It's usually simple stuff because I'm a guy and I have a limited attention span. Anything over 5 minutes and I might start watching cartoons and forget. Usually it goes like "honey, I'd really like it if you drank some water occasionally."
'Mmm. Grog can drink water if it make Molly happy.'
A day or so later, "Did you have any water today?"
'Um, Grog forget. Grog go get water. I'll call you right back, angel." Then I'll go inside the truck stop to get a bottle of water, pass by the tv room and an hour or two later she'll call.."You know I only mention these things because I worry about you, babe." Right about then I think my silence gives me away as I remember what I was supposed to be doing. I know she knows because she gives me that laugh. You know the one, guys. The one that says "what am I gonna do with you?" It's like she knows the odds are I got distracted and forgot.
'Crap. They had the TV on. I forgot again. Grog try harder.' That's usually the point I'll write it on my hand "water. No tv til you drink water. Idiot."
It went on like that for a few months because I work outside tarping and stuff and I sweat a lot. Something about her wanting me to be hydrated and not die. Eventually I just bought a case of water so when she reminded me I'd have it handy. And I'm proud to say I've had only 1 soda in about 2 months. (Not entirely true. I haven't kicked sweet tea yet. I'm from the south, you don't just "quit" sweet tea) Mostly just coffee and water though. I feel healthier. Considering I'd been living off Mountain Dew and coffee I think I'm doing much better now. Because she cared but she was understanding. I'm sure it was her plan all along but she let me think I came about the idea all on my own. Women are kind to us that way, they let us believe we are in control even when we all know we would still be living in caves if it were up to men.
So today she made a request. Another valid one that's for my own good. Let me start by reminding you she's very very tidy. I'm very very...not. My truck has been referred to as a "rolling biohazard". Molly won't even get in it without a double layered hazmat suit and a flame thrower "just in case". Honestly, it is pretty bad even when I don't have the dogs with me.
She worries about me and knows I don't sleep well. I don't have sheets on my bed and there are piles of "stuff" at the foot of my bed. Some I can identify and some even I can't explain. So much so that I don't really stretch out. According to some research that's just not healthy. If science is to be trusted. I still think "science" is a passing fad.
The request? "You want something to do today since you're not working? How about straightening up at least your bed so you can sleep comfortably? Do something with all that stuff at the end of your bed, put actual SHEETS on your bed and try to make it look like you don't nest like a squirrel. You'll sleep better, I promise. Love you."
So I had my challenge and I accepted it. I thought "Grog will do good job and make Molly proud. Molly will smile at Grog when he done." What I didn't realize was exactly how daunting that task was. I thought I was slightly domesticated. Boy was I wrong. In my mind I was gonna breeze through this then sit back and watch a movie. It'd take 10 minutes tops. But here's how it actually went:
I walk across the parking lot to K Mart to buy a milk crate looking thing and some sheets. "I've got this." I walk in there with a purpose. "Sheets and a crate, that's our objective." I secure a crate like I've just freed a hostage. Woohoo! With the crate in hand I remember I haven't had lunch. I'll need a snack with my movie.
Aisle 3: tuna, crackers and relish. Score! Wait. I need a drink. Gatorade sounds good, I'd like some flavor today. Orange. Got it.
Well I've got my snacks, let's see what movies they have in the cheap movie bin. I finally settled on three titles. "Ok. Everything's in the crate, I'm headed to check out now".
I get back to my truck with my goodies. "Crap. Wasn't I supposed to get something else? Think, man, think! Sheets." Shit.
Back to K Mart. It's only about 300 feet so I walk in still chanting to myself "sheets, sheets, sheets" like I'm at a Martha Stewart concert as I reach the sheet section. What size do I need? Um, it's a pillow and a half wide. Let me go to the pillows to get a measurement.
I found a nice pillow over there. My old one is pretty flimsy now so I'd better just buy a new one. I'm all proud of myself as I get to the register. "Molly is gonna be excited, you even got a new pillow to go with your..." Shit. Forgot the sheets again. How can this be so HARD?! Focus, man!
Back to the sheet aisle. Found them. I'll just go with Full size. I'm a full sized guy, why not. So I read the package to make sure it has everything I need (like I'd know the difference)..."fitted sheet, flat sheet, 2 pillow cases. Awesome. Wait. Where'd the pillow go? Did you seriously just lose the pillow from the register to here? You're an idiot, I swear." Back to the pillow aisle. Found one a bit bigger than the one I had a minute ago. Time to go check out.
I wait in line, put my new black sheets on the counter and my new pillow. Right next to the one I'd apparently left up there. Oops. It's alright, I like the bigger one. Molly has big pillows on her truck, I'll just try to make my bed look like hers. (That's like saying I'm gonna make a pig look like a Cheetah).
Back across the parking lot to the truck. I start pulling stuff off the foot of my bed and stack it neatly in the crate. The plan is to put the crate at the foot of the bed all tidy and shit. Good plan. Except when I start I realize one crate isn't nearly enough.
Back to K Mart. Thank God it's close. Crates, Christian. You need like 2 more at least. They're by the pillows. Get in, get out. Standard extraction plan. You've got a black one so grab another black one and 2 red ones. Don't go all black, you're not Johnny Cash or some emo goth kid. Oh look, they have little ones too. I'm sure those'll come in handy. Grab a couple of those. Now don't look at anything else; just go up front and pay. You've still got work to do.
So I get back to my truck. Everything is going smoothly. Stuff is either in the trash or in a crate. Look at me go! Alright, pick up the mattress and clean under it. Can't hurt.
Time for the sheets. That's when things get complicated.
There was an all out fight. Round one went to the fitted sheet. Apparently there's a lengthwise and a sideways. They should label them because you can only put them on lengthwise. I tried like hell but they just won't fit any other way. The mattress in my truck is fairly thin. Put the sheets on wrong and they will literally slap you in the face. I know this for fact now. Twice. And so will the mattress. How humiliating.
Round two. I'd call that one a draw. Sure, the sheet stayed on but now my mattress looked like some four-cornered bowl. No way could I sleep on that. If it was waterproof I'd have been able to bathe in it.
Round three. I was soaked in sweat like I'd just finished bailing hay. There was definitely some severe name calling involved though. At one point I thought I was gonna have to perform an atomic elbow drop from the top rope like a pro wrestler. Finally I emerged victorious. "Grog may need a beer now." Grog was seriously considering shots at this point.
Flat sheet? Easy peasy. I even put my quilt on top and made it look nice. Then I started putting my crates in place. I'd been careful to get interlocking ones so they'd stay put when I drive. In theory. I'll know in a day or so.
Alright. Now to apply pillow cases and I can relax. This is the home stretch! I get my comfy looking new pillow out of its secure case. It was all zippered into a bag that had a handle. Presumably this thing was intended to be carry on luggage I guess. "Pillow, meet your new home. This is my bed. That's where you'll be serving your life sentence. Since you came in a bag I'm gonna put you in a pillow case. Don't worry, it's black so you won't have to worry about the light anymore." (Don't judge me for talking to my new pillow, I was teetering on insanity by then).
What the shit?! This pillow case is too small. Well the other one is the same size. I'll try anyway. Yep, about 3-4 inches of pillow sticks out. Well shit.
So I march back over to K Mart. Straight to the pillow aisle. Look, there's pillow cases but they're all white. And they all have zippers. Whatever, they show them on pillows and that's what I need. I'll take one.
Back to the truck. I open the package, lay the "pillow encasement" next to the pillow. Yeah, they really called it a "pillow encasement" like it's for security and stuff. This damn thing is the same size as what I already had. Is this a joke?!
Now I'm practically stomping back over to K Mart. The one cashier they had working was surely beginning to think I was casing the joint. I go back to the sheet section trying to figure out where I've failed. I find "extra long fitted sheets" (that would've come in handy an hour ago) and "extra long flat sheets" but no "extra long pillow cases". I looked up and down both aisles. Right about the time I'm thinking it'd just be easier to set fire to my bed I see a lady shopping an aisle over. Reinforcements!
I approach her, probably looking like I'm about as lost as a cat in a doghouse. "Ma'am can you help me? I'll be honest, I have no idea what I'm doing." Fortunately, she was rather kind. "I'll do my best. What are you looking for?"
"Well, I bought this pillow but the pillow cases that came with the sheets are too small."
"So you bought a body pillow? Let's go see if we can find pillow cases for a body pillow." And away we go. She knew right where everything was. "Is this what you're looking for?"
"I have no idea anymore. I don't know what kind of pillow I got. I was trying to be fancy like my girlfriend. She's got a bunch of different sized pillows."
"Well, did you buy it here? Yes? Good. Let's go over there and you just show me which one you bought and we will go from there." Off to pillow land we went. Boy, I'm sure getting my cardio today. But we found it. Then...she made me feel even dumber than I already did. She flips the package over. "King size". Right there, plain as day.
"So does this mean I've gotta buy king size sheets? My bed certainly isn't that big. What've I DONE?"
Turns out there's a section to buy just King size pillow cases. So she took me over there. She was even kind enough to name the colors as she pointed to each of them. Clearly I'd come across as mentally deficient. Ordinarily I'd have been offended but I had no defense since I was too stupid to figure out to look at the package to begin with.
Now I've got 3 pillows on my bed, each nestled in its own case. My bed is made, my stuff organized back here and I finally put on a movie. My "10 minute chore" only took 2 1/2 hours. I told Molly I completed my task and sent pictures. "Proof of life".
We FaceTimed and I talked her through my torment as I showed her my crate system and made bed. She periodically gave me that "you're a big, dumb animal but I love you" look and even told me she was proud of me. She smiled. Suddenly it was all worth it. I think I've decided I'm just gonna buy another blanket and sleep on top of the sheets. No way am I fighting this bed again. It'll just stay made. And I think half of my task was intended to see if I could figure my way around the "domestication" section of the store.
There should be a separate customer service counter where males can rent guides to help them buy this stuff. Like at the mall where you rent strollers but with females. "Cindy, you're up. Take this guy shopping. He has a list his Significant Other sent him with. Look at him, he's already got that deer in headlights look."