Stuck in Florida with the Mobile Blues

by Berck

I’ve been whiling away the days here in Florida. Since my uncle wanted some help with his office computers and offered to pay me nicely, I agreed to come work for two weeks. I took some time getting down here, so I don’t think it’s actually going to be two weeks. Right now I’m planning on heading back to Mobile on Sunday morning.

I don’t like Florida.

I came out of the office my first day of working to discover that the skies had opened and deposited large amounts of water in my car. It was a beautiful day when I walked in, and the large amounts of water were the only thing around to indicate that it had rained. No clouds when I looked up. That’s annoying.

My car took all of the next day to dry out.

It wouldn’t have been so bad if I hadn’t been woken up two mornings later by Mom saying, “Berck… Berck… Thought you might like to know it’s raining.” Sure enough, it was raining. Car was soaked again. This time it took two days to dry out.

This morning when I got to the office, I thought, “You know, I should probably put my top up. But it’s a beautiful day, there’s NO CLOUDS AT ALL. Surely it won’t rain.” Fortunately when I came outside an hour later and noticed that it looked like a storm was on the way. Sure enough it started raining shortly thereafter, but fortunately the top was up this time.

I’ve gotten too used to living in Dallas. You can tell when you go to bed if it’s going to rain. It doesn’t rain much.

Now my car is smelling mildewey. I need to find some Febreeze.

I’m excited about the wedding. If she goes and plants potatoes without me I’m not going to be happy. It’s not that I wanted the wedding so much as they wanted the wedding. It’s true, I wanted a wedding, but mostly I felt that it was important for us to respect our families enough to give them one. Or let them have one.

It’s been much easier for me. I think I did a pretty good job from the outset of letting everybody know the basics of what I wanted and explaining that the details just aren’t important to me. I really don’t care what colour the napkins are. For the most part, everyone’s been good about not asking me. Whether they’re uninterested in what I have to say, or they realize that I’m uninterested in details is unclear. The end result is that I haven’t had to worry about things and that’s good. The other result is that Joanna is feeling stressed and pressured which is not-good. I’m not sure there’s a lot I can do about that, especially since I really do think that much of the things she’s got to do are in fact things that a bride needs to do. But she’s also taken on all sorts of tasks she really didn’t need to: like baking her own wedding cake. She could probably leave more of the decisions up to her mother, thought I think we’ll probably both be happier with the end product if she provides input.

At first I thought she simply didn’t care about the details and was nearly as willing as I am to let others make decisions. And then I heard her tell her mother in response to a question about punch, “I think punch fountains are stupid.”

I should back up. Joanna and her mother both asked me on multiple occasions what thought of a punch that was being served for one of Joanna’s showers. “I don’t like punch,” I tell them. “Yes, but for punch, does it taste good or bad?” “It tastes like punch!” Later that day Joanna’s mother was outlaying the various options for punch serving. It went on and on. After she was done, I said, “Uhm, can’t there just be a bowl and people help themselves? Or better yet, do we have to have punch at all?” This earned me a look. Shortly after which Joanna expressed her thoughts on punch fountains, which I still don’t understand at all.

But for the most part, I’ve been left blissfully ignorant of the preparations. Guests have from time to time asked me questions about what’s going to happen. I’m forced to shrug and tell them to ask someone else. I’ve outlined what I want, roughly, and I’m convinced that Cliff is going to do an acceptable job with the important part. I plan on showing up. I sure hope I’m not the only one:)

My mother is apparently making some sort of a vest to go with my outfit. This means she has to tell me every day about how she has to measure me. I’m not sure why she doesn’t just measure me. Or why if I can buy something that fits off the shelf in a store that I can’t give her my size? I’m thinking she’ll probably show up at the beach with a tape measure and tell me she’s got to measure me. I’m a bit more interested in getting her to sew the buttons back on my BDUs, but she says she has to, “go to the button store,” first. But she buys me Harp. Harp goes a long.

See, people always say that I should know how to sew on a button. It’s not that I can’t, it’s just that whenever I do it, the button is firmly implanted in the fabric, and this makes it hard to use. Or it falls off. And when I’ve got two wonderful women in my life who can sew buttons on for me, why should I learn? And for some odd reason, Jonah seems to like mending. I wonder if it’s related to the fact that I like mowing the lawn.

I’d hoped Joanna would be able to visit me for a few days here in Florida, but her mother vetoed this idea saying that Joanna still had to pick out napkins. When confronted with the silliness of this statement, she responded, “There’s much more.” I don’t doubt that there is.

So I’m probably going to be leaving on Sunday morning. And boy am I ready to leave. I miss Joanna, even though it’s only been a week, and Florida is taking its usual toll. I deal with things like Florida much, much better when Joanna’s around. I’m not sure why that is. It’s a good thing she’ll be around a lot.

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