Monday, September 26, 2005


After working at the Midsouth Fair on Saturday night, I came home to a house full of sleeping babies. To celebrate, Warren and I watched The Assassination of Richard Nixon with Sean Penn, Naomi Watts, and Don Cheadle which we had boldly rented the night before. It was an okay movie. The really exciting part was getting to watch it from start to finish without any interruptions. (Honestly, it might have been a first!)

On Sunday morning before heading out to the fair again, I noticed that as usual, Jiro was ignoring the 10,000 toys in the living room, and busying himself emptying the cabinet full of videos and DVDs. I noticed the empty Nixon case on the sofa and decided to retrieve the movie from the player before he could possibly destroy it.

When I opened the player, I was only somewhat surprised to discover that the movie was missing. A quick survey of the room did not reveal its whereabouts so I went in search of Warren. “Honey, did you take the movie from last night out of the player?” I hollered through the bathroom door.

“No, why?” he responded.

“Oh, I can’t find it. I’ll keep looking,” I responded casually, hoping I could nip this in the bud. Warren is not one to let things go. The first years of our marriage were filled with many quests for small scraps of paper that often included dumpster diving.

I went back in the living room and inspected the DVD player again. Then I looked in the VCR. I went through the movie cabinet and opened every case. I looked in the toy bins, behind the TV, and under the sofa.

“Did you find it?” Warren asked as he started picking up sofa cushions.

“Nope,” I said, fearing the ensuing tornado.

“That’s my spaceship!” Satchel cried as Warren continued picking up the cushions.

“Come on guys, let’s get out of Daddy’s way,” I said calmly, hoping he would find the movie in time for me to start my shift at the fair.

“Where did he go this morning? Where else could it be?” Warren yelled from the living room. “You know they charge like $75 for lost movies!”

I had to consider whether I wanted to enter into the “How much is this going to cost us” debate. Warren was raised by frugal parents who taught him “to waste not, want not.” Cutting coupons, comparing prices, and the like were ingrained in him from an early age. In this case, it wouldn’t be the cost, it would be the principle.

“I think he pretty much stayed in the living room,” I replied as I preemptively started looking in other rooms.

If it weren’t for Warren, I’d probably give up the search and just hope the movie reappeared by Wednesday when it was due. He’d chalk it up to laziness, but I would say that my time is too precious to waste on an exercise in frustration.

“Jiro, what the hell did you do with the movie?” he asked plaintively to a child who doesn’t talk.

“I know!” said Satchel. “He flushed it down the toilet.”

As Warren headed for the bathroom I called out, “I think it is physically impossible to flush a DVD down the toilet.”

“Did you look in the garbage?” Warren asked. Jiro does like to throw things away. He went into the kitchen and started pulling things out of the trash can one by one.

“Honey, why not just forget about it? You’ve only got today to spend with the boys before heading back to Missouri. I’ll find it before Wednesday I’m sure,” I tried to persuade him. I could see that my plea had fallen on deaf ears. He was on a mission. Plus it was pouring rain outside so there was no escaping to the trails or the playground.

I kissed the boys goodbye and said, “Help Daddy find the movie,” and hoped for the best. For no apparent reason, I searched my car for the movie and double checked that it wasn’t in my purse before leaving.

I called about an hour later, sure that Warren had found it by now. “Did you find it?” I asked hopefully.

“Do you have any idea how much dust there is under the sofa? And the bed!?” he screeched.

There goes my cleaning lady.

“No wonder Satchel has asthma!” he continued.

There was no winning this one. Warren had been in a really good mood for weeks. Even my near constant whininess and complaining over the past couple of weeks had not cracked him. He listened to me bemoan my lack of sleep, my aching butt, and my unhappiness at having to fly solo. He happily took over bedtime on the weekends (my least favorite) and entertained the kids while I had to work on Saturdays and evenings (something that seems to have become the norm). He put off working on his motorcycle in lieu of cooking us nice dinners and stayed up late doing the work he put off during the day so we could ride the trolley and do other family activities.

He was due for a good old-fashioned temper tantrum. I wanted to be mad and tell him he was acting silly, but like me, he is human and needs to blow off steam. Everyone has their issues, you know? Things aren’t always going to be pretty and perfect. Shit is going to break, get lost, and sometimes disappear. Little stuff is going to turn into big stuff.

When I came home at 2pm, the boys were napping and Warren was busy vacuuming the walls. I went in and got a bucket of hot water and a rag. I went over to our wall of books and started taking them out one by one, hoping a DVD would fall out. As I cleared each shelf, I wiped a giant layer of dust off with my rag.

I went through the newspaper recycling and the hamper. Warren looked under all of the mattresses and even in the freezer. No movie.

The whole thing is kind of hilarious now. My mom and my older sister are coming to look tomorrow. No one can believe it is really gone.

This morning before Warren left for Missouri again, I said, “I thought for sure it would be in the dog food bin.”

“I just looked in the return air vents,” he replied.

Then I kissed him good-bye.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

Sometimes it feels good to have a good temper-tantrum. Usually I follow it up with a good cry, but I suppose Warren's too manly for that!

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