The sun has finally come out in Mahoosuc Mills. Hallelujah! What a lot of rain we’ve had. And the flooding! Made me glad our doublewide doesn’t have a basement. Others weren’t so lucky, though.
They had a run on sump pumps and connector hose down to Smitty’s hardware that threatened to get ugly. And Charlie and a couple of the guys spent a night down to Saint Hyacinths with pumps and generators trying to keep the church basement under control. I’m told Sister Lucien personally saved the Bingo supplies. She put on a pair of Wellies, hiked up her habit, and floated them out in one of the kiddy pools they have down there for daycare. Charlie thought he heard her cursing, but I think she must have just been praying loudly.
And don’t get me started on my hair. It may have looked good when I left the house, but oh, Mister Man! Teasing and Freeze It Mega Freeze Hair Spray are no match for a monsoon. I spent three days looking like a deflated soufflé which kind of matched my mood and everyone else’s, now that I think about it.
Then the sun came out, and my hair and disposition made the most amazing recovery. I’m in awe of how resilient people are in spite of their hardships. Everyone seemed to be instantly more cheerful and happy with life.
Everyone, that is, except Claudia and Kurt Peavey, or the “Yeah-Buts,” as Charlie and me call them. I’m sure you know people like this, too. Don’t matter what you say to them, they’ll come back with, “Yeah, but….”. You can’t win for losing with this pair. Even when you pay them a compliment.
“Gee, Claudia,” I’ll say, “that sure is a pretty scarf you’re wearing.”
To which she replies, “Yeah, but it’s dry clean only. If I’d have known that, I wouldn’t have bought it in the first place.”
Or I’ll go, “Kurt, I heard you got a promotion! Congratulations!”
“Yeah, but it’s a lot more responsibility, and longer hours, for not much more pay.”
What do you say to that?
Even when you agree with the Peavey’s, they’ll “yeah but” you. It happened to Charlie the other day.
Kurt says to him, “I just heard, they finally extended Saturday hours down to the transfer station. It’s now open ‘til 3:00
“I know,” Charlie replies. “That’ll make it easier for us to get down there.”
“Yeah, but I don’t know where the town’s going to find the money to pay Ernie and them to work those extra hours.”
Some people are just plain contrary. My niece Caitlin says they are “on their first life.” I don’t know about that. What I do know is, about all you can do with folks like that is let them stew in their own grumpiness. And report back to your spouse when you have a “yeah-but” encounter. Always good for a laugh.
Like right on the heals of all that rain, we had one of them classic spring fever sort of days: high 40’s (which is balmy for Mahoosuc Mills, this time of year) and not a cloud in the sky. At the A&P, I swear, those little containers of daffodil and hyacinth bulbs were flying off the shelf. And some kids, bless ‘em, were walking around in shorts and sandals.
So I’m ringing Claudia Peavey out, and I say what I’d been saying to everyone: “Boy, oh boy! It sure is beautiful today, isn’t it?”
“Yeah, but I was just getting used to the rain.”
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side!
(Listen to the podcast of Ida's column here.)