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Setting Yourself Up For Failure
It’s funny, even though I start out with all the best intentions in the world, I can still set myself up for failure. And I do this to my husband too.
Let me set the stage for you. I love the outdoors and love being outside. I often come up with projects just to get me out of the house. One of my favorite schemes was building a backyard fire pit. It was going to be the best defense against those darn Florida mosquitos, not to mention being the perfect gathering place for cocktails and s’mores.
Another thing I do is concoct ways for my husband to join me in my endeavors.
So, I had the plan! Now I needed to gather the supplies. And most of them I had around the house. My husband says I’m a hoarder—so ridiculous—but we’ll return to that later. I was beginning to get excited when I realized I was missing the one key element. What does any self-respecting fire builder need? Why an axe of course! I was envisioning how wonderful it would be to relax with a cocktail while watching my husband chopping the wood and stoking my fire. His strong shoulders and biceps glistening with sweat after he removed his flannel shirt. I know . . . flannel in Florida? Just go with it for the moment; this is my Harlequin Romance fantasy. His muscles and The Axe working in perfect unison. Swing, chop—swing, chop.
And I was off to the hardware store! Axe—check that one off the list, bag of wood—check. Rushing home to present my husband with his treasures meant I forgot the flannel shirt. Well, his T-shirt would have to suffice. I quickly stacked a ring of stones, placed myself in my favorite lounge chair, and, with a cosmopolitan in hand, I was prepared for the show.
My husband obliged and began to play his part, and that’s when it happened. The swing, the thud . . . WHAT?? Thud was NOT supposed to happen. Where was the chop? The splintering of the log? “Try it again,” I said, trying to be helpful. “Adjust your aim. I think the log is supposed to be upright.” Obviously, it was good advice from my viewpoint.
He began again. Swing, thud—swing, thud—swing, thud. At this point, I realized this was nothing like my vision. There was sweat, and maybe even a little blood, but this was not the sexy vision I had in mind.
Now we were at a crossroads. Could it be possible that my husband was just not a lumberjack? Or did I set him up? Could it have been the $19.95 axe? In my rush to get back home, I quickly grabbed the least expensive one. There were many options. What if I made the investment and selected the $59.95 axe or even gone whole hog on the $79.95 chopper? Would the investment have paid off? Would my vision have come true?
We may never know. My husband did have a little blood on his shin, and a there was a lot of cursing. We salvaged our date night, however, when I quit giving my well-intentioned instructions from the sidelines. Rather than turn the evening into an all-out brawl, we decided to set the axe aside. We had a rather large bottle of lighter fluid that did the trick. Who needs neatly split wood anyway?
The axe is now propped against the wood pile, completing a picture that wouldn’t look out of place in a fancy outdoor travel magazine. But the question remains: Would a little practice have done the trick?
Or was it The Axe?