Special to The Enterprise
The man in my life has a nickname. OK, he has a few, but this one identifies a trait demanding
patience. I call him Mr. Picky.
We lived in Sacramento before moving to Davis, and, like any couple, divided the labor when we married: IÕd do the bills (aka hide my expenditures); heÕd manage investments. IÕd reform the bachelor pad inside; heÕd dig in the dirt outside. HeÕd do the cooking; IÕd handle the dry cleaning.
Of course, that last agreement made me the envy of all women, while my man became the irritant of their male companions.
But every light casts a shadow, and the shadow on the dry cleaning task turned out to be darker than the light on my kitchen-free status.
Darling, (his usual nickname), is one of the most even-tempered people I will ever know. Mr. Picky is another story. I first met Mr. Picky when he became furious over a button.
One morning, while readying myself for work, I heard R-rated sounds coming from our closet, and then witnessed a UFO-like crash landing on our bed. I was convinced an alien had possessed Darling, as I observed the vilest grievance one could have with the earth … the dreaded broken button.
I wanted my husband back, so a confession was in order. A week earlier, IÕd chosen a more conveniently located dry cleaner to press his work shirts. Darling forgave, but the aftermath wasnÕt pretty.
As it turned out, other shirts had suffered a collection of misfortunes too: wrinkled cuffs, cardboard starch, and a horrifying shredded collar. For the first time in my life I woke without the aid of a cattle prod, leaving for work before the birds began to chirp.
The shirt survivors went back to the original cleaner, the one I now understood took years to discover.
Immediately, bliss returned.
Until the dry cleaner decided to retire and close.
I was aware the news would be crippling, so I waited a week to tell my husband, ultimately choosing a public place when I did. He absorbed the information like poison oak.
Not one to stay down for long, Mr. Picky designed a simple, yet brilliant counter offensive. WeÕd test cleaners by sacrificing a single shirt until the right shop could be found. LetÕs just say the amount of time I spent hunting dry cleaners lasted almost as long as Betty WhiteÕs career. When Mr. Picky finally gave the green light, I swore nothing would drag me away again.
And then we moved to Davis.
At first, I trekked over the causeway, but a generous dose of Davis guilt got the best of me. I secretly tested a new shirt at a nearby establishment. The first test didnÕt end well for the shirt Ñ I think it was a loose thread Ñ and I never admitted my part in its disappearance (until now). Hopelessly, I gave one last shirt the sign of the cross.
Maybe it was that silent prayer, or maybe it was just plain competence, but shirt by shirt, El Macero Cleaners won us over.
In all seriousness, El Macero Cleaners makes mundane errands pleasurable. Wendy is a town jewel, and their customer service is as efficient as a 911 response. Like so many businesses in our community, they support our schools and charities. Above all else, they were awarded the Mr. Picky Stamp of Approval Ñ second only to my gratitude. Visit them in the El Macero Shopping Center in South Davis.
Ñ Heidy Kellison lives and shops in Davis. Her column appears monthly. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.