I don’t know why Bob lets me travel without him, but I suspect he knows his value goes up every time I do. You are familiar with the terror alert status that was instituted post 9/11. I believe Bob often puts himself on alert as he heads off to work leaving me to my own devices. So join me as I step into Bob’s head and see how it works and how he prepares to come home to me after one of my typical days.
First you should know that stepping into Bob’s head is no small task. Bob is an engineer, so his mind is a complicated place to maneuver. There is logic lurking at every corner – it’s very hard to avoid. I really should have a GPS to guide me, though it would have to have vocal commands because I cannot read maps – it’s another area where I rely on Bob. But since I’ve been married to Bob for nearly 37 years, I think I will be able to feel my way around in there, so here goes.
Always on Alert or Life with Bonnie (as I imagine it is for my husband)
By Bob Anderson (not really, it’s me, Bonnie)
Scenario #1 – Okay, she’s just going to the grocery store, it’s sunny outside and she seems well rested. I can relax on this one – Alert Status: Low
Scenario #2 – The grandkids are coming over while I’m at work and she has to feed them and entertain them for four hours – Alert Status: Medium-Low, which means I’ll probably end up cooking dinner.
Scenario #3 – Bonnie has to take my dad to the doctor and run errands with him – Alert Status: Medium-High, which means I’m definitely taking her out to dinner, perhaps a bouquet of flowers would be in order.
Scenario #4 – Any computer problems – Alert Status: High, meaning I have to keep Bonnie from throwing the computer out and pull out my “your computer is your friend” speech, which she will not listen to because she is out in the yard bird watching in an effort to relieve the stress.
Scenario #5 – The following is a true story, which now has given way to a new alert status. This status is along the lines of Alert Status of Hazardous to herself and those around her, but that’s a real mouthful so I’ll just call it Alert Status: Screwdriver, meaning she has tried to do something mechanical that will undoubtedly result in loss of property or at the very least damage to some inanimate object. She has overstepped her prowess with a screwdriver or a higher capability tool. God is continuing to sanctify her by humbling her once again by her inability to perform the most ordinary of tasks. I will probably want to drink a screwdriver when I have to fix the mess she has made.
Why Everyone Should Travel with an Engineer
By Bonnie Anderson (really)
Before going to the beach for a time away with my sisters and my mom last month, Bob and I purchased a wonderful (according to its own advertising) beach tent/canopy. It was the perfect thing to allow more time on the beach for my northern sisters while Mom and I applied #70 sunscreen, wrapped ourselves in a towel and sat in the shelter. Mom and I live here in Florida. We both see our dermatologists often. We put the “white” in white people.
So we bought this thing, went home and set it up in our living room. Bob went first. Presto-chango, nothing up your sleeve – voila – we have a tent in our living room.
Next it was my turn. Pull, pull, pull, strain, strain, strain, grumble, grumble, grumble and at last the tent was pitched. I took it down and put it up again with no trouble as Bob looked on. Remember those words – “as Bob looked on.”
A couple of days later we ladies head to the beach. We take our shelter down where I inform my sisters that I will have no problem setting it up (I do notice a little eye rolling on their part). Pull, pull, pull, strain, strain, strain, snap, crackle, pop and the tent was half way up. The pole on the droopy half snapped somewhere in the process. We could manage one chair in the tent, but you couldn’t stand up in it. Still we thought at least Mom could sit in it for a while.
It was a very short while. Within ten minutes (no exaggeration) the tide started encroaching on our little area. Mom was already not enjoying her view of the front of the tent hanging in her face as she stayed out of the sun, so I knew it was time to take it down.
Things got worse. Because of the broken thingamabob I could not fold it up into its neat little package. I did manage to gather it into a very large clump and left the family on the sand to go put it in my car. Picture somebody carrying a half-popped tent under her arm while trying to maneuver up the sand, through two gates, through the lobby of the resort to the parking garage. Yep, that was me. Thankfully I had my trusty Ford Explorer, so I popped the back and crammed the thing into my car. One final shove and a slam of the door and it was stowed. Thankfully, Bob and my dad were arriving the next day. I knew he would be excited for one more confirmation of why I need him so much. It took him no time at all (that’s his expression, I know that there really was time involved, just very little) and it was in its nice little package ready to be returned to Costco.
Bob also had the foresight to bring a new umbrella with him. It was the regular, garden variety type that I believe I could put up, but we will never know as I was not allowed to touch it for reasons that even I agree are valid. He screwed it down into the sand for us and set up our area. We have all agreed that Bob is allowed on any girl outings. It seems wisdom would say, “Always travel with an engineer.” So my new motto, BYOE (bring your own engineer). It is very handy for me as I have one of my own. I think I’ll steal American Express’s old motto and not leave home without him.