My Folder Friend

So much of life involves the eating of one’s pompous noble aspirations. When young and green in judgment, I planned to answer all my mail with a fountain pen filled with either peacock blue or emerald green ink. No keyboard would ever cross the threshold of my fantasy world home.

Do I even need to elaborate the ways this ridiculous worthy idea was shredded? I now aspire to answer your lovely mail to me sometime in the next decade and a response typed on a computer is definitely perhaps the only legible form of communication I am capable of generating as the decades have not been kind to my penmanship.

This brings me to another of my absurd lofty goals. Young Molly also decided to eschew list making: Lists were tools of patriarchy with its obsessive goal orientation and values of perfectionism…… therefore NO LISTS!

For longer than seems possible sane sensible appropriate, I moved through life without any lists. I went from garden task to garden task, going where the spirit moved me, a pinball approach that drove the people who gardened with me crazy.

Inside the house, things had more of a flow. No one needed a list to see what had to be done. Dirty dishes have a way of making their presence felt, don’t they? Laundry also cries out in its own special way…… as do hungry children. Yes, everyone was fed, clothed, tucked in bed and cared for in every way in an orderly if listless way.

But manure happens circumstances change, and I must report, I am now a woman possessed of many lists. If the truth be told, I presently have a folder of lists, a hefty two inch thick folder of lists. My folder is such a scary bold accessory that when I want to be alone, all I have to do is pull out my folder and people scatter, doors slam and silence reigns.

Yes, there is nothing like being a MOB to bring on a life of lists AND make people tremble when one fondles one’s folder.

The wedding is in 11 days, 1 hour and 17 minutes, but who’s counting?

It is simple as modern weddings go- a very small gathering in the gardens with Miguel’s family from Texas, Jim’s family from Connecticut and us chickens in attendance. However, as the list situation suggests, even a simple wedding is fraught with confusions complexities.

Early spring, my wedding lists were a joy. I could embrace a life of lists because they were all about weeding, manuring, composting, planting and mulching. Each day I had the satisfaction of doing jobs I loved then crossing them off a list . Arbor Garden weeded and fertilized. Check! Roses pruned and manured. Check!

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As we all know, such bliss cannot always last. As the wedding got closer, territory beyond the gardens was encountered. The nightmare challenge adventure of finding a MOB dress became a special new activity for me. The department of utter confusion that is wedding etiquette opened for business. Suddenly there were all these inside jobs that didn’t involve dirt. My lists mushroomed.

Even the jobs outside took a turn towards insanity new paradigms when Emily and I freaked ourselves out by “imagining” Miguel’s family touring the gardens. One of the bridal books I read suggested this as a way to prepare for wedding guests. God have mercy on the person who wrote that book. It is never a good idea to imagine what anyone is going to think on looking at a ceiling badly in need of paint or a small vineyard where Dandelions are the main crop.

Emily and I learned the hard way that it is best to look on one’s home with eyes that have long gone blind to screen doors held together by duct tape and piles of sod where the plow guy took a slice out of the lawn. Eventually we abandoned ourselves to the mantra of GHF friend and Texan native Elaine who said, “To a Texan, even weeds are a glorious shade of green.”

I would ask fellow Texan, Miguel, about this notion except he and Elizabeth are strangely AWOL. The Bride and Groom avoid me like the plague. I believe they have come to dread the very sound of me slapping my folder down on the kitchen table. They have grown more and more grateful for caller id and rarely pick up my calls.

This past weekend they hid from me with such cunning that I invited them for Sunday dinner as a way to lure them out of their lair. I could see the glazed look of fear in their eyes after dinner when I cleared a space on the table for my folder friend, but a MOB has got to do what a MOB has got to do. And I had questions, answers, dilemmas and problems.

Yes, me and my folder! FOB, Jim, is enjoying us so much he is heading off on a three day camping trip in the White Mountains with forty sixth graders AND looking forward to it.

There is no doubt about it! My folder and I are alienating everyone making friends with conundrums like today’s bulletin that the 130 paper lanterns I ordered are the wrong size for the light strands I bought.

At lunchtime, the bride took the bullet train home for lunch before I could ask for her opinion on the lantern issue.

Sophie and Caitlin were naive enough not to hide from me during their lunch hour, and so I co-oped them into helping me jury-rig the lanterns to the light strands. In an hour, we had ten lanterns on one strand. Only 120 lanterns to go!

This minor set-back left me opening my folder to add lantern assembly to a list. Before lunch, I had imagined lantern assembly would be a snap. A throw away task that would not need to be put on a list. But no. Now I know it will be a job of many hours, and before the job can be done, there is the dilemma of deciding which list to put this task on. Should it be on the list for the men to do on the Thursday before the wedding? Or the men’s Friday list? Or should it be on the women’s Thursday list or their Friday one?

Yes, I confess. My lists are completely sexist. The men are in charge of all heavy lifting and all activities with trucks or power tools. The women are in charge of food preparation and flower arrangement. Maybe lanterns as well.

And me? I am in charge of making more lists.

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