Published Monday, January 28, 2013
Column by JOHN A. WINTERS
The Little Black Dress is on strike.
How long said strike will last depends on the SONs of Thunder. Which means, for once, I am not the cause of the LBD’s wrath.
There were hints drastic action was possible. Well, much more than hints - threats of banishment, or close to it actually. The SONs are very bright from an intellectual standpoint, but are sometimes a little slow in picking up nuances.
For example, telling them to go wash the dishes means, at least to me, wash them and then put them in the dishwasher. Putting a plate with caked-on food in the dishwasher does not constitute “washing.” Because we all know that food is not coming off, despite the tens of millions of dollars from the dishwasher companies that tell you to just leave it and forget it.
And “pick up your room” does not mean shoveling all the clothes into the closet; nor the clothes hamper because “everything is dirty”; nor using your feet to shove the toys as far back under the bed as possible, because we’ll never see that will we?
The event leading up to The Strike started last Sunday when the two younger SONs woke up in what we can only refer to as a “foul mood.” I leave out Eldest because he only gets up at the very last nanosecond possible. I have no idea why the SONs were not their normal rosy self, but alas for them, they were not.
Getting to church was an exercise in frustration. The SONs were in super slo-mo. This did not help their cause.
It is important to note The Dress loves church. She loves the fellowship. She loves the preaching. And she really loves the singing. That is her “joy” moment. It is also important to note one does not infringe upon the LBD’s “joy” moments when she is praising Jesus, not if one wants to see another day.
As I said, sometimes the SONs don’t get the nuances. Nor do register the laser beam of death. Heck, they aren’t even picking up on The Look. One SON is sulking so hard you can feel it; another won’t stop talking; the third is trying to do handstands on the seat.
About a century ago, there was a television show called Lost in Space. Pretty much what its name implies. There was also a robot, appropriately named Robot. It’s primarily job seemed to try and keep a young voyager, Will Robinson, out of trouble. “Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!” was said more than once each episode.
So I’m doing the whole “Danger, SONs of Thunder, Danger!” routine. It’s like life. People who really care about us are trying to warn us of dangers ahead, but we either refuse to listen or just get stubborn.
Fast forward to the ride home when one SON asks what’s for lunch.
“I don’t know.” The Dress replies. “You’re on your own and don’t even think of touching anything that involves electronics. And clean up this car. I am now on strike.”
There is that rare sound from the SONs ... silence. Which lasts a few seconds before the questions start: “Can’t we eat first?” “What’s a strike?” “How long is the strike?” “Is this even legal?”
This will go on forever so I persuade them their lives will last longer if they don’t move, much less breathe, for a few minutes.
The first night was fun to them; that changed after the second as the novelty wore off and they began to realize what all The Dress does for them. Or did. To their credit, the SONs are still alive. They manage to actually eat things that don’t always require frozen food and a microwave. They actually scrape off the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. They have gotten out the rakes and pulled everything out from under their beds.
They have used their imagination - in the real world. They have gone back to the sticks and stones of our forefathers and brought in the neighbor kids to play. Bloodshed, considering the weapons, is within limits.
And The Dress, also known as Grace, has shown that. Every now and then, she’ll get off the picket line. The SONs now practice gratitude in return.
But the best times are that The Dress and I have had two romantic dinners, alone. Complete with great movies, and didn’t leave our couch.