I don't always know whether she plans to quilt in the year 2000 or make 2000 quilts. I wouldn't bet against that happening.
"It's the end of the year and we've spent all the money we are going to for this year, haven't we?" She asked that question this morning with an innocent look on her face, which is a look no one married to a quilter would believe. Quilters are never innocent. They seem to have been put upon this earth to be devious to their family, friends, and even strangers who happened to wander into their vicinity. Darling Wife had a hundred different innocent looks for every quilting occasion. She was standing next to the window looking out at the leaves which were still falling in our extended autumn, though winter was already officially here. She was wearing a new Y2K look.
"You've spent more than all the money we were going to on quilting this year," I said, emphasizing the "YOU."
"We should make new plans for the new year," she said.
"You already broke next year's spending resolutions, and it's still two days to the new year."
It's just that I got a new idea for a quilt and I need a few things."
"We've already gone over budget," I said.
"But that was the budget for this year," she said. "We could spend a little of January's budget."
"We spent January's quilting budget already this year," I said.
"Then we can use February's budget. I need some stuff."
"Stuff means a lot of fabric and notions and quilting books and patterns, doesn't it? It seems we've been through this before." I knew there was no use arguing with her. If she saw January and February in December, she could also see all of the year 2000. "You have quilter's greed," I said.
"It's quilter's need," she corrected.
"Why don't you wait until January and just relax the last two days of this year. You still haven't finished the Almost Amish quilt you're working on." The quilt was almost finished I knew, but her working on it had been delayed by a lost delivery of seven yards of black Kona cotton she had ordered. Somehow the package had been delivered to the wrong city in the wrong state, the problem blamed on the holiday season, but it had finally arrived. That black fabric had put our December budget in the red. The reddest of reds.
"I can't relax when I need stuff," she said.
"I thought quilting was supposed to relax you," I said.
"Quilting relaxes me. Not having stuff to quilt with makes me unrelax."
"Unrelax?" Another quilter's word, one coined no doubt to make quilting spouses feel guilty if they did not understand the quilter's need for an unending supply of quilting stuff.
"You want me happy and relaxed and in a good mood for the new millennium, don't you, Darling Husband?"
"The new millennium really doesn't begin until the end of next year," I said, "and don't try to sweet talk me with that Darling Husband business."
She gave me another innocent look, version 5.0.1.
"Then we can spend all the money now for next year, and next year we can put more money in the budget from the first year of the new millennium."
"That doesn't make any sense," I said.
"It means I can buy everything I need now and everything I need in January and the rest of the year, and we don't have to worry about the budget because we can always budget for the year after."
"That doesn't make any sense either," I said. Actually, in the quilting world she lived in, it made a lot of sense. What it meant was that she was going to order anything she needed in the next two days for quilting in the year 2000, and in January she would order more, and it would go that way all year long.
"How much is in the March budget?" she asked.
"I think you just spent it," I said.
"Now you're the one not making sense," she said.
"Do you plan to make two thousand quilts next year or not?" I asked. I had to know.
"I could never make that many quilts," she said.
"But you'd like to have enough 'stuff' to make that many, wouldn't you?"
"I might make that many eventually. It would take a long time." She turned her face into a look of deep thought. I looked into her eyes and I could see quilt blocks dancing in the hazel-brown pupils. Children might sleep with visions of sugar plums in their heads on Christmas eve, but my darling wife had visions of quilts in her head at all times, asleep or awake, dreaming or not dreaming.
"So how much do you plan to spend?" I asked. It was the only way to get her out of her reverie. She was quiltnotized. I snapped my fingers to awaken her.
"Just a couple of dollars," she said.
"Two dollars for fabric and notions and patterns?"
"Maybe a few more," she said. "But not much more," she added to assure me we would still have some retirement money left by New Year's Day.
"So we need a second set of books?"
"We'll need another budget," I said. "We'll keep it separate from the other budget."
"Will that work?" she asked, looking at me with what was, I am sure, hope in her heart.
"Anything can happen in Y2K," I said. "We can even spend 2001's budget if it will keep you from being unrelaxed."
'I'm glad," she said.
"I'm glad, too. Happy New Budget."
"And Happy New Year."
"That's two days off," I said.
"That's now," she said. It was.
Copyright 2000 by A.B. Silver
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