When we bought this house, there were many things we knew would need to go: the variety of hideous wallpaper (a different color and pattern in every room!), the disgusting carpet (seriously, who carpets a bathroom?), and the (I swear to you I am not making this up) towel racks in every single room except the bathrooms all vied for my immediate attention. But, as it turns out, the house itself didn’t get all that much cheaper just because it was infested with gross carpet and wallpaper and old orange pool tables and furniture so ugly we couldn’t give it away and all of these things cost money to get rid of.
So, while we took those first deep breaths after a hectic Christmas-then-closing and prepared to chip away at the things that annoy me bit by bit, room by room, floor by floor, I was surrounded by boxes and desperate for a project that could be tackled by me and me alone. Preferably for whatever was kicking around in the bottom of the bank account.
Anyway, there I was, surrounded by boxes only I could unpack* and a never-ending list of annoyances, and every morning I staggered into the kitchen to be confronted – while crabby and uncaffeinated, mind you – with a view of our lovely back yard being molested by the giant flag pole left behind by Ward and June Cleaver.
Now, I’m aware that a fair number of you are not Americans and therefore might be wondering what sort of person needed a flag in their back yard to remind them which country they’d woken up in every single morning. But I’ve more or less figured out how this happened: see, not only did our yard have a flag, but so did the yards on either side and several on this block. So. Probably one of these old guys (I’m guessing the one who had his medals framed in the upstairs hallway and his son’s graduation certificate from West Point framed in his bedroom, hanging above the towel rack) put up the damned flag and then did that thing where he subtly shamed others for not doing it until the neighbors caved and it started a chain reaction. And hey, if they want to wake up every morning to bugles and a salute, that’s fine by me because I really don’t care what other people do with their lives.**
But it’s my house now. And that flag was pissing me off. I know what country I woke up in without a reminder flapping around outside my kitchen window. Also? Having been raised in a military family, the tattered condition of that flag was really bugging me. It had to go.
The problem? Apparently a pole that size is sunk pretty deep in the ground, and to remove it would leave us with a giant hole to fill, and that’s a whole big job, and it wouldn’t be really really safe for the greyhounds for a few years, and – as stated above – I needed something cheap and immediate.
Yes, my friends, we have a pirate flag in our backyard.
It gets replaced every couple of years, because I can’t be arsed to take it down just because of a storm or whatever, so it gets pretty rough. But honestly? That only adds to its credibility.
ME: Oh, grow up.
HIM: I am a grown-up. You know how I can tell?
HIM: Because if I want to fly a pirate flag in my back yard, I can.
* See the list of things my husband and I have argued about, and maybe a future unpacking post for that issue.
** You might have noticed I only write about my own life? Yeah.