Last weekend, my wife left town and took our daughter with her. And as unlikely as it sounds considering she’s lived with me for 20 years, she didn’t leave in a snit.
In fact, their departure had nothing to do with moving back in with her parents. It was a gift to our daughter. She’s turning 11-years-old this month and as part of her birthday celebration, my wife took her to one of her favorite places – New York City. To make the trip even more memorable, the two of them took off accompanied by our daughter’s BFF and her mother.
Not that I’m complaining, but I wasn’t invited. Even after learning that they planned to take my car, it remained clear that my presence was not required.
I could have objected. And, maybe I should have. After all, I was facing being separated from my car for the first time since I bought it about three months ago.
No guy likes to be separated from his wheels, especially so soon in the relationship.
Somehow, though, the thought of being the only boy among four girls crammed into my car wasn’t appealing. Besides, if I had insisted, all the added weight of a “slightly” out-of-shape middle-aged man would have ruined its gas mileage and that’s the whole point of that car. I bought it to save money on gas and that’s why my wife wanted to take it to New York … without me, or our 14-year-old son, for that matter.
I could have sat around and pined for my girls (and my car) but I decided to make the best of their absence and use the opportunity to school our son in how men should comport themselves when the women of the house aren’t around.
The first thing I did after seeing the girls off was step over the basket full of clean laundry that needed to be folded. Then I ignored the dirty dishes in the kitchen sink, settled into my favorite chair and flipped on the flat screen – safe in the knowledge that, for a couple of days at least, my wife wouldn’t be rolling her eyes at “Ice Road Truckers” and “Pawn Stars” and my daughter wouldn’t be around to bug me into changing the channel to “Wizards of Waverly Place.”
When my son emerged from his lair in the basement and mentioned he was hungry, I ordered a huge pizza dripping with grease and weighed down with extra cheese.
“This should last us for a couple of days.” I told him when I brought it home. “If not, we’ll go get some wings.”
It was at that point that I was reminded that my son and I (and our dog Rodney, too) were not left totally without female supervision. Our cat Skitty meowed from her customary perch on the clothes dryer. Then she sat back on her haunches and gave me saucer eyes like Puss in Boots did in the “Shrek” movies just before whipping out his claws.
I don’t trust Skitty. She has two personalities. Skitty can be happily purring in your lap one minute and drawing blood the next. However, since she doesn’t have the capacity for speech, I was reasonably sure that what happened at home would stay at home. Still, I wasn’t 100-percent sure she wasn’t somehow spying, so I made a mental note to put a little more than usual in her bowl while my wife and daughter were away.
And, under her watchful gaze, I ended up making sure the laundry was done, the dishes put away and the house picked up.
The next time my wife and daughter go on a girl’s trip, I’m making them take the cat, too.