Wheaton's Approach – Cayman Compass

When trying to put a once-used inflatable pool back in its box, with limited success, it occurred to me that I was spending much of my life putting things together that didn't go together.

Take the above for example. Inflatables are one of my weaknesses. If I had my Druthers, I would cover the surface of the water with so many loungers, rings, and cup holders that someone with a better balance than me could walk from one long end of the pool to the other without getting wet.

That being said, once I gain possession, these toys all degrade pretty quickly because unless you squeeze the last drop of air out of them you will never put them back in their original packaging.

Every year, whether I have to or not, I buy more Christmas things. Speaking of trying to fit things into a small space. Where the hell am I going to put it all? Anyway, that seems like an irrelevant question when my eyes glaze over at the sight of new and innovative ways to turn your garden into a winter wonderland.

Have you ever bought a set of these twinkling lights? You know the ones I mean – icicles or net lights or 300 per string, which can be chained together so many times that you can make the roof of your house look like it's on fire.

All of this is beautifully arranged in a plastic frame where each light bulb has its own slot. As soon as you start peeling them off this rack you know there is no going back. Anyone who tries to do this has either had significant organizational errors or they forgot to quarantine their iPad.

Once Christmas is over, those bundles of light will take up three times the space and why should they be saved anyway, since half of each set inexplicably won't work for the next year and you'll have too much life to spend an hour tracking down the rogue bulb on each string.

Other favorites of mine are the wire sculptures required for assembly which, if constructed correctly, result in beautifully lit festive characters such as reindeer, snowmen, penguins, and Jolly Old St. Nick himself. The first problem is that the step-by-step diagrams look like 17th generation photocopies and the instructions are given through google translate. The second problem is that hardly anything fits in the box, even if it comes directly from the manufacturer. When people ask me why I faded reindeer on the lawn in June and only their legs are glowing, I tell them I can't take them apart and try to put the pieces away. This is my story and I'm sticking with it.

Another half-related note: One Christmas day, I jumped at a reindeer with a jointed neck. Around April one of the plugs came loose, leaving the poor creature on the verge of decapitation with every turn of the engine. It was in agony for weeks before I finally put it down.

When it comes to matching (or not matching) things, a person's wardrobe is a prime example. As I've mentioned a few times in the last few columns, I've lost weight. It's still going very well.

Do you know what that means? At 1am, when I can't sleep, I pull out the container of Dream Jeans – the ones with recognizable designer names on the labels instead of JC Penney own brands with the word "woman" stamped somewhere on the label. (I don't know why that word is code for "fierce" in department stores, but it is.) What if you can wear a size 10 or below? A girl? A branch?

Any person who has been on a diet will tell you that fitting into a smaller size is a big accomplishment. Maybe that's why I was lying on the bed at 1:05 am, trying to pull up a denim zipper with a wire coat hanger. like a heavy muffin top counts as "fitting".

I was reminded of the wonderful original film version of "Father of the Bride" starring Spencer Tracy when he was trying to save money by wearing his old cutaway to the wedding when it was silly to him. When his wife asked, "Are you naturally standing?" I wondered the same way I stood in front of the mirror at 1:10 a.m. and saw what looked like a lobster hoop around my waist. Maybe a few more pounds before trying GAP again.

, things don't always fit the way they should, but that's why they invented brilliant solutions like Spacesaver vacuum bags.

Besides, I'm not a quitter. Anyone who says you can't stick a square pen in a round hole has never seen me with a hammer.

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