Posted on Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I spent a maudlin Sunday afternoon pushing the lawnmower as my husband was busy inside shooting down aliens on whatever game console he’s obsessed with these days. This led to a bit of a self-pity party wondering why no one I live with appears to share my values. Perhaps, I thought, wiping the sweat from my eyes, they simply don’t know what my values are (which really, gives them far too much credit, but I guess I was in more of a charitable mood than you would have guessed judging from the hot fumes of irritation visibly rising from my forehead. Or maybe that was just lawnmower exhaust). So I started composing a list. And at the risk of sounding like a nun singing in the Swiss mountaintops, I decided to share the first draft.

I value:

A lawn neatly mown, if not immaculately weeded

A rocking chair on the front porch with home-made seat cushions

Children raised with equal shares of responsibility and affection

Books that are good enough to forge their own path from friend to friend, sister to sister

Rooms that are cleaned regularly, even if my notion of “regularly” is more sporadic than my mother’s


Especially genealogy

Fully owned 10-year-old cars that are still reliable

Pets who die of old age after living full and happy lives in your care

Daily trips into the near world for a change of scenery, fresh air, and exercise

Completed quilting projects

Knowing the words to every song that will ever play on my car stereo

Feeling pretty smug about my finances after watching Suze Orman’s show

Bees celebrating in my volunteer catnip

Gardens, any garden

Old family photos that are copied, labeled, and distributed to the relatives

Halloween parties

Knowing exactly what I want to do for my children, and what I want my children to do for themselves—at least financially speaking (for the next 20 or so years)

Bosses who know how to give compliments and/or encouragement

Knowing that answering the phone or the front door are options, not obligations

Finding unexpected emails from old friends buried in my “junk” in-box

Living within our means

Knowing where I will be buried

Planning meals that will be prepared at home for minimum cost, maximum nutrition, and which garner universal acclaim in the flavor department (yeah, good luck with that one!)

Dentists who offer up the nitrous without having to be asked

Ed Troyer, still

Check marks on to-do lists

My children’s company

Just reading over this list makes me feel happier. And, having started it, I suspect this might be just the beginning.

6 Response to "Values"

JoJo Says:

Great list!!! I agree w/ all of them. The Ed Troyer one made me crack up big time though. Why is it that every time I see him on the news, I think of you?

As to the lawnmowing, I couldn't be happier with Mr. Vu, out of Edgewood. He's cheap, efficient, and best of all, I don't have to do it.

Danger Panda Says:

Mr. Vu would be nice. However, I continue to remind my husband that if men can't be relied upon to accomplish yard work and minor automotive repairs, they've pretty much outlived their usefulness to women. In my humble opinion.

Jen Says:

Uncompleted quilting projects are big on my list right now. Just before reading this, I was savoring the work to be done on one this evening. But completed ones are pretty awesome, too.

Margaret Says:

I know what you mean. My husband is very passive/aggressive about household chores. He'll do them "when he feels like or has time" whereas I want it done NOW. (or within a two year window, which has caused a few issues!)

Danger Panda Says:

Ari,uncompleted ones would be okay if they didn't have a way of multiplying in my spare room. I have a couple of thousand in-progress projects there.

Margaret, "Passive agressive"? I know it well. I think I will have that phrase carved on my husband's tombstone.

JoJo Says:

Gee Margaret, your husband and mine must be long lost brothers.

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