Opinion Columns & Blogs

Mrs. Millstone needs someone to supervise

Well, we’ve reached another “milestone.” The wife has retired and will now become the “millstone” around my neck as she leaves her job supervising numerous people and will now focus solely on me as her direct report. The woman loves to supervise and I’m sure she will continue to be good at it in her new capacity as “millstone” in charge.

The implications are that she will have time to look around and find out what I haven’t been doing since I retired, obviously due to lack of supervision, and so she now gets to become the “millstone” in our milestone. She’s always been into projects, me being the first and now loads of projects have begun to rear their ugly heads here in what I used to think of as “La La Land.”

For example, while I’ve always considered myself to be a neat and clean person, the middle bathroom, a bastion of filth and male inerrancy in this brick double-wide, came under her scrutiny her first day as “Mrs. Millstone.”

The bathroom’s condition was mainly due to the grandson, although I have contributed my share of scatter shots, as he was just recently potty trained and his aim resembles one of those scatter gun shots you see in old Gary Cooper western movies. That boy can hit anything within five feet and usually does. Indians didn’t stand a chance against Coop, and the walls in this place don’t either as they scream, “What, not again,” at the kid with the scatter gun.

However, that’s not my point here. Well it kind of is, but back to the “millstone.” The woman has always been trouble when she has time on her hands and as a “work in progress” for 37 years, I can say, my time is her time when she has time. We’re focused on the interior of the house for now, the rug needs shampooing (something normally done to a dog), the pictures on the walls are out of date (in the next ones I will be the old bald headed guy. Right now I’m miraculously still 50 with hair — and by the way — the jump from 50 to 70 is so fast one must have pictures to prove I even existed at 50), and the mouse living under the stove, “has got to go!” I shall speak to the worthless cat Milo about that, as soon as I can draw a breath.

Milo used to work for his food but lately he has developed this sense of entitlement with the cat food and when I call him on his cell he refuses to answer. If that sounds as though I don’t like cats, not so, just the ones who won’t hunt mice. But I digress.

I don’t want the grandson to think a woman runs my life, but I have to eat and I can only cook eggs and don’t enjoy sleeping indoors. The sad fact is that as soon as the interior of this castle without a king is seen worthy of the “millstone’s” presence, it will be on to the outside, an area that resembles what Georgia, must have looked like to Sherman, who, if he could come back, would find comfort in the lack of change he would see in my front yard.

When I look out there now I can see the old boy and his band of “heroes” camping out, giving me a warm fuzzy feeling as I look for the scatter gun. Well, the “millstone” likes her privacy and because the house is only a few feet away from the road, I’ve done my best to accommodate her by cultivating a natural area that is the envy of naturalists from Atlanta to Savannah.

If you’re looking for a place to hide, start with my front yard, avoid the back, it’s a fire ant preserve protected by some statute or other and can only be mowed by one of Warren Selby’s tractors. All kidding aside, I’m going to enjoy seeing the little woman behind the kitchen sink and glaring out the window as I drive off mornings in search of that thing that makes all men equal; that thing men have died to preserve throughout our country’s great history. I’m talking about freedom and a belief that our freedoms come from God and neither man nor “millstone” can take that away.

Actually, I’ll probably be on my way to McDonald’s, where I have the freedom to buy whatever she wants. She loves that big breakfast in the morning.

Sonny Harmon is a professor emeritus at Georgia Military College. Visit his blog at http://sharmon09.blogspot.com.