You Do the Math

After 43 years, I realized that my refusal to garden and my near boycott of cooking have absolutely nothing to do with my gross inability to perform these tasks.  It’s because I like to be efficiently productive, and neither of these chores fits my requirements.

Basically, according to my calculations, Work Worthy of Me needs to fit the following formula:  time spent working<time spent enjoying.

Now, I think you can see where this is going.

Let’s start with cooking.

I do not understand the need to slave in the hot kitchen for two hours to create a food item, or even a meal, that people will spend 45 minutes, tops, on appreciating.  (Except for my daughter, who drags out every meal for two hours.  Even then, though, the formula does not work.  Because time spent working must be LESS THAN time spent enjoying.  Not LESS THAN OR EQUAL TO.  Even though I was going to put that, but I couldn’t figure out how to do that with my keyboard.  Oops, I just figured it out.  ≤ Too Late.)

Now, the gardening thing is a bit trickier.  Let’s take annuals first.  First of all, this a dumb categorization.  Annual means “once a year” – implying that it happens repeatedly.  For example, I have to annually ask Cap’n Firepants if annuals are the ones that keep coming up or the ones you have to replant.

So, let’s say you take an hour to plant some annuals that will last about three weeks.  Technically, that would seem to fall nicely into my formula.  But, here’s the problem.  Of those three weeks, I will probably spend 1 minute/day noticing how pretty those annuals are.  Hmm.  So multiply by 21, carry the 3, subtract the 50, and – wow, that’s a whole 21 minutes I spent enjoying those flowers.  Trigger big ole annoying buzzer sound here.  Annuals – you’re outta here.

Perennials don’t work either.  It would take nearly 3 years of repeating themselves for three weeks a year to earn their Time Spent Enjoying Minutes.  And nothing lives 3 years in our yard.  Between armadillos, Texas droughts, and a bulldog named Wonderbutt who tramples anything in his path, cacti are about the only thing that are sturdy enough to withstand nature and the Firepants Family.  And I do not enjoy cacti.  So, there’s that.

In conclusion, it is fortunate that I married Cap’n Firepants.  Because he does not like math, and can both cook and garden.  So, I should probably revise my formula a bit.

time I spent working < time I spent enjoying


time Cap’n Firepants spent working = time I spend enjoying


Cap’n Firepants + Mrs. Cap’n Firepants = A well-fed couple with a beautiful yard and a perfectly calculated annual tax return

We’re perfect for each other.

Shouldn’t it be “Semi-Perennial Sale”? I’m so confused.


Posted on August 14, 2012, in Cap'n Firepants, Family, Humor, Marriage and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. I was on a writing sabbatical recently. On the plane ride back, someone asked what I did. I said I really didn’t work. So of course the hobbies question came up. I told him I wrote. I had launched my blog based on just my writing and so on. (boring I know)

    All of that gibberish to say, he said he never understood people liking to write. He was the, all in is head, type. He said, why would anyone want to take words and scramble them to put them on paper. I asked him if he cooked. He loved to cook. I told him it is similar to taking different ingredients and making a tantalizing taste bud meal.

    So maybe you can relate to your wife that way. Hey I write humor (though this comment doesn’t reflect it) what do I know?

  2. Once again I feel your pain – hahahaha!

  3. I get it. And I do like how everything seems clearer when you can reduce it to a formula. Especially that last one, the Firepants Family Formula.

  4. I’ve cut & pasted pictures from gardening magazines all over my windows. So when I look outside I can’t see the disaster that is our yard. But when it comes to cooking, I just point the Mister at the kitchen and say “make me something good.” And he does. 🙂

  5. You are a genius. The cooking thing makes so much sense. That also explains why microwaving tv dinners is not as painful.

    I do garden, but it relaxes me and saves me from other things that suck, like going through paperwork.

  6. Genius! And lucky you not having to do any of those things.

  7. Not a gardener, love cooking, hat math.
    I feel so out of step…

  8. jesus. i am so happy someone else of seemingly above average intelligence has to have someone define annual annually.

  9. Chancy and Mumsy

    Now I know why I can’t keep a pretty garden going…thank you for doing the math for me. lol Hugs

  10. No one told me I’d be needing a calculator.

  11. LOL! Too funny, but you are right, it is amazing how much time we put into stuff and how little time we spend enjoying it!

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