Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Hear Me Roar! (some assistance required)

Last week I wanted to raise up my vegetable beds and I had a plan to do it myself. After all, there are handy women on HGTV who take on projects involving power tools and they make it look so easy. However, it seems that, in real life, some men feel threatened by a woman hauling lumber. I say this because in the parking lot of the local Lowe’s home improvement store a burly guy with a shirt that verified he was born in the USA looked up with contempt at the sound of my rattling cart.

“Shouldn’t your husband be doing that for you?” he asked, as I awkwardly lugged 16 wooden planks on a cart that was too short past him toward my car.
My little garden before I raised the beds. It was originally a pile of rocks.

My garden after I built the raised beds.
“Why do I need him?” I replied, smiling, but kind of ticked at his cynical remark that was not followed by a Good Samaritan offer of assistance. “I can buy wood and hammer it together,” I added, pausing what seemed like an extra- long trek from the store to the trunk. (Note to self: you would have looked much cooler if you left the cart at the entrance and pulled up the car.)

“Why?” He asked, looking truly dumbfounded.

“Because I can,” I answered, beginning to push the cart again and prepared to end the impromptu chat.

“What are you strong or something?” the stranger pressed, giggling like a weirdo.

I can’t explain what happened next. I guess I could blame it on my Scottish-German-Irish-Sicilian heritage, (not the ideal breeding mix for good temperament). I could also note here that it was a full moon and, it has been medically documented that a monthly fluctuation in hormones can make a girl do crazy things. You see, the dude hit a chord in my brain in need of some tuning and before I could think over his comment and respond rationally, I found myself five inches from his face growling,

“You’re damn right I am.”
Believe it or not I felt proud of my tone at that moment, which sounded, to me, unruffled and tough, like Faye Dunaway in Bonnie and Clyde or Scarlett Johansson in The Avengers. Meanwhile, the odd stranger seemed even more amused by my reaction to his subtle challenge, and I while I continued to imagine myself calmly informing him of how rude he was and perhaps then, taking him on with some moves I learned in a recent YMCA kickboxing class, I couldn’t help physically hopping back from the confrontation, like a circus poodle who wandered too close to the leopard cage. It was because I happened to notice that behind him in the open flat-bed of his grey Ford pickup were a bunch of bloated black trash bags, some thick ropes and a collection of rusted, dirt-laden shovels.
Dirt can be exciting.
So, picturing in my mind the last 48 Hour Mystery I saw on television, I instead opted for a staring contest from a growing distance, as I struggled to continue pushing my cart of wood backwards with all my strength towards my minivan, all the while maintaining my hard as nails glare with the stranger, who was now, snickering softly.
I made it there and, breaking the stare with my best Miss Piggy “Hmph!” I popped open the trunk in triumph.
Now I have four awesome raised vegetable beds in my backyard and the sight of them makes feel like belting out a powerful roar, despite the fact that after I built the frames all by myself, (the easy part), my husband (who expressed his pride over my handiness with a heartfelt exclamation of "Wow!") carried 24 forty-pound bags of dirt to the back of the property so I could fill them.

This story appeared as a POV in the May 21 issue of The Long Island Advance. Thank you Peggy and Linda!


Putz said...


Putz said...

was that scarlett johannsen in the avengers????that was such a cool movie but that capt. america is such a whimp><<>,.my son said and so did my grandson that he was the brains, did all the planning, but iron man and hulk and thor all were ausssual and so i rest my case<><><>ask your kids what they thought of capt. america's role in the movie<><>by the way ausssual is a mix of all the superlatives i can think of><><<>be sure to ask your kids and come visit me and comment by pushing my ICON<><><>i have a real neat blog for you and you only to read<><>no nothing like that

Dear Internet Traveler,

Welcome to my writer's blog, started about six years ago for fun. Over time, the writing I have posted has ranged from personal reflection, to Long Island history research, to tall tales for my own amusement, to feature articles for local newspapers. As you can see from topics listed here, I travel in many mental directions in regard to interests. Click on the tabs and labels to explore my strange mind which senses that you may be having a criss-cross day. If so, perhaps this blog will distract you. However, please note that if you tell me my blog is beautiful just to get me to advertise rhinoplasty surgery and cheap drugs from Canada in your comment, I will ask the gods to give you a tail that cannot be concealed.


Loren Christie

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