Location: marengo, il, United States

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

As if I Needed A Reason to Nap

The planners outnumber me now. Was this their original idea?

My wife is a planner. She plans everything, even short trips. Buying milk for this rambling cavehold will require several spur-of-the-moment meetings among almost all members, and sometimes a phone call or two helps her decide. She plans these parties. She plans baths. She even plans laundry. She bothers me constantly with her maddening plans.

I am not much of a planner, as you might have guessed. I pretty much fall out of bed everyday, totally surprised to even be. I had no idea that would happen when I went to sleep the night before. Honestly, I never thought about it once. I usually sit around afterwards, dazed, shaking my head and wondering what is going on, until my planner of a wife tells me her coffee is ready. She plans that, too. Really. She really does. She prepares a coffeemaker the night before, measuring, adding, filling. I go insane at all these details.

From family stories my mother has spread around, I have to assume that I was never a planned event. She, my dear mother, often said my arrival surprised them both, her and my dear father. My eldest sister was said to be more insulted than surprised to see me come along. I do believe my mother was right.

She, my young wife, comes from a large family of big planners. When we met, I had few things stored in my backpack. Her mother squinted her two eyes when she first saw me, and then began to make plans. Right away I could hear cogs and see smoke. If I had been much of a planner-type, I think I might have planned a quick escape then and there. But I got out-planned, or plan-hypnotized, or plan-tamed with the whole damn process. I got caught up in planning all these plans.

I recall at one point dancing gleefully at a dawn of realization. All of my soon-to-be brothers-in-law (five in total, and each one planned but for the last, I am told) made plans to attend the wedding. They even planned on wearing similar suits. That made me aware I had no such thing. That fact caused a fury of planning that lasted for two incredible weeks. I watched as one caught up inside a whirlwind as stitches were sewn, phones dialed, invitations mailed, food discussed, flowers sought and flowers bought.

In the meantime, one of the younger brothers and I made plans to score an amount of weed. Yes, I was becoming slightly hooked on making plans. Rue the day, you say? Rue the day?

Funny you say that. My future father-in-law is named Rue.

Rue Edward Jennings turns out to be a relatively famous plan follower. Apart from having been a cook for the US Army (which certainly required lots of plans), he also took part in one of the most heavily-planned events to take place during World War Two. He and his unit left the safe parts of North Africa and flew to Sicily. At a properly planned moment, the entire unit jumped out of fine, working airplanes. Imagine that.

Then after landing on Sicilian soil, they marched up the length of the Italian boot to get cheered at. Soon England called them over. Rue went there for a temporary rest and recuperation prior to D-Day, but then stuck to hush-hushed plans for him and his buddies to drop by Belgium, via the silk parachutes. (I tried to discover if he got to meet Hitler. One of his younger boys once asked a more-important question with the widest of eyes: And did you die, dad?)

So, with their adventurous victory done and over, he and his new bride, Bernadine, made plans to have a large family in the middle of a prairie. He then planned on working hard to keep them all fed well, and he did a fair job of it, as far as I know.

Me, I never make any plans. I never once intended to be anywhere here on this earth, as far as I can recall. Next thing I know, I am attending some country school, barefoot and winning all the marbles. During high school I got to wear shoes, and in the tenth grade, I impetuously quit that experiment to go join the Marines. Unplanned and unscheduled, every bit of it. But I did take the shoes along.

So that is some history you might not know. Today, I have a young son in the Air Force. Joel, 21, plans to attend college after his tour is up. Yes, he accomplished his goal to finish high school, so what could stop him? He recently came home for a short visit over Memorial Day. Uh-huh. It too was planned in advance for several months. His mother, my younger wife, then drove him, (planned; do I have to tell you everything?) along with two teenagers, half-way across the continental United States to deliver him safely to his unit commander in Virginia, who has more plans, we are sure.

She called me last night to say she plans on leaving in the morning to drive her and the two teens back to the cave here in Hoohooville. I think she wants me to clean up, or maybe organize a parade, but I can’t find the rule book anywhere.


Blogger Gone Away said...

I haven't planned this comment so it may wander about, picking up loose ends and storing them in beakers. Keep writing, Way - this is wonderful stuff. You have a way (no pun intended) with words; they bow to your every command and allow the Way we know to come shining through. And I'm sure Alicia will smile and plan some more! :)

7:41 PM  
Blogger Harry said...

How spontaneously spoken. I can certainly relate to the wandering and the picking you mentioned, Gone, but my distaffmate gets credit for and does much better at the other job. As for her planning on it, I'd say.

9:03 AM  
Anonymous Ned said...

If I planned better: I would have commented sooner, I wouldn't have overslept this morning, I wouldn't be sitting here, I would be rushing about getting ready for work.

Everything you write is a delight to read.

5:44 AM  
Blogger Harry said...

I never planned on you dropping by today either, Ned. Gosh, I feel so ashamed now -- just look at this place. No, don't. Please. Pretend you don't notice. Here, let me stand in front of this giant pile of dirty dishes. Hold on while I place this couch cushion over that full laundry basket. There. Have a seat. Make yourself comfortable as my feet kick odd things behind the stereo. I must get at those chores soon.

Excuse me while I pencil in a good cry after you leave. I plan on shooting our maid next.

8:09 AM  

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