Tuesday, March 21, 2017


It was a pretty innocent request. I didn't even think Mark would go along with it. I was walking one of the dogs, and as I stopped to let the dog poop on a neighbor's lawn, I looked across the street at our house. It was dark out, but our house was ablaze with light. The giant windows of our living room showed off our art collection, exactly what we were watching on television, and to my horror, all the way at the other end of the house, the dirty dishes from dinner sitting on the counter in the kitchen. It was as if I were watching a play and our living room was the stage. We needed a little more privacy. So when I got back inside with the dog, I suggested maybe sheer curtains on the windows.

Never give Mark an opening to shop. My request for just a hint of privacy turned into an all out hunt for the right curtains, and curtain rods. At some point the idea of a simple, sheer fabric to make it a bit harder to see in, was lost. We went shopping.
"Oh, these curtains are wonderful. It'll look so clubby."
"Like an old fashioned men's club."
So Mark got the 'clubby' curtains and fancy curtain rods to go along with them, and on Saturday he had me put them up.
"Those old brackets have got to go. Remove them." Mark barked.
Those were the brackets that I had thought we would hang rods with the sheer curtains on. Obediently, I removed them. Mark then explained that he wanted the new curtain rod brackets to be above and to the side of the actual windows. Not on the woodwork, but mounted on the plaster walls. I opened one of the packages of Chinese made curtain rods. I took note of the little plastic anchors that were included and found the correct drill bit for the holes that I would need. I measured and marked, and then I drilled fourteen holes in the wall. The first four anchors fit in the holes perfectly. I opened the second curtain rod package, which was exactly like the first curtain rod package. Well, those goddamned, Chinese bastard, mother scratching, evil, child labor using assholes, put a totally different set of anchors and screws in the second package.

 I tried one. It went right through the hole I had drilled and fell inside the wall. I started cursing. Not, "Goddamn, sonofabitch" kind of cursing, but a full throated, loud "Fuck!", which I repeated over and over again a hundred or so times in a row. I never wanted to hang curtains, I never wanted to drill holes, I wanted to put simple sheer curtains on the hardware that was already there on the window. Yet here I was on a Saturday afternoon doing Mark's bidding again, and it was not going well. Oh, did I mention that we had a house guest. (I would like to apologize right now to Jim White. You did not need to see or hear any of that nastiness.)

Four hours after I started my task, and three hours and forty five minutes after Jim White said goodbye and ran out to his car, I finished hanging those curtains. They do look clubby, and they do the job. We now have privacy, which I found that I need when watching television. Remember that I said you could see our television clearly from across the street, from the sidewalk in front of our house, from anywhere outside? Sunday evening I turned on an episode of 'Girls' that I had on the Tivo, and immediately had to run around pulling those new curtains closed. No need for the neighbors to be seeing Hannah's bush. It's bad enough that I saw it.

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