She has decided that eternity isn't long enough. "I'll never keep up," she said after lunch.
"Are you running behind someone?" I asked. I always ask questions when she makes a statement. How else would I know what she meant? When it comes to quilting, sometimes she doesn't mean what she means, and I get very confused.
"There are only seven days in a week," she said. She was looking at the American Quilt Society calendar hanging on the kitchen wall. Was she testing me?
"I know," I said.
"There should be more," she said.
"How many more do you want?" I asked. As she and I are retired and no longer know what day it is anyway, she should already have all the days she needed.
"A week should be ten days long," she said.
"Why?" I asked.
"So I can have three extra days for miniature quilts and paper piecing," she said.
"But you said Tuesday was your tiny quilt day," I reminded her. For some reason neither of us could remember, she had designated Tuesday as "Very Little Quilts Day" when she made out her last quilting schedule, which including her plans for making one hundred eighty-two regular quilts in the next four or five years.
"Isn't this a nice quilt? I have to make one just like it," she said to every quilt she ever saw, and in the last three months she had seen one hundred eighty-two of them. She knew, I was sure, that it would be impossible for her to make that many quilts in four or five years. And what about all the new quilts she'd see between now and then? If we went to any more quilt shows, and of course we would, that would add about a billion more.
"And today's not Tuesday," I went on.
"But I saw a new paper piecing design this morning in the new issue of "Miniature Quilt Ideas," and I can't NOT do it just because it's Monday," she said. "I have to work on all my miniature quilt projects when I have them or I'll forget. That's why I need three extra days each week."
"You can write them down," I said logically, "so when a Tuesday comes along, you'll remember."
"That won't work. I already have too many ideas for tomorrow and even next Tuesday."
"Then why don't you cut down on the larger quilts?" I asked. She didn't need to reach her latest goal of one hundred eighty-two quilts. The quilts she had already completed in the past year and a half should have been plenty. How many beds did we have?
"I have to make all the car quilts and cozy quilts and lap quilts and bed quilts for everybody in the family," she said with finality. That was final. I didn't ask another question or make another suggestion about quilting large quilts.
"So, how many miniature quilts and paper-pieced tiny quilts and wall hangings do you plan to do?" I asked then, trying to bring the conversation back to the subject of Tuesday.
"There are people who have done thousands of tiny quilts," she said, which probably meant that she planned to do thousands as well.
"That would take a lot of Tuesdays," I said with great understanding.
"That's why I need three more Tuesdays each week," she said, no doubt exasperated with me.
"That's all right with me. Today can be Tuesday. Any day you want can be Tuesday." I would give her seven Tuesdays if she wanted, though I would miss the Sunday papers. Of course, the papers being so large, I sometimes would still be reading them on Tuesday anyway.
"Do you think anyone will mind?" She was always considerate of others.
"We won't tell anyone," I suggested.
"That might work."
"But you won't be able to watch television," I said. She looked puzzled as I spoke. I was puzzled as I spoke. Why did I believe we would really have three Tuesdays each week? Probably because when it came to quilting she could work miracles.
"What are you saying?" she asked.
"You won't be able to see all the Tuesday night television shows all three nights."
"I don't have to," she said. "I'll be quilting. And besides, you can tape them, so we can watch them all on Saturday."
If we ever have another Saturday, I thought. "Then what about your Tae Bo workout Tuesday mornings?" Tuesday was her Tae Bo class at the gym. "If you didn't go to that, you'd have more time on Tuesday."
"Are you kidding?" she asked. She put herself into some kind of assault position and thrust her tiny fists at me.
"Then that settles that," I said to protect myself. "Do you want to start the extra Tuesdays today or next week?"
"Today. I just said I saw a pattern this morning called a Gambrel Barn.
"So you want to get started right away?" That was not really a question.
"I already started," she said.
"But it was Monday when you woke up this morning."
"It doesn't matter. Any day I choose can be Tuesday."
"So three Tuesdays a week isn't your absolute limit?"
"Is there a reason there has to be a limit?"
"No. I was just wondering." I knew enough to quit while she was ahead.
Copyright 1999 by A.B. Silver
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