Friday 10:35 am. I break out of the gate, to-do list in hand, determined to make her proud. First off, I hit up Lowe's with a list of vitals, the most important of which is a new toilet seat. Who knew that in America there are literally 50 varieties of toilet seat styles? I am forced to call Pam and ask her to measure the thing. An argument issues over the proper way to measure a toilet seat...not a great start to my day. I finally pick my seat...wait, that sounded wrong, I decided on a seat, the StaTite by Church with the patented Whisper close technology. ( toilet seats have technology now? ). I pay for my haul at the self checkout place and get 40 bucks of cash back, sensing that at some point over the next 24 hours I might find myself somewhere, buying God knows what, at a place that doesn't take debit cards!
Friday 11:15 am. I drive out to some place on Hull Street road to pick up a free wedding cake top for Kaitlin and Jon's one year anniversary coming up on Sunday. I'm aware that this has nothing whatsoever to do with the wedding shower, but it is something that Pam had forgotten to do and didn't have time for.
Friday 12:25 am. I thoughtfully drop by Chik-fil-a on the way home and buy Pam a small chocolate shake and a chicken sandwich. When I reached into my wallet to pay for the meal it occurs to me that I had left 40 dollars in the change dispenser at the checkout at Lowe's. After lunch I will go back there and hope that a Good Samaratian followed me and had turned it in. No such luck. However, in a fortuitous if slightly creepy turn of events, it turns out that Lowe 's has surveillance cameras trained on each and every cash register in the store. The cashier got on the phone and some unseen security person did a quick run through the video evidence where it was discovered that I had indeed left the money in the tray and the very next customer had pocketed it for himself. ( what's the world coming to? ) Astonishingly, the nice cashier handed me my money. Major kudos to Lowe's.
1:30 pm. I install my cutting edge technology toilet seat without incident.
2:00 pm. I cut the grass, and smugly congratulate myself on racing through my to-do list like a hot knife through butter. I jump in the shower, eager to start hanging pictures.
2:30 pm. After emerging from the shower I suddenly am overcome by several physical symptoms which can best be described as harbingers of very bad tidings. Without going into any disgusting details, let me just say that I would be placed out of action for the rest of the day. The timing of this particular ailment could not possibly have been worse. On a positive note...I lost three pounds!
4:30 pm. Pam gives the new toilet a test drive and discovers that it has already broken! Some plastic thing snapped on its first use. Technology, my ass! Since I am indisposed, she calls Ron Roop, my annoyingly handy brother-in-law who comes over, determines that the toilet seat in question is defective, drives over to Lowe' demanding restitution and a new one. In less than an hour, the new, working seat is in place. Crisis averted.
Saturday 1:15 am. Kaitlin and Jon arrive with our Grand-Puppy, Jackson. Lucy and Jackson spend thirty minutes getting to know each other, then spend the rest of the night whining and pawing at their respective doors wanting to play. Sleep will have to wait until after the festivities.
Saturday 7:15 am. I feel much better and immediately busy myself with the remaining items on my list. I notice that it is pouring down rain outside. This can't be good.
Saturday 10:30 am. In an hour and a half, 23 of the finest women in America will be arriving bearing tons of lavender scented gifts. Pam's helpers have arrived and it's time to start putting food in the oven, when our cutting edge technology GE gas grill literally DIES. The digital readout screen goes dark. For fifteen seconds or so, all of the air leaves my house. Everything goes into slow motion. I look at Pam, not knowing if she might fly into an unhinged rage, or collapse on the floor in a pool of tears. Instead, she makes another call to SUPER RON! To make a long and potentially catastrophic story short, there was some trip wire thing in one of the walls that we had pressed three different times to no effect but as soon as Ron pressed it once, the stove sprung back to life. Ron announces glibly, "That's $100 per visit, ya know."
Saturday HIGH NOON. Somehow, against all odds, everything is beautiful and ready. Except for one thing...the helium filled decorative balloons that I had hung on the front porch and the mailbox were hanging limply against the ground, weighed down by the rain, which had finally stopped. So, as the ladies start arriving, I find myself doing something I feel pretty sure I had never done before in my life. There I was, drying off each balloon with a paper towel, hoping against hope that no man I know happens by and catches me in such a un-masculine position.
Saturday Noon- 2:00 pm. My job, with Jon's help was to keep the two dogs upstairs and out of trouble. For the most part, we succeed.
Saturday 3:00 pm. After the last amazing cupcake has been eaten and the ladies start to leave, Jon and I go into full cleaning beast-mode. We load the dishwasher, gather up all the paper napkins and whatnots into the trash and start putting all of the displaced furniture back where it belonged. Then we loaded all of the gifts into the proper cars, all the while hoping that Jackson and Lucy weren't urinating on each other upstairs.
And then...just like that, it was all over. I asked Jessica, the guest of honor, how it went. She smiled at me, gave me a hug and said, "It was perfect!"
Of course. Of course it was. That's what Pam does!