A Hand-crafted Ship…A Builders Harbor

It is with sadness that I report on the passing of Mr. Recommendation.

He does not figure prominently on this blog, but did garner frequent mentions on the old blog. For those of you who don’t know, allow me to elaborate.

Mr. Recommendation was my mother’s companion for almost 8 years. He once asked for her hand in marriage, he gave her the ring, and she accepted, but nuptials never materialized. I’m not here to get into the relationship between him and my mother, for it is not my story to tell. Instead, I will just tell you about the man.

Mr. Recommendation earned his nickname when I bought my first house. Him and Mother came over to inspect the new digs. Mr. R dabbled in home improvement, and everywhere he went, he had an idea. He always prefaced it with, “If I may make a recommendation…” My friend, Indy, gave him the moniker, and it stuck.

For the most part, his ideas were good. He an occasional bad idea, like suggesting I paint the raised wooden seam on the floor between the living room and the dining room (two different kinds of flooring…it looked like a speed bump) a bright, neon orange or yellow so people would see it and no one would trip over it. I vetoed the idea. I didn’t anticipate entertaining many legally blind guests. If I did, I’d just mention the floor thing.

But like I said, he had some good ideas. Mr. R was a guy who genuinely liked to build things with his hands. It gave him a certain pride and joy that his desk job didn’t give him. I went away on vacation, and returned with a beautiful new mantle over my fireplace. He installed all the new lights in the house, rebuilt my shower stall when it started leaking into the downstairs laundry room, redid aforementioned laundry room, helped me paint, remodeled my kitchen, and put new flooring down on the stairs and hallway when it was demolished by a St. Bernard. All for just the cost of the supplies. In the winter, he would clear my driveway. In the spring and summer, he would cut the grass.

He guided me on dives after I got scuba certified, and quite possibly saved me from getting eaten by a shark. I’m not sure, it’s just heresy.

75% of the time, Mr. R was a nice guy, and I liked him. The other 25%, he was an asshole, and no one liked him. He loved to laugh, but had lousy comedic timing. Most of his jokes would come out awkward, racist, and generally not funny. He loved to eat, never met a buffet he didn’t like, hated vegetables, and wasn’t very nice to wait staff. For all his flaws, which were many, he loved my mother, unconditionally. He would have given her the moon on a platter, but sadly, his body would not allow it. I suppose you could say he was a good step-dad to me, but I couldn’t allow myself to be close to a step-dad type because I’ve done that before, and I have had it taken from me. I still harbor feelings of resentment for it.

And so, we say good-bye on Friday to Mr. Recommendation. I will remember him when I hang decorations on the mantle, clean off the kitchen island, and trip over that damn wooden speed bump.