Since I’ve not been served with any divorce papers, I guess I can talk about Valentine’s Day, 2013.
It was the worst ever, thanks to the Jackson County Water and Sewerage Authority.
I probably should have been forewarned of disaster potential just because the authority, which I cover, was meeting that night. But the meeting started at 6 p.m., and since most of its meetings have been short and everything on the agenda had been discussed abundantly at its work session the week before, I figured to be home by 8:00 at the latest.
A decision to extend water lines to two neighborhoods where wells were going dry should have taken 10 minutes, but the authority was in the mood to talk, so it took an hour. Members lost no enthusiasm for discussion over a request from Traditions of Brasleton to allow its logo to be put on a water tank — even though Traditions asked that the request be tabled.
At 7:37, the board went into closed session to discuss pending litigation, which may or may not have included potential divorce cases initiated by members’ spouses.
I called Barbara to break the news. I’d be lucky to get home by 9 p.m., so she’d best go ahead and eat.
Her response was, shall we say, not enthusiastic. I sensed it was perceived to be my fault.
The closed session wound down 36 minutes later (no action taken, as usual), after which manager Eric Klerk (I can’t safely mention his name at home yet) gave a lengthy PowerPoint presentation on capital expenditures expected to be required over the next 17 Valentine’s Days (through 2030) at the Bear Creek Reservoir, the upshot of which is if you’re one of their customers, you’re going to have to pay for it.
Fascinating stuff, much more discussion, during which I found myself with less-than-Christian thoughts about people who facilitate long meetings on Valentine’s Day and secretly hoping that some of the authority members were also missing steak and lobster-tail dinners.
Of course, I’m always opposed to long meetings. To all meetings, actually, but long ones in particular.
It was quiet when I entered the house just after 9 p.m. The bedroom door was ominously closed, my place at the table was still set with our best china and crystal. The card I’d left remained unopened, the leftover lobster was cold, the steak uncooked, the wine gone — there seemed to be a chill in the house.
Eventually (the next evening), Barbara and I resumed normal conversation. We opened our cards and got a rueful laugh over the text in mine, which said something to the effect of, “looking forward to spending the evening with you.”
We’ll remember Valentine’s Day 2013 forever — and the group that made it memorable.
Mark Beardsley is the editor of The Commerce News. He lives in Commerce.