soldering Here is my soldering station. Particularly nonstandard aspects include the quilt protecting the table, the use of an upturned ancient cookie sheet for a work surface (now decorated with a couple of soldered-on jump rings), the bottom of a butter dish (the lid broke) for the flux, and well, everything.

However, attempts to continue improving my soldering skill were delayed. I also did not get to the gym yesterday, or knit, or anything.

Here is the reason: I needed to do the invitations for The Princess’s bridal shower.Partygirl and I are giving her a shower. Partygirl gave one for my daughter, and I expect to do one for hers next year. Ladies, if you have girlfriends, you will someday be giving their daughters bridal showers, so be prepared.

I should have done these invitations last week, b invite mess ut there were delays. So there I was, in my messy computer corner, threading ribbons through tiny punched holes in the invitations and recipe cards as time to go to work came ever closer.

One of the delays in this process had to do with poetry.

Partygirl wrote this sweet little poem for the invitations:

“YY said ‘XX, marry me'”
we think that’s so nice
We want you to bring a recipe
and add a little spice.”

It is a “Spice up the Marriage” shower, something Partygirl introduced, where all the guests bring a recipe and a spice so The Princess can start her marriage with a full spice cabinet.

So the poem was cute. However, it didn’t scan. I wasn’t going to quibble about rhyming “marry me” and “recipe.” As it happens, I spend a lot of time with bad poetry.

It is generally agreed that rhymes are good for kids, and nearly every shipment of classroom books contains some books with classroom poetry, rotten bits of doggerel about the wind or telling time or something, often intended to be sung to “Do Your Ears Hang Low?” or another popular tune.

I have never understood this. America must be bristling with unemployed poets, any of whom could write a decent quatrain about how to tell time, so why do the publishers insist on bringing out acres of rotten poetry every year? A simple ad in the paper would surely bring in a plethora of responses, and Scholastic can afford to keep a poet on the payroll, what with all the Harry Potter loot, so there seems to be no excuse.

Anyway, I really felt that the second line needed replacing.

I tried to get Blessing and That Man to assist me in a quick second-line-ectomy. They were all involved in their numbers, and couldn’t care less. I made a list of alternate second lines to follow “YY said ‘XX, marry me!'”:

We’re going to see them spliced.
“Let them shower us with rice!”
“Don’t make me ask you twice!”
And this is our advice:
She accepted in a trice
Her answer was concise
as smooth as polished ice
and kissed her once or twice

The only other words I could think of that rhymed with “spice” were “lice” and “vice,” neither of which seemed possible.

Blessing thought I could change it to a haiku, so the whole scanning bit wouldn’t matter. She and That Man got back to their discussion of whether to include gift cards in the balance or whatever it was.

I continued fooling around with the poem in between work-related tasks. Somewhere between packing the Indian grants and fluffing the baby toys,  I ended up with this:

“XX,” said YY, “Marry me!”
She said “Yes, with all my heart!”
Please bring a spice and a recipe
to give them a spicy start.

At this point I realized that there was almost nothing of Partygirl’s poem left. Mine was not significantly better than hers, and hers had been from the heart. I threw in an “and” to make it scan and typed up the text for the invitation, leaving the poem in very nearly its original form. If we can’t let sentiment rule at a bridal shower, where can we?

Today I am having my teeth cleaned instead of soldering, going to the gym, knitting, or any other fun activity. It was supposed to be Book Club day, but I awoke to an email from La Bella saying that none of us have finished the book (including me) so we are postponing the meeting. The Little Friend, the book in question, is beautifully written but just too unpleasant for me, and I had resigned myself to admitting that I hadn’t finished it and giving up. Now, with the postponement, I will be honor bound to finish it. I will read it at the dentist’s office; that should be appropriate. Tomorrow I can return to more enjoyable pursuits.