Much akin to Jeff Foxworthy’s cry when his mother’s Elvis Jack Daniels decanter was broken, my grandmother declared she couldn’t have anything nice.
This, of course, was after her porcelain praying hands statue had been knocked to the floor to break for the umpteenth time.
Whether it was Mama and my doing or Mama’s cat, Bennie, has long been forgotten as we usually rotated who got to break the sacred hands every month.
I thought Granny was just being a tad bit overdramatic and embellishing the facts -hereditary problems among the women in my family – but alas, the old gal spoke the truth.
I even discovered as hard as I tried, I may not be able to have anything nice either.
It’s an odd thing, actually.
I think it may actually stem from living in your own home. That seems to be the best way to cause things you like to get damaged, broken or destroyed.
Mama asked me if I still had my coffee on the porch every morning in my rocking chair.
When I told her I hadn’t done that in years, she wanted to know why.
“Doodle ate my chair,” I answered.
She literally cut her big pup teeth on the wooden rocker, eating the wicker seat until she fell out of it.
She ate a table, too.
I’ve had people tell me they wouldn’t have dogs who ate their furniture, shoes, floor, cabinets and all the various other things my girls have eaten.
The husband has broken more stuff and I haven’t taken him to the pound yet.
On the porch is also an antique farmhouse table – I have no idea how old it is, but I bought it from a friend who is an antique dealer. It’s primitive, roughhewn and beautifully simplistic.
My husband thinks it is a good table to hold various cans of lube, grease and God knows what other bicycle paraphernalia he has put on it.
“I can’t have anything nice,” I muttered when I saw the bike stuff on it.
It’s not a matter of being materialistic, because really – I’m not.
I just have discovered that there is a correlation between the nicer something is, the more likely it is to get broken.
Cheap stuff or stuff you don’t really like, you can’t get rid of, no matter how hard you try.
It’s like dinner plates you hate the pattern of – they never break. I had a pattern I absolutely loved before and I had to replace them within a year.
The shoes I splurge on end up getting stuck in something and breaking a heel.
The dress or pants that fit perfectly (and make me look thin) get splashed with bleach or a pen explodes on them.
“I think Granny was right!” I told Mama one day.
“About what?” she wanted to know.
“Well, everything really,” I said and meant it. “But you know how she said she couldn’t have anything nice? I am wondering if I can either.”
I ran down the list of things I had that had been broken, eaten, and had grease stains on by way of a bicycle.
She remembered putting down brand new flooring once and someone tracked mud in on it the minute the installers were gone. For someone who hated vacuuming, easy to maintain flooring was Mama’s idea of “nice.”
“Maybe you should put everything up you want to keep,” she suggested.
I could but it’s hard to do. It may mean about 80 percent of my belongings will be in some storage box, shoved in a closet.
“I don’t know if that will help,” I said. “I think I am just going to have to learn how to not have any kind of attachment to things. I want to have nice things but at the same time, I don’t want a house that me and my family and dogs can’t live in.”
While I was telling Mama all of this, Cole was desperately trying to get my attention. I kept trying to signal to him I was on the phone. When I finally hung up, he told me quite frustrated that Doodle had eaten another shoe.
“Mama,” he began, exasperated. “I tried to tell you while you were on the phone, but you wouldn’t listen. So you can’t blame me for this. If you had paid attention for just a few minutes, I could have told you Doodle was eating these.”
I can’t have anything nice – and I only have myself to blame.