I had become antisocial, House workaholics. I'd forgotten the fun person I was because I had been consumed by the hungry Beast that was The House's never-ending DIY projects. 

But before I could say another word, Mr. Wonderful hung up to go into a meeting so I returned to my sandwich and opened my laptop. I googled shows, I checked my events on Facebook, I paged through the LA Weekly, scanned the Triple A magazine and watched cat videos on youtube and all of it was lively, merry fun! I was baaack!

Over a rice and steamed vegetable dinner I made an announcement.
"This weekend we're going to do fun things."
"Oh?" he said dishing up some veggies.
"I bought us tickets to a show at the Ford Amphitheater."
"Oh?"
"And a concert at the Bowl."
"Oh?"
"And we're going to a friend's birthday party."
"At a karaoke club?"
"At a bar," I kinked an eyebrow. "How does all that sound to you?" He looked up from his plate and smiled.
"Like fun."

Finally! Mr. Wonderful saw things my way--the fun way! Harold and Norma definitely would be happy to see us out of The House so they could have some peace and quiet. But that wouldn't compare to how I'd feel being out on the town with my spouse. This weekend's going to be a pleasure-romp-whoopee!