started this column a few times. It’s one of those. It didn’t
want to take shape or fit into any specific form or flow.
suppose I can understand that. I mean… just consider the subject
matter… the enabler.
we were talking about someone that was bad for you or the habits
of your significant other, it would be simple to write this article.
But the enabler isn’t malicious or evil by design.
enabler… combining zen and feng shui, peace and harmony, any and
all elements of perfection and sanity… cannot simply be discounted
since the very purpose of the enabler is to allow you the best
possible method to achieve what you desire.
as it stands… I just blame Ellen.
not really… but I have this theory about Ellen.
she’s The Enabler. Not an enabler. The... enabler.
mentioned this before around here. At some point or another. Just
in case though…
problem with the enabler is difficult to support, because that
friend isn’t really the one that ruins your afternoon. That ship
has long since sailed. The problem already exists, like it or
not. You’re not watching baseball or looking around the internet
or laughing at funny jokes from the latest batch of e-mails. It’s
already been decided that you’re painting... you’re cleaning...
you’re spending an afternoon repositioning dirt. (And for the
guys that think moving around dirt is an escape... fine... you’re
hanging curtains with a floral pattern that enhances the visual
appearance of the room in union with the scent of the candles.
And the television in that room is off.) Instead… that
friend makes things worse… in ways that the casual observer would
never, ever admit to as actually being worse by definition.
That friend enables the most horrendous situation
to pick up speed against you. That friend drives the
subject to a brand new level that exceeds your wildest visions
of what could happen. That friend increases the amount
of work hours involved and dollars spent. And, unfortunately,
the time and money they cost you is pennies compared to the rewards
of their suggestion.
is the enabler for my wife… or… as I’ve been noting it, she’s
that friend. The one that creates headaches for me. The
one that creates more work. And the unfortunate reality is… she’s
the one that if I tried to describe that friend in general
terms to someone else, they’d look at me as if I were nuts. Why?
Because the description would include examples of valuable advice
that was offered, coming over early to help get ready for a party,
taking in stray puppies, making overly generous donations to charity,
and all sorts of other amazing things worthy of hugs and appreciation
and Thanksgiving dinners that couldn’t be beat. And even if I
tried to be cruel to the enabler in some method or manner of terms,
basically all I might come up with for you as a caution would
be the simple advice of “if you’re dating a girl and having a
disagreement with her, even if it isn’t a major issue, don’t let
her talk to her best friend”… which should be obvious enough anyway.
So let’s trudge in and give it some specific details of exactly
why Ellen is that friend… the enabler…
That friend didn’t… decide you needed new curtains for the living
room. Your wife did that.
friend DID… give your wife three web sites and a catalogue of
curtains along with her suggestions of what would look best…
and… she tossed in notes on where to find a new buffet table
that perfectly accented the look of one particular pattern and
some paint colors that she used that would like wonderful with
friend didn’t… say a new shed would be a huge help.
DID… point out that her husband could help build a shed this
very weekend if you so desired to start right away. And, in
friend DID… point out how awesome the doggie-door would look
on the shed, which, in turn, led to the design of a doggie-deck.
you seeing the pattern? The enabler didn’t create the situation
causing you headaches and grief. The enabler simply added touches
that anyone with half a brain would agree were improvements by
offering advice and opinions that many would consider kind and
helpful. So even while no one else understands, you take little
comfort in the realization that those very suggestions caused
weeks of Sunday afternoons without football and purchases of grills
and furniture and other assorted items for the beautiful new back
Ellen is my wife’s enabler… and my secret pain.
only have I been working on a shed for the yard, but, thanks to
the on-going development of a suggestion from Ellen (and yeah…
it was a great suggestion), by this summer when all is completed
I am going to have a shed with not only a doggie-door, but an
attached deck as well.
that’s right… shed… attached deck… for the dogs.
in a nutshell, that’s why I haven’t updated the web site recently.
for the most part, that’s a lie. But part of it is true.