Stuff I Talk About

by Christina Ledbetter

Deal Breakers

The original plan was to pack up and head to Mexico for a week. We opened the calendar, searched plane tickets and got excited. Next we checked with the budget.

And I don’t know who that budget thinks it is, but it got sassy with us, claiming this was simply not the time to skip the country and enjoy private poolside cocktails and fresh guacamole.

The nerve.

Benson suggested an alternative. “What if we had a staycation?” We checked the budget again. Yes, we absolutely had the means to stay home for free.

So we planned. I set up grocery delivery and ordered pre-cut mango. We scrubbed the floors and put our nicest towels by the shower. I bought fancy soaps from a gift shop in town.

And we made deals.

Benson: “During our staycation, I don’t want to talk about furniture.”

(I have a thing with furniture – purchasing furniture, arranging furniture, rearranging furniture, discussing furniture… Then there’s the pillows, the art, the RUGS!)

Benson also knew I’d been plotting to squeeze a dining nook into our wee cottage. Alas, I consented. “No furniture talk during staycation.”

Now, onto my side of the bargain: “I don’t want to talk about the internet.”

(We’ve a finicky internet, spotty on its best days and non-existent on its worst. This proves problematic as Benson works from home.)

Thus began staycation 2023. For the first two days the sun shone. We lounged on the deck and Benson even heated the pool. We discussed crossword puzzle clues, how the new cats are adjusting, and whether to eat brisket queso or cheeseburgers for dinner. We discussed no furniture; we discussed no internet speeds.

Look at us, nailing these deals!

On the third day, it rained.

“I’m going to watch Formula 1 all day,” Benson announced.

“Mmkay,” I murmured, spying the little corner of our kitchen/living room simply begging for a banquette, pedestal table and two antique chairs.

“I’m going to create a dining nook,” I declared.

I’d like to take this moment to tell you that I had permission before staycation began to purchase new furniture items. I just couldn’t talk about them.

Off I went to my favorite antique dealer five miles down the road.

And there she was: a raspberry sorbet velvet settee simply begging me to give her a good home where she could be loved by me and my four cats and maybe even Benson.

The shopkeeper and I wrangled her into my little blue car and strapped the hatchback halfway down in a way that I now, looking back, consider dicey at best. I drove home 15 miles under the speed limit with a trail of cars behind me.

I brought the cushions in first, then pondered how to silently ask Benson for assistance on lugging my new treasure into the house (not to mention moving an armchair, dresser, desk and various rugs around in order to fit the new addition.)

Here’s the thing though. Benson is a man of God, and he offered to help me (and help me, and help me, and help me).

For the next two days I spoke of nothing but furniture. I rearranged no less than twelve times. I rehung paintings, swapped pillows, draped quilts. I broke my end of the deal so badly there was no repair.

But something else happened. The internet kept dropping. And Benson needed a listening ear while he troubleshot. I nodded along as he walked me through which cables he’d connected where. I offered advice (“Have you unplugged it and plugged it back in?”). I prayed. I texted my best friend in Idaho and asked her to pray. I loitered while he tried new fixes (you’d be surprised how helpful this proves) and told him I appreciated him.

And people, as of two days ago, God has fixed our internet. (And if you’re the praying sort, we value your requests on our behalf that it remains fixed.)

We ended our staycation with a couple more sunny days. Benson even accompanied me to a consignment shop and haggled down a gateleg table for next to nothing!

In the end, we both broke our deals. And we have a gorgeous dining nook, fast internet and an even better appreciation for each other to show for it.

Cheers to staying home.

Categories: This and That

2 replies

  1. Say what?! I didn’t know there was a blog! And I love this story so much!!!! I have the day off. A very, over due day off and I plan on reading ALL your blogs!❤️

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