I used to do stuff, but my son grew up and decided I was incompetent. He stole all my tools (which he called “borrowing”). Since he never intended to return any of them, I feel he and I need to reassess our language interface. I have managed to save a lightweight Dremel. I keep it hidden in the linen closet. I’m pretty sure it’s safe there. I have a hammer stowed in the silver chest where no one but me goes.
I don’t have a screwdriver, staple gun, tape, glue, or nails. Nor thumb tacks. The son who took my tools is too busy to do the little jobs I could do and Garry is a 10-thumbs kind of guy. I knew that when we got married. I never expected him to be Mr. Fixit.
In our house, what gets broken, stays broken. Forever and ever, world without end. Limited as I am by age, infirmity, and a paucity of tools, when I heard for the umpteenth time another feeble non-promise, I blew at least three gaskets simultaneously. I had reached my limit for empty promises.
For all these years, I believed. Someone said “I’ll take care of it.” I assumed it meant he/she/they would take care of it.
I have finally worked it out. Husbands, children, grandchildren, brothers-in-law — and paid contractors — make promises. More accurately, they say stuff I think are promises. They would be promises if I said them, but the words have an entirely different meaning when used by them. What they mean and what I hear are unrelated.
They are not breaking their word. They were merely making soothing noises. They never had any intention of doing whatever. Genuine intentions — real promises — come with a schedule. A plan.
“I’ll plant those seeds tomorrow,” is a promise. “I’ll plant those seeds … ” is not a promise. Tomorrow is the key word. Tomorrow afternoon is even better. Today, after lunch is golden. The narrower the time-frame, the more likely “it” is to occur. Otherwise, the words are meant to shut me up without saying “shut up.”
It has taken a lifetime for me to figure out when words sound like promises, resemble promises, but are not promises.
After making this revelation, realizing I’ve been waiting for nothing, my Hag popped up. That’s the me who isn’t nice or forgiving. She doesn’t care about your other plans. Do it or face Her Wrath. There is nothing quite as pissed off as a granny who realizes she’s been duped.
Suddenly, the air conditioner is installed. Well, at least one of them. The other one is supposedly getting done today (still waiting). A new shower installation graces the bathroom. The front yard is clean and the walk is usable at long last.
Dave, the Well Guy, finally capped the well!
I’m on a roll. I don’t expect it to last, but in the meantime, it’s satisfying.