ďDo you love me?Ē means we, or more accurately I, need to return something to the store, redecorate the garage, or rearrange the back yard. The very first week I met my wife she persuaded me return a curtain rod she had purchased a year before.
Over the years there have been many such instances but the Ďalmost selectioní process has since been refined to a fine science.
Upon recognizing the need for a new sweater, for example, she visits ten stores, selects and carts home eight quarter finalists. She then models each candidate in front of a mirror with the winning finalists of other categories, such as skirts, slacks, and jewelry.
Several neighbors and her Card Club are called in for consultation. The ballots are tallied by the College of Cronies and burned in the fireplace. White smoke denotes a probable, but not absolute, finalist.
The winning store is notified and the losers await the awarding of second place, third place, and also ran positions. Hotly contended losers sometimes take weeks, or even months, to score. The longer such evaluations take, the greater the probability that Iíll be the one drafted to return the item.
Iím now on a first name basis with most of the local stores customer service departments. Iíve learned not to say that she really didnít need the item but it was at a price at which she thought the store was losing money.
Ricochets are not limited to clothing. She loves to landscape, and re-scape, and re-scape. A tree may look great near the corner of the house. Ten minutes after transplanting it to the other corner of the house she will decide that the original site actually looked better. I then have the choice of moving the hole back to the original position or of rotating the house ninety degrees.
I call an emergency meeting of the neighbors and Card Club to plead my case to avoid further trauma to the soil, wear and tear on the shovel, and the possibility of physical assault. The votes are taken, the smoke flies, and I end up moving the tree to a third and new location.
But everyone knows itís too early to return the shovel to the garage.
The neighbors depart and return with their lawn chairs, barbecues, and ice chests. The men study the slope of the terrain, subjectivity to seismic eruption, and zoning restrictions.
Finally white smoke erupts from the neighborís barbecue. A spot has been chosen! Itís perfect from all standpoints, esthetically pleasing, and raises property values.
Whatís that? She says the spot is fine - but now itís the WRONG TREE?