The weekend came, went and somehow four Ryans and a Cowboy are still breathing.
Friday began the same way I started the morning I took the ACT: anxious, achey and 5 gallons of chai latte.
I had the day off from work, so I had time to prepare. But even though I’d vacuumed, scrubbed, reorganized and sorted through my apartment every day since the weekend before, I kept finding more and more dust, more and more crumbs and more and more projects I should have completed six months ago.
Cowboy didn’t have to work either. (Hey, holiday, hey!) I told him to come over anytime before 3 p.m. a.k.a. Ryan weekend blast-off. But don’t come over too early, I said, or I’ll put you to work.
I don’t mind helping out, he said.
Write that down, I said, in fact, tattoo it to your forehead lest you forget and complain of hand cramps or belly aches. NO ONE STOPS UNTIL THE CARPET SHINES.
So he arrived around 11 after doing some moving, hauling and choring of his own. Apparently, he misunderstood when I said Richard Simmons never worked you like this. Cowboy was ready to lend a hand, but starving... for Internet. I offered sandwiches and sodas but he bypassed the baked goods and made a bee-line for my computer... all in the name of Fantasy Baseball scores.
Fantasy Baseball is like that Giga pet I begged my mom for in seventh grade.
Fantasy Baseball: A virtual team fans update, maintain and study like a calculus exam. Basically, fans design their dream team using the actual players before each upcoming game. Based on the performance of the athletes selected, the fan gets points. The more points, the merrier.
The thing is, the American and National Leagues play, like, every day. And like my Giga pet, how often do you really want to clean the poop of a team that doesn’t even exist?
I have no city-country comparison for this nonsense. I just point it out in protest. How can you make fun of someone who buys $5 coffee when you spend your Saturdays inside with imaginary friends?
Me, I prefer to spend my days off preparing for company, i.e., ironing table linens and vacuuming the oven.
So, since I was so nice, and thankful to have another set of hands as mine were covered in cream cheese frosting, I allowed this. Go ahead, relax, trade Danny Knobler for Roy Halladay. You have 30 seconds before I hand you the list.
The list: A conglomeration of all the things I had to do before my parents arrived and the time in which I allowed myself to do them. And PS: Fantasy Baseball was not on it.
When you're done there, if you’re still wiling to help, I said, I have a man job for you.
A man job? he asked, ears perking. What’s a man job?
Welllllllll, I said, batting my eyes after reapplying lip gloss, see that door trim there with the lock on it? It’s not attached to the wall like it’s supposed to be. I ripped it off its hinges 6 months ago and never replaced it. Think you can handle it?
Maybe, he said. It would have been nice to know this before though. Then I could have brought my tools.
Listen, I said. I have tools. Two of them. What more could you possibly need?
I should have watched Cowboy work my one hammer and single screwdriver so I could learn how to use such devices and bypass the 6-month waiting period the next time, but I was too busy icing my red, white and blueberry cupcakes.
Finished, he said, beating his chest, reaking of Old Spice and shouting “I’m a man, I’m 40!” down the hall. What other man jobs you got, miss?
Well, I’ll let you pick, I said. Left on the list is curl my hair, paint my toes or fix lunch. What do you say, Macho Man?
Soon, Cowboy was peeling carrots, slicing mushrooms and chopping radishes as the melodies of Celine Dion and Kenny G masked the wings of his masculinity flapping away.
And while he cooked, cleaned, and repaired with every request, at only one did he put his boot down and say “Oh no you di-n’t.”
See, where I come from, (i.e. America) boys don’t tuck their polo shirt into their jeans. Especially when not working and ESPECIALLY while wearing flip flops. (Kyle J., I KNOW you agree with me on this one)
Now. I know I don’t know as much about man clothes as I do about women’s. But unless the man’s hair is graying, the shirt belongs OUTSIDE the pants.
Why don’t you leave it untucked today, I said.
No! he said with an astuteness usually reserved for rapists and purse-snatchers. I tuck in my shirt. I’m a Cowboy, he said.
Oh really? I said, covering my smile and pretending my laugh was just the background vocals to Barry Manilow. So why do Cowboys have to tuck in their shirts?
I don’t know, he said, inspecting his muscles and eating raw eggs. So girls can check out our butts.
Interesting, I said. And good luck with that, I said, cuz this one sure isn’t.
Ten minutes later, the parents arrived.
To be continued. Bwa haha.