From the opposite end of the workbench
the twisted ramblings of a ship modeler.
Ships Models, Time, and the Family
Its nearly 5pm, time to go home after a long days work as you climb into the car, you start to wonder about whats happening at home later on. Theres probably nothing on television (I should have checked the listing on Modelwarships.com before I left work) and chances are theres nothing really important going on, like an IPMS or ship model society meeting
As you get bogged down in traffic on the commute home, your thoughts start to wander off to the latest project (insert your latest project here) ...maybe I can actually get some time to build this evening how cool is that! Suddenly, your dull and boring day has brightened, youre actually going to get the opportunity to spend at least ONE FULL HOUR in your shop maybe even more
By the time you arrive home, your emotions are up youve already got your itinerary etched on your brain turn on the heat, pick some music, get a drink, hit the head, kiss the wife and kid, let the dog out, and head for the sanctity of your workshop your evening is to evolve around airbrushing, rigging, weathering hoo-rah manly boat things
Then reality hits As you pull into the drive, you notice your four year old daughter sitting on the front steps, with her Barbie backpack and a sad look on her face Whats the matter honey? you ask.
Mommy..uhmm says that you have to go to take me cause you uhh..she Mommy say she not a damn taxi. You suddenly realize two things, that your wife is not herself, and that your daughter isnt supposed to be home, but instead, should be at her ballet class you also realize that your 4-year old just told you that her mother is not a damn taxi. This is where discretion is the better part of valor, so, like the good sport you are, you load the child and her Barbie backpack in the car (the seat is still warm) and drive her to her ballet lessons
After the obligatory hugs and kisses and Ill be back in an hour to get you are over, you hop back into the car and head for home. This time, when you pull into the drive, its your wife sitting on the front steps. A word to the wise...NEVER EVER ask your wife how her day went if you know its going to take the better part of an hour for her to tell you or if she looks like shes about to inflict bodily harm on you for no apparent reason.
So, 45 minutes later, my head is throbbing, my ears hurt and its time to get back in the car to get the ballet-queen. You start thinking to yourself .its only 6:15pm, theres still lots of time. As you back out of the drive, your wife comes out the front door waving a slip of paper its a shopping list
Since youre going out, I need a few things at the store. Sure and you smile because she still has that look on her face (the bodily harm look). As you pull away, you glance down at the list
Half-dozen eggs, large size, white
Hot dog buns (you now know what youre having for dinner)
Bag of frozen French Fries
WHAT!!?!? No, no!! Men dont buy tampons! Its embarrassing! Then you start thinking well, that explains the look of bodily harm she has on her face ok, enough on this subject fast forward.
Youve got the ballerina, and youve taken her shopping survived the I WANT COOKIE!! tantrum in the store, and the embarrassment of CAN I HAVE A PRICE CHECK ON THE 24 PACK OF OB TAMPONS? blasted over the loudspeaker at the supermarket by some obnoxious 15 year old kid, whos absolutely enjoying every second of your pain and suffering as he waves the box around to the other clerks asking for a price fast forward
Youre home the ballerina has been changed into sweat pants, and shes planted in front of the television its now 7pm, you start to look around, almost as if looking to make a break for the safety of the workshop
The wife asks you what you want for dinner and you slip Thats ok honey, Im not hungry. As the words fall from your lips, you instantly remember the look of bodily harm, and realize that you have just released the THEN WHY AM I BOTHERING?!?! monster
Backpedal .QUICKLY sit down and eat try to smile. Its now 7:45, and you are informed that YOU are giving the now-fussy ballerina her bath, and that YOU are putting her to bed, because SHE wants to watch Dawsons Creek or some other ridiculous show that expounds on the socio-psychological impacts of bad teenage actors with acne, and the grieving parents who try desperately to love them or worse yet, brain damaged beautiful people who are struggling valiantly to become the final contestant in the Bimbo of the Week television program Ooh!! Ooh!! Pick me! Pick Me! I have a big chest and the IQ of a tree sloth!!!
The child is bathed, changed into her pajamas, and ushered to bed. BUT DADDY!!! IM NOT TIRED!!! Its repeated at least ten times, and youre brain is now relegated to the BECAUSE I SAID SO justification. Its 9:30 and finally, after several tantrums and crying fits, several trips to the bathroom, drinks of water, hugs, good-nite kisses, and I CANT FIND MY DOLLY!!, an eerie silence falls over the house, save for the rantings of some moronic 20-something Hollywood wannabe who cant understand why she didnt make the final cut on Bimbo of the Week.
Nows your chance!!!! Run!! Like Paul Newman in the Great Escape, you slink past the bedroom, down the hall, and into the workshop the television noise is gone, since you now occupy a small corner room at the opposite end of the house you quietly close the door, turn on the lights, and survey your environment
As you sit there for a moment, pondering where the last 4 hours have gone, your blood pressure begins to drop, and you can feel yourself beginning to relax and then, you hear the tip tap coming from the hall, its almost like horses hooves on a cobblestone lane
As you turn towards the closed door, you hear the sniff sniff sniff coming from under the door its the dog, and he knows where you are because he needs to go out REALLY REALLY bad so grab the leash your coat and take a walk. Since animals have no perception of time, your 30 minute walk around the neighborhood so your dog can do his business (on other peoples lawns) feels more like 3 hours to you and you are starting to wonder why you chose this hobby in the first place.
Finally peace everyone is asleep, the wife has fallen asleep (even Bimbo of the Week was too much for her), the baby, the dog everyone and you retreat back into your workshop, certain that NOTHING is going to stop you now its 10:30 .you start your pre-modeling ritual a drink, some music, hit the head, wow, now its 10:45.
There on the workbench is your project (insert your project here), patiently waiting. You gather your tools, sanding sticks, X-acto, kicker, and super glue but wait, where did I put that CA??? Ah-ha, there it is laying on its side on the shelf as you reach over to grab the elusive bottle, it refuses to budge for a split second, youre confused, then reality hits its spilled and is now affixed to the shelf...
Thats ok, I have somewhere around here a .spare bottle nope, that WAS your spare bottle your brain swears, your mouth swears you sit there depressed looking at your project and knowing youre helpless
Then a grumpy voice from behind you causes you to jump Are you coming to bed? Its late, and youve been in here for an hour.
Resigned to the fact that its JUST NOT GOING TO HAPPEN, you slowly get up, turn off the light, and head down the hall to bed. Hey...there's always tomorrow, right?
Jeff Herne, Modelwarships.com
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. The people portrayed in this story are not real... I have a wonderful wife and lots of time to work on my models... (this will hopefully prevent me from being physically harmed by a member of my household).