“Why would you buy a canoe?” he screeched unsupportively.“It’s not a canoe, it’s a kayak,” I boasted, proud of myself for knowing the difference.
“It’s a canoe, MOV. See the raised seat? See the paddle you bought? In a kayak, the seat is lower and you use a double paddle. Geesh. When were you planning to go canoeing?”“That’s the beauty of it—never!”
“So you bought the canoe for decoration?”“No, not at all. Do you ever go to REI? They have this program called R-E-Icing on the cake, and when you buy something at full price, they will send someone over to clean it and take care of it for you! Isn’t that great?”
“Are you kidding me with this? Who cares if someone cleans your canoe, it doesn’t ever get dirty because you do not know how to canoe, and plus we don’t even live near water!”Sometimes The Husband could be such a killjoy.
I took a deep breath and tried to explain again, like I was telling one of my children that the moon is the opposite of the sun. “Sweetie, they send someone over. To. Clean. The. Canoe. And the person cleans everything around the canoe as well. It is included in the price. Why do you think I am storing it in the kitchen?”He shook his head and walked out of the room, as if he didn’t approve. He will approve once he sees how clean the REI employees get our kitchen!
The next day, the REI person showed up at 10 on the dot. “I’m here to clean your canoe,” she said brightly. “Is it in the garage?”I showed her where it was, and she got right to work. Twelve hours later, the canoe and the kitchen shined like triple flash photography of sunlight and cubic zirconias on snow at high noon. I was impressed.
“I’ll see you next week, then?” I tried to say it like a statement, but it came out more like a desperate question.“Yes,” she affirmed. Her hair had come out of its ponytail and she looked tired. “It won’t necessarily be me though.” Then she mumbled something that sounded suspiciously like, “if I can help it.”
The next week, exactly according to my plan, I moved the canoe down the hall and into the bathroom. A different employee showed up and cleaned the canoe and the bathroom. This cleaning schedule continued for a month or so, and my entire house gleamed. I was mentally berating myself for not finding out about REI sooner, like maybe 20 years ago.“What is this bill from REI?” The Husband asked in an accusatory tone when he came home from work one evening and was sifting through the mail.
“What bill? I didn’t buy anything, besides the kayak.”“Canoe.”
“Yeah, whatever. Canoe.”He furrowed his brow 'til his faced squished up like a porcupine. A very angry porcupine. “It looks like they’re billing us for cleaning supplies.”
“Cleaning supplies? What do you mean supplies? Why would they charge us for that?”“MOV, it says right here in black and white: $1000 for cleaning supplies. Did you not read the fine print?”
I could feel hot tears starting to plump up in my eyeballs. Turns out, I had not read the fine print.“MOV, don’t worry about it,” The Husband continued semi-sympathetically. “Tell you what: just return the canoe and then maybe we won’t have to pay it. I’ll help you load it into the car.”
“I can’t! I haven’t used it yet!”“Well, that is even better because they will definitely take it back, right? They can re-sell it to some other sucker.”
“No, you don’t understand. If I take it back all pristine and new, they will realize that I don’t even know how to kayak!”“Canoe.”
“That’s what I meant.”In the end, The Husband won out. I returned the kayak.
But I kept the paddle. I store it in my car. Maybe the REI employees will still clean my car for me?MOV
p.s. And thank you to TheRanting Monkey for the idea! and yesterday's story too!