I love pomegranates. The seeds are like little jewels. They taste kind of like a combination of grapes and cranberries: sweet, with a little kick. According to the folks at the health food store, they are extremely good for you—loaded with antioxidants and vitamins that keep you living a long time. The problem with pomegranates is that they are hard to open and eat. Those little seeds tend to break open when I cut into the fruit, and they squirt all over my shirt. Others fly around the room as I try to disengage them from the rind and put them in a dish to eat. I can never seem to track all the errant seeds down, and so days later I either step on them, discover them stuck to the walls, or find them dried up on chair cushions. As a result, I eat mostly easy fruits like apples.

This is the story of my life, I guess. As a kid, I never wanted to do much that required major effort. Piano? Are you kidding? You have to practice a half hour a day! Sports? You mean you have to break a sweat? Homework was another thing. If it took hours to write a term paper worthy of an “A,” then I settled for a “B.” I loved books, but if the description of the bosky dell was too detailed, I just skipped pages until the lovers were actually DOING SOMETHING.

This whole habit has stayed with me. I am not proud of it, necessarily, but I feel the need to defend myself against all of those perfectionists out there who feel that doing something requires doing it to the best of one’s ability. THIS IS HOGWASH, IN MY OPINION. Life is short. I want to cram as much in as possible. In order to accomplish that, I have to cut corners.

Let’s consider housework. My mother had a system of keeping house that required an ENTIRE DAY for each activity! Monday, she ironed. I buy wrinkle resistant clothing for all family members. Tuesday was for shopping. Ok, I like to shop, so I do it on a regular basis. Wednesday was for dusting and vacuuming. Dusting? I use my hand; it takes about forty seconds. I vacuum only when I can no longer discern the color of the carpeting. Thursday was for cleaning the bathrooms and washing the floors. I do clean the bathrooms to prevent diseases from spreading, but who ever heard of dusty floors hurting anyone? Mom went on like this all week. I have chosen to work outside of the home and get PAID for it.

Parenting is another area in which I evidently took the easy way. I was never a room mother, because luckily, I was a “Working Mom.” The fact that Charlie also worked and managed somehow to serve up mashed potatoes in the school cafeteria did not escape the notice of my children. When the request went out for cupcakes for the Sunday school bake sale, I always felt that ones made by professional bakers were far superior to the lopsided ones fashioned in the home kitchen. And what is all the fuss about home sewn Halloween costumes? They wear them once, and then GROW OUT OF THEM, for Petes’ sake. Why NOT get them at Wal-Mart?

Yard work is very time consuming, and it is very hard on the knees. I have never really liked flowers all that well anyway. And why in the WORLD would anybody want to spend four hours a week DEADHEADING? I can think of so many other things that I would rather do. Weeding, to me, seems as futile as trying to pick off every single poppy seed from a bagel, one at a time! Our yard looks just fine, thank you, with its ground cover and hardy perennials. Mulch, you know, is not expensive, and if you spread it around thickly enough, it chokes the stuff that isn’t supposed to be growing in those beds. The muscle-bound yard guys I pay to throw the mulch around are also fun to watch from inside the house!

I have never enjoyed cooking. It seems a colossal waste of time to amass ingredients, massage them around, let things rise, baste stuff, and learn how to finesse pie crusts and separate eggs. It takes a member of my family exactly two minutes to polish off dessert. So where is the logic in spending three hours making it?

I am an expediter. I know how to get things checked off lists! My house looks good enough, if you don’t check the corners or wear white kid gloves. I have lots of spare time in which to do fun things. When friends who read what I have written suggest that maybe I might want to write a book, I consider what being an author entails: Thinking of a plot. Description. Exposition. Dialogue. Writing actual chapters. Proofreading, editing, honing, character development…


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