When we first moved into our Wisteria Lane-like neighborhood, it was pretty clear we didn’t fit in. Our son plays guitar instead of soccer, we don’t go to church, and I have no desire to go speed walking with the ladies. As your token hermit, I try to avoid eye contact with the neighbors so making social plans is challenging. Also, our house was in foreclosure when we bought it. So, the grass was full of weeds, the flowerbeds were dead, and our air conditioner sounded like a chopper out of Vietnam. Oh yeah, and our mailbox probably hadn’t been stained in the seven years the house had been standing.
So, we went to work on the grass, and the flowerbeds. We had the A/C repaired and we ended up replacing the oven and microwave unit as the microwave had been fried during a thunderstorm. We had a fence put up to keep our dogs out of other people’s yards. My husband and I have issues with the “wireless fence” that is in every other dog yard here in Wisteria land as we don’t think it’s right to shock animals. So, we got the place in tiptop shape, except for the damn mailbox. No one seemed to have the time or energy to get the stain, sand the thing, and repaint it.
The homeowners’ association wasn’t happy about this. They sent out a letter to everyone in the entire soccer-loving, wine-drinking subdivision, even though we were one of like maybe two houses with an eyesore for a mailbox. Clearly, we were bringing down property values and causing babies to be tortured in third world countries with this kind of disregard for rules. The association threatened to have someone stain our mailbox for us and bill us for it. I was hoping they would, but no one ever showed up. So, since I had planned to work on writing a novel today, and staining the mailbox seemed like a great way to continue procrastinating; I finally made us match everyone else.
I’m a native Floridian, so when my husband asked me if I wanted to stand out in the sun and paint the mailbox, I said, um yeah. Does a lizard want to lie on a hot rock? So, I put on the most unflattering black shorts ever, an orange shirt, a pink hat, and rubber gloves and practically skipped to the curb. After two years, our mailbox was finally going to match everyone else’s.
While I was out there, I realized that I should probably start a mailbox-staining career. I’m damn good at it. With my Sheldon Cooper type personality, I enjoyed the challenge of getting every crevice properly stained. I went over every inch of that mailbox, totally hearing Mr. Miyagi saying “Paint the mailbox” the whole time. I just focused on painting, and avoided eye contact with my neighbor who was cleaning his boat across the street. As I stared at the grains of wood and attacked them with my brush, I could hear him talking to other people who were out speed walking their dogs. At one point, his wife came out to bring him a drink. “Thanks, baby,” he said. I rolled my eyes under my sunglasses. I hate it when people call significant others baby. It’s so Urban Cowboy.
My husband took some super unflattering pictures of me while I was painting. I think he does that to keep all of the men away from me. This way if John Stamos ever does show up at my door to whisk me away on a plane fully stocked with his favorite yogurt, my husband can just whip out some pictures and make Uncle Jesse wish for mercy in a different way. I’m not sure why, but I look so different in pictures. In reality, I’m tall, with long slender, tan legs, large breasts, and perfectly smooth, flowing hair. Here are the pictures. If you have ever seen me in person, you SHOULD agree, that I look SO much better than this. Right?