An Old-Fashioned|Romantic Guy

     Call me a dreamer if you wish, an old-fashioned Romantic with cruel yet handsome eyes, but I think a man should wear the pants around the house. It makes it easier to do the chores.
     For mowing the lawn I prefer short pants. Actually, I prefer no pants. I would prefer not to mow the lawn at all. Jane does a lot of our lawn-mowing. She claims she likes it, but that can’t be true because 1) nobody likes to mow the lawn and 2) not with our mower.
     I bought the mower for Jane a few years ago. I told you I was Romantic. I figured since she spends so much time mowing the lawn, she should have a 6-horsepower job that could hack through the broken tree limbs I forgot to pick up.
     That mower is pretty beat up now. The engine cover bounces up and down as you push it along. Sometimes it bounces a good ways up the pull cord before it settles back again and jounces in place. It looks like a Looney Tunes lawnmower – like something Coyote would use to try to catch the Roadrunner.
     Sometimes when Jane comes in from mowing the lawn I tell her about the interesting book I’ve been reading. Last weekend, though, when it was 93 degrees, she seemed uninterested in Shakespeare’s troubles with the Earl of Southampton. Though the anecdote I told her was a corker.
     Jane just sort of sat there and glowed a pinkish-carnelian color, and gasped a bit, like some delicate undersea creature. I tried the anecdote again but it didn’t seem to register.
     I noticed it was getting a bit warmish in there, so I went out to finish the lawn. That’s when I noticed that the lawnmower was a bit ragged. That’s a shame. Power tools should be cared for properly and treated with respect. I intend to get Jane a new one again as soon as I beat this one to death.
     Jane does a lot of the chores around here. For instance, ever since I moved in six years ago I’ve complained that I don’t have enough bookshelves. I don’t complain, actually; it’s more like a recurring suggestion.
     So imagine my surprise the other day when I came back from a long bicycle ride to find what Jane had done.
     She had found the dead center of all the studs in one wall of my office. She had marked the spots for the top screw holes, made all four holes perfectly parallel to the floor, drawn perpendicular lines down and hung brackets from the top holes. All I had to do was drill pilot holes, screw in the brackets and put on the shelves.
     I did it because I got to use a power tool. And in practically no time – voila! Bookshelves.
     Now as soon as we get the shelves up on the other three walls, we’ll be in clover.
     I said: Now as soon as we get the shelves up on the other three walls, we’ll be in clover.
     Ah, well …
     I suppose Jane will get around to it one of these days. I’d ask her when she plans to do it, but she’s busy at the moment, mowing the lawn.

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