Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Thursday, April 06, 2006


When Baroy came home last night and told me about our friends' dogs having to be given away because the friends are no longer home enough to care for them, the first thing I said was, "Oh, no. Em is going to be devastated when we tell her."

I should have known better. I've known this man for a dozen years and lived with him for 11 of those--in sin, gaspgasp, the first year. I know him. Better than anyone else.

One of the things I know about him--one of the things I exploit about him regularly--is that he has no ability to delay...anything. Gratification, the inevitable...anything he knows he needs to do or say or feel, he needs to do or say or feel NOW.

Sometimes, this comes in useful. When something needs to be done, I know that all I have to say to Baroy is, "You know, we should start thinking about getting some quotes on having those trees trimmed," and I will have three quotes the next day. Our friend G, who often works as a director with Baroy on plays Baroy has written, does the same sort of thing. He will say to Baroy, "Now, this isn't something you need to decide on right now, but I really think this scene needs a little work..." and Baroy will grumble and argue and G will repeat, "Well, just think about it," and the next morning he'll have an email from Baroy with the rewritten pages.

Of course, there is a downside. Sometimes I will forget who I’m dealing with, and muse aloud, “Gee, it would be great to repaint the house, wouldn’t it?” and then I’ll find myself at the paint store the next day, repeating over and over again, “I don’t KNOW what color I want for the living room! I was just thinking it might be nice to repaint SOME day, not TOday!”

All of which leads to that what-I-thought-of-as-innocent comment last night about Em hearing about these two dogs she loves being given to another family. I had every intention of telling her; I am not one to shield my kids from bad news. But I would have considered the circumstances (today one of her best friends on our block is moving to Colorado, and she’s been really broken up about it) and the time (7:30 in the morning, half an hour before school starts) and the potential for hysteria and heartbreak (extremely high). Baroy? Not so much.

And so it was that I found myself, this morning, cradling a sobbing 8.5-year-old on her bed as if she were an 8.5-month-old, and considering cutting out my husband’s larynx. And there he was, looking bewildered at the level of emotion from his daughter (“all this about some dogs?”) and the level of anger from his wife (“what’d I do wrong?) and just shaking his head in confusion. “But you said we were going to have to tell her...”

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