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‘Pressing’ issue for a possible present

Better Half is always helpful.

It’s not unusual for him, for example, to ask if I have a column topic because he knows if I do, my mood is a lot brighter.

You’re familiar with that saying — “When momma’s happy, everybody’s happy.”

There’s a lot of truth to that one.

He offered some unsolicited topics the other evening when I really wasn’t even thinking about column time rolling around again.

I was just sitting on the couch, completely oblivious to any newspaper deadlines or duties as I thumbed through a horse catalogue — one of those catalogues that has all kinds of stuff for a horse enthusiast.

Horse clothes. Horse jewelry. Horse household items. Even horse shower curtains, for heaven’s sake. Wow.

Gee. I’m thinking, now who would have a horse shower curtain in their bathroom?

OK, I could see that.

Anyway, Better Half mentioned the change of seasons as a column idea.

There being some snow in the forecast for this past Friday and it being April and all, I appreciated that thought and the sentiment behind it. Please hurry up and get here, real spring or real summer. We miss you and want you back badly.

I shook my head, though, not to make it rattle or to get water out of my ears or anything like that, but to send a thanks-but-no-thanks, not-inspired response.

That was that, or so I thought, after a few moments of silence interrupted by the din of political analysis on television.

“How about stress?” he offered another suggestion, undaunted by rejection No. 1.

I smiled.

“I don’t have any stress,” I told him, an answer that prompted a yeah-right kind of face.

After all, I was relaxed and happy looking at my horse catalogue.

Then it occurred to me.

“I know — I can write about what you’re going to get me for my birthday!” I said, my mood getting so bright I almost needed sunglasses to stand myself.

Now who had stress?

The mere mention of having to observe something that requires gift-bearing for a special occasion brought a familiar sound from Better Half, a sort of groan that rivaled the groan of angst he makes around Valentine’s Day or anniversary time or come Christmas when the pressure’s on for him to be thoughtful and creative and demonstrate reckless abandon with his wallet.

OK. Two out of three.

“You don’t need anything — you’ve got everything,” came the familiar defense supplemented with the accusation that “You have more jewelry than you can ever wear.”

I wasn’t sure what his point was but OK.

Our son Adam came into the room.

“Adam,” I looked for someone on my side. “What are you getting me for my birthday?” I asked.

He paused, frowned, then offered a one-word response — “Something.” He grinned.

Under the circumstances that sounded pretty encouraging to me. Vague but intriguing.

Better Half changed the subject, our conversation redirected from column topics and birthday obligations to irons.

Ours has black gunk on the bottom that won’t come off, unless, of course, you’re ironing something white.

We probably just need a new one.

I find it odd if not ironic that some kind of an appliance always seems to need replaced just around my birthday.

You’d think there would be a lot more “pressing” things for me to have, but hey, I’ll check my catalogue.

Maybe there’s an iron that has a horse picture on it.

(Kiaski, a resident of Richmond, is a staff columnist and features writer for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and community editor for the Herald-Star. She can be contacted at jkiaski@heraldstaronline.com.)

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