We Planned to Be Stranded, But We Weren’t.

Like many of you, we started Friday fully expecting to be stuck in the house for days. In fact, J assembled some supplies.


That ice storm when we lost power for days looms large in our family history, so she found flashlights and candles in case we lost power, I guess. Plus her palate expander because, at the moment, palate expansion is deeply important to J. She also set aside her current book and a jigsaw puzzle.

The jigsaw puzzle was partly my idea. It seemed like a good idea for a snowed-in weekend.

Unfortunately, we’d only worked on it for about ten or fifteen minutes when. . .


the girls completely lost interest. It would have been a good idea to just put the damn thing away, but that seemed defeatist. Besides, we’d put together about 40 pieces. That only meant about 960 to go! No problemo.

When Cute W arrived home, he agreed that it would be a dismal failure that would reflect poorly on the entire family if we just swept the pieces into the box. He set to work.

It turns out that we have completely different puzzle-putting-together procedures. He’d group, regroup, and study the pieces, while I’d scrutinize the box and try to determine where each piece was located. We continued like this for quite a while, and the puzzle started to look like something. And then at one point Cute W picked up the box to look at something and then said, “Oh, I cheated and looked at the box!”

. . . Cheated?

. . . Cheated?!? In other words, I’m a big cheater-pants. What-ever, dude. They put the picture on the box for a reason. We continued working while watching a bit more Downton Abbey. After a while, it looked like completing the dang thing might be possible.


So the girls got interested again. For about five or ten minutes.

Cute W and I, however, couldn’t stop ourselves. It was compulsive. After the girls were put to bed, when I should have been writing a post and Cute W should have been prepping something for his class, we kept working on the puzzle. And later, when we should have gone to bed, we kept working on the puzzle. And even later, when we really should have gone to bed, we had about twenty pieces left and you would have thought it would be a piece of cake, but oh, no, it was a struggle.


I’ve learned that Norman Rockwell’s people are surprisingly androgynous when their faces are cut into pieces. And that puzzle assembly becomes increasingly difficult after midnight and two glasses of wine.

Even if you cheat.





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