Tuesday, May 12

A Northern Irishishm: Faffing around

The first time I told Noah he was "faffing around," he asked me what that meant, and I explained rather plainly: "Think of what you always do. That's faffing around."

When we were packing up to go home for the summer back in college, we parted ways to go to our respective rooms. A few hours later, when I was done, I went to check on him and found him shooting Nerf darts at his television set, with no noticeable progress. Diagnosis: Faffing.

When we were getting ready to go to Chicago this last time, it was 10 o'clock the night before we left, and we hadn't packed. I left Noah doing dishes in the kitchen to go gather my things, and when I came back I found him sorting through a giant stack of junk mail that had been sitting on our stereo for over a week while watching a White Sox game. This was his idea of taking care of the pressing task of packing. Diagnosis: Faffing.
faffing around (v.) 1. to dither; 2. to annoy the crap out of your wife by dithering; 3. to require endless amounts of time to complete a relatively straightforward task, thus annoying the crap out of your wife
As our responsibilities have become greater, so too has the level of Noah's faffing around. He has become a champion faffer.

Noah: I guess I'd better call Steve about getting that drain put in the backyard.
Erin: Yep, I'd say it's time. Since we're now cultivating swamp grass.
Noah: I'll have him come out and show me the plan for how he would do it, and give me a solid estimate.
Erin: Isn't that what he did last time you called him? That time that he came out here and showed you how he would do it and also gave you a solid estimate?
Noah: A gentleman never rushes into things.

I' d like for him to build a set of shelves to go around the bay window in our bedroom. We've been discussing this for months. I've drawn many drawings, explicating how this thing should go down. But, owing to my — how shall I say this? — mathematical deficiencies, I depend on him to come up with a blueprint that won't result in a Seussian mess of a wonktastic built in.

We're finally at the stage where Noah is ready to draw up a plan. When I reviewed his "plan," this is what I found:

That's a detailed drawing of our bay window — complete with Roman shades, blinds (and their turning rods), and even the outlet beneath the middle window. And those nebulous, indistinct lines on either side? Those are the shelves. Notice the BOOKS ON THEM.

At this rate, we'll have measurements done by Christmas. But, luckily, this time around he has successfully located and labeled the ceiling.


mrs. fuzz said...

So that's what "it" is called. Faffing. This was hysterical. The detailed drawing killed me, and also when he said, "A gentleman never rushes into things".

I remember visiting my grandparents once and they were driving me to their church. We were running a little late, and my grandma was driving. My grandpa stopped whistling for a moment to say, "Quit yer dilly dallyin'!" And then my grandma put the car in reverse and backed over my grandpa's prized flower garden on accident. He calmly and cheerfully said, "You were dillyin' when you backed over my dahlias!" That was at least 10 years ago and it still kills me. Anyway, thanks for the laugh. Nice to know that my husband isn't the only one that is faffing around.

Susie said...

Love that sketch! Even before I read the post (yah I look at the pictures first), I knew it was a book shelf, I saw the books and the ceiling. Its perfect!


Slamdunk said...

Very funny stuff--maybe because it hits too close to home. I would write more, but I should put my Nerf pistol down now and find my to-do list.

If your husband still has a dart gun, the 9 year old and I like to shoot at the ESPN show "Around the Horn." They have the bullseye graphics already on the screen...

Meadowlark said...

Good to have a name for it.
Although Husband doesn't "faff" when he thinks he can use the welder. Like, for examle, when constructing tree climbing spikes. SIGH... yes, tree climbing spikes. Oy Vey!

sarah von said...

Awesome and awesome. Faffing has now entered my vocabulary.

The Naked Redhead said...

I think the three books are: Anna Karenina, Jonathan Franzen's "The Corrections", and The Essential Calvin and Hobbes Collection. That's just a guess, though. It's hard to tell with the floating ones.

Hehe...I have one like this at home, too.

Erin said...

Slamdunk--So THAT'S why he insists on watching ESPN every morning. Target practice!

Meadowlark--Although having your hubs make his own tree climbing spikes is terrifying, we once paid a tree man $50 to save our cat. You could start a lucrative cat-saving business.

TNR--You are spot on with those guesses, especially since that represents my side of the case. If he had drawn on HIS side, you can be sure Lord of the Rings would make an appearance.

julia said...

first post I ever read on your blog found through "yes an yes !" and it's flippin hilarious, I burst out a loud laughter at the line "notice the books". I have to leave now, got to read your others postsss.
cheers !

Dusty @AllThingsG+D said...

Great post, lol! What you call "faffing" I call "piddling." Potatoes, patatoes--and still the same annoyed woman as an end result!

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