The General Knows How To Play Hardball – She Got My Goat


I wondered how it would feel? Yesterday morning I didn’t have an agenda other than working from home. Consequently, I wasn’t facing a fifty-one mile commute to work. Do you have any idea how good it felt not to have to do that yesterday?


I needed to invest more time on the Washington side of my workweek schedule, but it all evens out over a two-week period. I purposefully didn’t set the alarm when I went to bed last night. I figured if my blog posting were late, the folks who missed it would like it equally well later in the day. Of course, I could be wrong. They might opt to cancel their subscription.


When I awakened I didn’t feel as rested as I anticipated. Like I said, “I didn’t set the alarm on my phone. I was all about sleeping in and letting nature take its course”. Over the past two-and-a-half years the General has settled nicely into that routine. Surprisingly, the illuminated bedroom clock reflected 3:00 a.m. So was this the beginning of a nightmare? This isn’t how the morning after is supposed to feel is it?


I went to bed fantasizing that retirement is here only to awaken to same ole, same ole. I had the same thought that my oldest granddaughter expressed when she learned that her baby sister was really going to be her baby brother. She was not happy with the news. She had fantasized having a baby sister. Her mother tried to console her by saying, “God determines things of that nature.” She replied: “Well then, God cheated us.”


Maybe that is an overstatement to what I was actually thinking at 3:00 a.m. yesterday, but I was not happy to be awake. Somehow I had envisioned sleeping for eight uninterrupted hours. Instead, I guess you could say: “I slept like a baby.” I was wide-awake and restless.


By 4:45 a.m., I couldn’t take it any longer. I rolled out of bed and when my feet hit the floor I headed for the computer. In the process of processing everything I hoped to accomplish yesterday, I reached for the stack of documents I needed. The stack proved to be something other than the documents I needed. They weren’t in the stack. So where were they?


You guessed it. They were in my office at work. Guess what? I made my routine morning commute to work on the first day that I thought the need didn’t exist. I guess I’m more of a creature of habit than I actually assumed.


Before I headed out the door, the General offered the “free” workout at the gym invitation once again. Honestly, she is goal directed and she doesn’t give up. I expressed my regrets. Okay, so I fudged a little bit.  I really wasn’t that remorseful. After all, I had to get the documents I needed from work.  Besides that, I didn’t want to go to the gym.


Late yesterday evening, my son was talking to the two of us on the telephone and he chided, “So Dad, how did your plans work out for implementing your ‘Silver Sneakers’ workout? It came across a little curter than the General probably meant it to, but she said something about the unchangeable nature of my physique. I purposefully left out the “overweight and out-of-shape” unspoken innuendo that is probably a more accurate assessment that I really want to admit.  After all, isn’t de-nile a river in Egypt?  Trust me, she wasn’t being overly complimentary. I wasn’t particularly amused that my son seemed to be in full agreement with her.


I guess you could say that only time will tell, but I fully intend to prove them both wrong. What will it take? Exercise and dieting, aren’t those the two major ingredients? Yet, can you think of a worse day than May 5 to give up Mexican food? Okay, so I’m making a written pledge that I’m dropping fifteen pounds. It won’t be overnight, but I’ll show them both. I’m as resolute (camouflage for stubborn) as my better half. I will prove her wrong even if I don’t always get it right.


Speaking of not getting it right, I really messed up yesterday. Somewhere around mid-morning I received a text from the General. I made the assumption that she had jut gotten home from the gym. Her text caught my full attention. She wrote: “You didn’t shut the garage door all the way. The goats feasted on the ragtop…”


First let me say, if the General wanted to get my goat she couldn’t have done a better job. Could it be true? I remembered closing the garage door as I left the house yesterday morning. At least it was coming down after I hit the remote button.


On the outside chance she was joking, I opted to wait her out. Seriously, she didn’t add a footnote or provide any other information. How long could I wait it out? I had a sick sensation in the pit of my stomach. Finally, I could take it no more. I texted back: “Please tell me this is a joke”.


Again I waited almost forever for her to respond. When it comes to texting, she’s as good as any millennial that I know.  I told myself that what she had written had to be true. She’d never think of anything as clever as that to get my goat. It is out of character for her. Besides that, she wouldn’t do anything that mean. Finally, she responded to my: “Please tell me this is a joke” text. She responded with a question: “Do you want a picture?”


Honestly, a picture is the last thing I wanted. I wanted her to say she was only joking, but I knew she’d be the last person on the face of the earth to joke like that. I didn’t understand it. The garage door was coming down when I drove away. Seriously, it had to have been didn’t it? I wouldn’t have rushed off without pressing the remote button to lower the door.


Seriously, at some level I’m obviously a shallow person. In the total scheme of things, a little damage to a new car is not the end of the world; but it was inconvenient at best. The very thought of having to deal with it was not making my day.


So I picked up the phone and called.  I couldn’t stand it any longer.  When she answered, I asked: “How bad is it?” She said, “You’re not going to be pleased”. “So should I go ahead and call State Farm and get a claim started?”, I asked.


I don’t remember exactly how she responded, but she added: “You left the garage door open last night as well”. She was talking about the side door rather than the actually garage door. How could that be? I didn’t even remember going through that door. On second thought, I walked out to my car to get my coffee cup yesterday morning. Maybe I did fail to shut it securely, but I had no recall.


“So next times, hopefully you’ll remember this lesson. If I simply had told you that you failed to securely shut the garage door, you wouldn’t have remembered it for ten minutes. You lucked out this time. The goats didn’t get in the garage, but they could have.”


Wow! Knock me over with a feather!!! The General knows how to play hardball. I didn’t see that coming. Actually, at that point, I was so relieved that I didn’t need to call State Farm to be a good neighbor, that I let her off the hook. I was inordinately relieved.


She also mentioned when I got home from work that we didn’t have pork tenderloin for dinner on Wednesday night. We had beef tenderloin. We also had mushroom Wellington, but I didn’t mention that either. Maybe she’s right. Maybe I don’t pay attention. Well, at lest now I know she does occasionally read my blog. I bet she’s hooked.


All My Best!



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