Life Deconstructed: It’s not always fine the way it was

Life Deconstructed - Maria Jiunta Heck

I’d just spent hours on a complicated stenciling project on one wall of my dining room.

These aren’t your mama’s heart and duck stencils. This was a multi-layer, multi-paint project that sorely tested my “attention to detail” personality deficit.

I was thrilled with the finished project.

I texted photos of it to everyone on my contact list, desperate for complimentary affirmation. It’s what we last-born children tend to do. I stopped just short of sending the photos to my fourth grade teacher, but only just.

My husband finally arrived home. I waited expectantly next to the fancy new wall. He walked right past me.

Me: “Didn’t you notice anything?”

He swung back around the corner.

“You cleaned. Good job!”

Me: “No! You idiot! The wall! I painted the stinking wall!”

“Oh. Huh. Interesting. But, it was fine the way it was.”

And off he scampered before I even had a chance to throw a measuring cup at his head.

It was fine the way it was.

That statement is so typical of my husband and pretty much sums up our entire relationship. There is no greater testimonial of our opposite personalities and dichotomy of expectations from life than this.

My husband does not like to stray too far from normal daily routines.

He is content to just let things be. Let them just play out in their own way. Let’s not poke the sleeping bear. Let it be. Just let it be!

I, as you have may have already deduced, cannot let anything just be.

I never could.

From changing around my bedroom furniture when I was 7, to cutting “layers” into my own hair at age 8, I’ve always had the propensity to stir it up. Status quo has the same unsettling effect on me as the prospect of contracting the Zika virus.

Not for me.

I guess this “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality is a guy thing. This man would still be wearing his Members Only jacket if I hadn’t sold it at a yard sale in 1989. He keeps ordering the same eyeglasses while I am forever changing my frames to match my outfits. And he fell into an apoplectic seizure when he found out I threw out his cut-off jeans. Cut-off! Jeans!

“What the heck?! They still had a lotta years left in them!”

“Sorry. Those years ended in 1975. I thought they were part of a Hee Haw Halloween costume from middle school.”

If it was up to Nancy, we’d be living in a tent on the green at Fox Hill. Every house we’ve had was good enough. Never mind that we had more kids than bedrooms. It all was just fine the way it was!

I’m shocked that he actually agreed to move back to the Valley from Philadelphia, but that has less to do with my suggestion for change of venue and more to do with expanded golfing hours with The Village Idiots.

Speaking of which, how come his golf clubs are never “fine the way they were?” There is a long narrow box from FedEx on my front porch right this minute and I will bet you a painted wall that it doesn’t contain my new curtain rods for the curtains I am changing for the third time this year.

I had to! You can see right into my house! And seeing me in my underwear is most certainly not “fine the way it was.”

Life Deconstructed

Maria Jiunta Heck

Maria Jiunta Heck of West Pittston is a mother of three and a business owner who lives to dissect the minutiae of life. Send Maria an email at

Maria Jiunta Heck of West Pittston is a mother of three and a business owner who lives to dissect the minutiae of life. Send Maria an email at

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