Thursday, April 26, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 8

Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on October 4th, 2012, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 13, Issue 30 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 13, Issue 30

Wilder pastures

Sometimes the grass may be greener, but it's unruly and a heck of a lot of trouble to maintain


This is an open letter to the guy leering at me while I pump gas, or maybe who is having a stroke, in which case just ignore this letter and I apologize for not calling 911.

Dear strange man who is being rude to his girlfriend by staring at me:

Roll the string of spit back into your mouth, turn your piercing gaze back toward your girl, and act like you are intently listening to her rather than staring at me and maybe she’ll let you get lucky tonight. Because you are lucky—that you are with her and not married to me. My husband can confirm this. He is married to me, and he’ll be the first to tell you that you couldn’t handle me. I’ll second that.

I don’t say that in a way that means that I’m too hot to handle. I mean that in the same way that a mom trying to shop and read product labels in the supermarket can’t handle her three kids. (I’m speaking from personal experience.)

That’s because, like those kids, I have the inability to think logically, which affects my behavior to act logically. Unfortunately, my husband knows this all too well.

I’m a creative insomniac with a short attention span and penchant for starting way too many all-consuming projects before turning my attention elsewhere. I don’t fear failure enough to keep me out of trouble, I love a good adventure, and I also get bored when left to my own devices. That’s why I now have a huge unfinished mural of a blossoming cherry tree on my wall at home.

Backwards-hat-wearing guy, do you have an unfinished mural on your wall? Didn’t think so.

You see, it started out as an exciting idea, and I was jazzed about picking out the paint colors. It was fun blasting Jimi (Hendrix that is) by candlelight, drinking wine, and painting until 5 a.m.

Getting up the next morning and painting some more was less exciting, but still fun. Then I realized suddenly—the way an unexpected stomach growl reminds you that you are hungry—that I was bored. So I put the paint away and watched the seasons change, but the painting never did. It has just stayed there frozen between the full colorful bloom of spring on three-quarters of its branches and the cold, naked cruelty of winter on the rest of its nearly complete and half-sketched boughs.

It’s that poisonous pairing of enthusiasm and failure to follow through that infects all of my most inspired ideas.

That’s how I ended up buying a piano last week out of the blue, without giving thought to how I would get it home.

Tell me, guy who is as unaware of the stain on his shirt as he is of the beauty he’s got at home: Has your girl ever brought home a $400 musical instrument she doesn’t even know how to play? Would you know how to handle it if she did?

I admit, I was bored at the time I saw the piano online. There might have also been a diet of caffeine and wine involved. I think there was also some chocolate. Nonetheless, it seemed like a good idea, so I bought it.

Then I remembered that my husband was away for work and I had no way to get the piano home. So I didn’t tell him. But he found out anyway and at 4 a.m.—my time—I got a text asking: “Did you buy a piano?”

Then another text at 8 a.m.: “??”

Then another at 10 a.m.: “Did you get my message about a piano?”

To which I replied: “Don’t get one I already did.”

It wasn’t funny.

Plus he instantly asked the question I should’ve asked before I bought it: “How are you going to get it home?”

Which shows you how important that question is, because it came before the next question, which was: “How much did it cost?”

After a full day of pleading, whining, and bribing, I managed to secure a moving truck, a furniture dolly, and four tie downs. With that, I met my father and brother at the piano’s location. Of course, they were more than happy to help me out with just a half-hour notice.

They were happier still that I had only brought four tie downs, two of which were too short to be effective.

“Well, I don’t know what to tell you; this thing may still tip over,” my dad said after they struggled to secure it as best they could.

“Then it will have been an interesting adventure,” I said.

I don’t think you can say that to someone who nearly threw his back out struggling to load a piano into a moving truck. People don’t like the idea of their efforts being for naught.

These are the kinds of actions my husband puts up with on a regular basis. Usually, he just gets really red in the face, grits his teeth, and then fixes the problem. I’m not sure why, but he does.

So I ask you, guy who is trying to give off a sexy, seductive vibe but looks instead like he’s about to drop a watermelon: Think you can handle it? Didn’t think so. So take your eyes off of me and turn them back to your girl, hug her, and count your blessings. Also, I think I went to school with your mom and dad. Say ‘Hi’ to them for me.


Arts Editor Shelly Cone is still trying to live down some of her “inspired” decisions from 10 years ago. Contact her at

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