06 May 2015

If You Obey All The Rules You Miss All The Fun

I was contacted by another MontaƱa neighbor. It's exciting to make friends even before we arrive in Samara. But this also means that my neuroses are showing. This blog is no longer seen only by my Peace Corps pals, California family, and Texas friends. Perhaps I should curtail the sarcasm . . . tone-down the sassy attitude. It's a bit concerning to feel that I might frighten the neighbors, even before we've met in person. Strict rules of polite society should dictate my posts. Sadly, I don't do well with rules.

I'm not known for my math skills. Once upon a time I had above-average math skills (now I have a husband for that). I dispensed with math skills long ago in lieu of grammatically impeccable syntax . . . or perhaps that's only in my imagination. I was raised by a mother who taught me to never-ever correct someone's grammar. A grammatical correction, to mother, was a far more serious social faux-pas than poor grammar. Still . . . sometimes I'm powerless.

I told my best friend that I find it infuriating when someone says, “I was taken back by . . . .” The word is aback. A-B-A-C-K. Taken aback, an English idiom: Surprised and disconcerted by something unexpected. He was taken back to Georgia for burial following death-by-poor-grammar. He was taken aback by her sudden harsh criticism of his grammar. Anyway, I then had to confess to Becky that on Trivia Crack I missed a question about personal pronouns and participles. I was so embarrassed that I looked around to be certain that no one was present. No one was. 

Not long ago Rusty corrected my grammar. Inconceivable! I was complaining about the garden hose or something inconsequential and I said, It’s broke, fix it! Rusty’s one-word response? Broken. Whoops. So, Nelda, was Rusty wrong to correct his wife's grammar? It makes me crazy to publish a post and then re-read it only to find typos or grammatical errors. I know how to proof-read. I teach unsolicited lessons in how to proof-read. Unsolicited! I can see my mother cringe with embarrassment. But we're here to discuss rules and math skills, not merely grammar.

I'm a Corel software gal . . . nay, a Corel snob. Comes from my legal-field days. Real word processors use Word Perfect. Typists use Word. Similarly, I use Corel's QuattroPro. Excel frightens me. So I cling to my Word Perfect and use Corel Quattro Pro for mathematical needs. I've got this practical, if not beautiful Quattro Pro spreadsheet explaining how we're going to finance our move to Samara . . . and live a long and happy life with our meager savings. There's only one problem: I've misplaced $10,000 on the spreadsheet. I feel like Uncle Billy in It's a Wonderful Life. Of course the money isn't gone . . . it's merely been mistakenly allocated into a wrong column, or entered as a debit instead of a credit. No surprise from the gal who took a C+ in Accounting 101. But as we've made a recent offer on a car (far above our budgeted amount), and as I still haven't purchased our poolside furniture, and as Rusty prepares to pack a sixth pallet (I budgeted only five), and as it has become abundantly clear that Rusty needs a garage, now, I'm paralyzed. Do I need to worry about money? Aren't there strict rules for retirement planning? I feel confident that there are; and they likely don't include willy-nilly spending to ship olive-oil mayonnaise and pink peppercorns.

Look! This pool photo is weeks old. I bet the pool is almost complete. Sitting there all by its lonesome awaiting furniture, and an outdoor kitchen, and a cover for the pool deck . . . and the loss of that horrible mauve paint on the walls of the home. I made a crayon drawing of a garage for Rusty. Scanned it and emailed it to our builder. Cynthia transformed it into her typically gorgeous architectural rendering. It's beautiful. The cost? Who cares! Let's build that garage for Rusty. 

My job for today was, as Rusty says, to chase that money and confirm that we're still on budget for everything on our wish list. Clearly that's not happening, as I sit here composing a new post, frightening the neighbors, and spending money that I can't locate. Rules, schmules. The only thing I'm chasing today is another lemon pie. 

Incidentally, it's myriad . . . not a myriad of . . . . And it's a rare occasion when an exclamation mark is required. Very rare. As for the title of this post? The great Katharine Hepburn said it, and it's practically my mantra. Lo que hay.