For the gardener, pain equals accomplishment. Others may not notice, but our inner obsessive-compulsive gardener can finally stop screaming, “The freakin’ gargoyle’s lopsided! The freakin’ gargoyle’s lopsided, and it’s been lopsided since January!”
Or maybe that’s just me.
Spring has arrived … or at least for the next few days … at least until the next cold snap or whatever unpredictable weather might soon be strutting our way. Next thing we know it’ll be raining puppies.
Still, once little snippets of green start poking from underneath that molding mulch, my heart leaps and my body creaks.
I just celebrated 38 years on this Earth, so when physical toil is on the menu, I have to first stock up on generic Advil, sunscreen and possibly a floppy hat that will embarrass The Diva whenever she happens to catch me in the yard.
It also means that my devious side must rear its ugly head. See, we’re what you might call broke.
True, we can afford food, clothes, the occasional dinner out, the latest Springsteen CD from iTunes. Our bills get paid, but there’s little room for what Susie Ormond might call “nonessentials,” meaning things you can live without. Sadly, flowers and all other yard-oriented stuff falls in this category – or so My Lovely Wife would testify.
Now don’t get me wrong. She is not a yard Grinch. She is always very complimentary of the work I’ve done to improve the curb appeal of our humble home. She just wishes it weren’t so expensive.
Admittedly, I’ve gone a tad bonkers in the past … and that’s just what she knows about.
In order to make a yard “pop” to the point that nosy neighbors are willing to stop and talk to a sweaty, tattooed man in a “Charlie Don’t Surf” T-shirt, one must occasionally color outside the lines.
I’m willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish this, short of getting a knee-cap breaking loan from Mike the Shark or pawning the title to the Kia at 80 percent interest.
I’ve been known to scheme.
It starts with the change I’ve been hoarding since October. If I come up short at the CoinStar machine, I won’t feel an ounce of guilt for shaking out a dime or nine from Jellybean’s piggybank if it’ll buy one more spirea.
Rarely will it end there.
I can get creative. Back in college, I once lied to my Granny, saying that I needed some money to bail a buddy out of jail … only it was to buy beer.
OK, so I feel kind of guilty for that.
But every birthday? Lowe’s gift cards. Anniversary? A trip to the nursery. Easter? What better way to celebrate than with a punch of perennials; they look dead in winter only to come back to life in May!
And I know where My Lovely Wife hides the credit cards.
It used to be easier, back when I was in charge of the family finances. We occasionally ran out of toilet paper – but potting soil was never in short supply.
Contact Brett Buckner at firstname.lastname@example.org.