I hate balloons. I’m not sure if it’s connected to a traumatic childhood incident or an OCD-like aversion to the sound and feel of a balloon. Whenever one is near me, I have an irrational fear of it popping in my face, and my ears want to crawl inside my head when I hear the rubbery sound of someone touching its exterior. Also, the presence of a balloon means a sibling fight is less than two minutes away. Someone’s balloon will pop or float away and they will try to take the other’s and fisticuffs will ensue. It’s just a fact.
And yet, Mr. Johnson still accommodates his boys’ requests for balloons. He obligingly takes the empty latex shell and fills it with air and leaves me to walk around the house fearing for my life. Or having to break up the inevitable fights. Like this morning. He went to a meeting. And I got to referee a balloon fight. Also, I have no voice. I may have stomped my feet on the floor at one point to ‘stop the insanity’ as Susan Powter would have said. Who’s the kid here, I wonder.
The basement lights
The professor likes to think of himself as a bit of an environmentalist. By ‘bit’ I mean, he recycles roughly one percent of his trash. And occasionally instructs the rest of us to turn off lights when we’re not in a particular room. A suggestion he mostly fails to comply with. Especially when said lights are out of the way…like in the basement.
There was an episode on Everybody Loves Raymond where Ray went on a business trip. He came back and dumped his suitcase right by the front door instead of taking it upstairs. His wife got mad. But she refused to move it. So it became this ‘thing’ where they both refused to take the suitcase upstairs and it stayed there for a long time. Apparently that’s what the basement lights are, for us. To be fair, neither of us uses the downstairs much, it is our offspring who play there. And I understand at the end of a long night, it’s just unthinkable to have to walk downstairs and back up again just to turn off a light or two. I understand because I don’t want to do it either.
But the environment! Last night, after observing he’d left the lights on three nights in a row, I said to him: ‘can you please turn off the basement lights when you go to bed?’ I don’t remember his exact response but I think he agreed. I came downstairs around 3am. Lights on.
We have four or five computers in our house at any given time. Roughly one for each member of the family. Herr Johnson rotates between them, depending on his software needs and his location within the abode. I use whatever computer is available for my important work of checking email and facebook and celebrity babies dot com.
For reasons I cannot fathom, Jason likes to leave his gmail ‘open’ all the time. He logs on and doesn’t log out. Apparently so he can know right away when an email enters his inbox. Or something like that. However, it is not possible to log into two different gmail accounts using the same internet browser. So I have to log him off so I can log on. I will not use Mozilla’s Firefox, dangit.
I then check my email and I log off again. I’m just polite that way. And this drives him crazy. To return to a computer only to find his email has been closed. Because by the time he enters his username and password (a 3.5 second process, I’m guessing) he may have missed that email from the Nobel committee saying his important environmental conservation efforts have won him the prize. But he only has two seconds to reply in order to claim the award?
He returned from his meeting this morning and saw me doing my important blog work. ‘What are we fighting about now,’ he asked. ‘The basement lights,’ I said to him, pointedly. ‘What, I went down there with the Hen this morning,’ he offered in his defense. ‘At 3 am?’
‘Oh, maybe not….Well, can you at least talk about how you leave the dresser drawers open and how annoying that is and how when I talk to you about it you say ‘yeah, that makes sense’ but then nothing changes?’