Chairman Bao is a Shih Tzu. We travel a lot. I drive. He watches. We've logged at least 10,000 miles and he's never once said, Sweetheart, don't you think you should stop and ask someone?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

We've got new patio furniture. But it wasn't easy. First, I had to find it. That took two years. Then I had to pay for it. And then I had to get it out of the store, and that was the point at which everything almost came unstuck.

See, Costco doesn't deliver. (You probably already knew that) And you can't just arrange to have things picked up, either. You buy it, you haul it away on the same day, or they charge you storage. It's a warehouse, the guy said. That's why it's cheap.

So there we were with these three humungous boxes. Two of them were half as big as my car. The third one was actually a bit bigger than the car.

Suddenly, I remembered that one of my neighbors (let's call him Joe) has a pickup truck.

I've been on my own for eighteen years, ever since my husband passed away. And I learned very quickly that the only thing married female neighbors hate more than a widow is a helpless widow. So I never, ever ask for help. If I can't do it myself, it doesn't get done.

But this was different. I loved this patio furniture. I'd never seen anything like it (at the price) anywhere. And I wanted it. And I know Joe and Doreen -- I've been a guest in their home, and they've been guests in mine.

So I asked.

And Joe immediately said, Okay.

Trouble is, Doreen was not pleased, not one little bit. She scowled at me and rolled her eyes and breathed heavily through her nose without actually saying anything. I probably should have just told them, Forget it. But I really wanted that furniture.

It was only a ten minute drive, but it wouldn't all fit in the truck and we had to make two trips. So we loaded up the big box first, brought it back and (with the help of my other neighbor, Pete) unloaded it.

Doreen came marching up the driveway. When Joe told her that we were going to have to make a second trip, she went ballistic. This is totally unacceptable! she spat.

I didn't know what to say, so I didn't say anything. Neither did Joe. Doreen stomped back across the street, and we went and got the other two boxes.

This morning, I bought a 12-pack of Joe's favorite beer and left it -- with a thank you note -- inside their gate.

But what did I do that was so terrible? Joe is retired. He wasn't busy, he wasn't doing anything. And he could have simply said, No.

Oh, well. What's done is done. Bao loves the furniture. And so do I.


Blogger Dogwalkmusings said...

The bright side is you can still make another woman jealous!

11:25 AM

Blogger Betty said...

Maybe Joe speaks more fondly of you to her in private than you realize. Maybe she's just jealous of your life in general. In any case, you did nothing wrong. She overreacted. Now you see the "real her." Her loss.

1:49 PM


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