Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!
By Lisa Smartt
Ever had a truly “lazy day”? I’m talkin’ about a day when you wear your ragged housecoat all day long, don’t wash your hair, don’t put on make-up. I’m talkin’ about a day when you put big blobs of white medicine on your acne. I’m talkin’ about a day when you leave the dishes for “later” and decide the bathroom cleaning can wait until next year. That’s the day I was having a few weeks ago. I had nothing on my daily calendar so I decided to celebrate with a “lazy day” party in my honor.
We’re blessed to live in the country. We’re surrounded by woods and natural beauty on all four sides. And it was a peaceful day. Serene. Beautiful. Quiet. I was hiding out in our little wooded paradise. Then it happened. Surprise! Surprise! Surprise! A freshly washed Suburban pulled into my long drive. I immediately sought to run for cover ... but, no. Because my computer is at the corner window, the driver had already seen me and thrown up her hand for a big wave. Oh, no.
I didn’t recognize her at first. But as I walked to the front door, I saw that it was a cousin I hadn’t seen in several years. She knew we had moved to Dresden and she was in the area on business. I didn’t know people drove through Dresden “on business.” But I know now.
And there she was ... walking up our sidewalk. She looked like she had walked out of a Hollywood beauty salon. I’m serious. Make-up? Perfect. Clothes? Pristine. “Hey Lisa! I was coming through Dresden and thought I’d try to find your house! I didn’t call because I didn’t want you to go to any trouble.” (Note to readers: Call. Call. Call. Yes, people will go to trouble. They will go to trouble so they don’t get “caught” in an orange housecoat.) And that’s when I had a decision to make. I could sink into the hardwood floor ... or make the best of it.
In case you didn’t know, funny people use humor to hide their pain. I said, “Girl, come give me a hug and get yourself on in here. Don’t touch anything or you might have to get a tetanus shot. Oh, and I hope I didn’t get acne medicine on your Gucci jacket.” Yep, I knew there was nothing to do but put on a floor show, pure and simple. My large exercise ball was on the living room floor. So, while wearing my orange housecoat, I felt the need to demonstrate my new-found exercise technique. It was pitiful. “I’d give you a tour of the house ... but, you’ve already seen a fat woman wearing an orange housecoat sitting on an exercise ball ... and I really don’t think the humiliation of a messy house would be able to top that, do you?” She laughed.
“Lisa, may I use your bathroom?”
“I’m sorry. We only have an outhouse and it’s way down on the other side of the woods. You may want to just wait until you reach your final destination.” She laughed. She wasn’t buying it. Hence, my next speech; “I mean, you know we have boys and all ... and you know, boys will be boys ... and toothpaste blobs will be in the sink ... and other things will be other places ... and, well, yeah, sure, there’s the bathroom. Knock yourself out.”
She hugged me good-bye and we agreed to see each other again real soon. I have no problem with that. But I’m going to wait until just the right Saturday morning to pull into her driveway. Surprise! Surprise! Surprise! And just my luck ... she’ll come to the door wearing a designer outfit with freshly baked blueberry muffins in hand.
Editor’s note: Lisa Smartt’s column appears each Wednesday in the Friends and Neighbors section of The Messenger. Mrs. Smartt is the wife of Philip Smartt, the University of Tennessee at Martin parks and recreation and forestry professor, and is mother to two boys, Stephen and Jonathan. She is a freelance writer and speaker. Her book “The Smartt View: Life, Love, and Cluttered Closets” is available at The Messenger, The University of Tennessee at Martin bookstore or by mail for $10, plus $2 shipping. Send checks to Lisa Smartt, 300 Parrott Road, Dresden TN 38225. She can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.
Published in The Messenger 3.5.08