The morning after this year’s final presidential debate, I rolled out of bed looking forward to catching up on the post-debate analysis. Keeping up with politics is part of my newsroom job, but I had a few things to do before I could settle in for some required reading.
First, I brewed a pot of coffee and then treated our daughter to a trip to the donut shop before school.
On my way home, I stopped by the grocery store to pick up a fresh gallon of milk, a package of english muffins, a box of bran cereal, some romaine lettuce, a heavy bag of salt for the water softener, cleaning supplies and other items necessary to keep our home running smoothly and on a full stomach.
After putting everything away, I fired up my laptop to see what was being said about the debate, but then my wife called from work. One of the tires on her car had developed a slow-leak.
I took a deep breath, got back in my car, drove down to her office, swapped cars and took hers to the tire store to seek a fix.
While there, the guy who greeted me noticed the Washington Nationals patch on my ball cap. I don’t know if he was necessarily a Nats fan – maybe he just was trying to sell me new tires – but he was thoughtful enough to express sympathy for the Nationals exit from baseball’s post-season at the hands of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
We talked baseball for a while and, to steal a line from Dodgers lore, agreed there’s always next year.
By the time I arrived back home it was midday, and I was once again ready to do a deep dive into the debate.
I was wrong.
Our dog Rodney was a basket case. He was barking and turning circles and wouldn’t leave me alone long enough to browse the internet for some thoughtful debate analysis, much less turn on a cable news channel.
Rodney clearly had some energy to burn off. And considering he had his annual appointment with the dog doctor that afternoon, I thought better of trying to ignore him. Instead, I took him out back to play his favorite game – “keep away” with the soccer ball that he’s nearly torn to shreds.
Running around the back yard did the trick. For an excitable dog, Rodney was about as calm as he ever gets when I piled him in the car and took him to the veterinarian’s office. He was so calm, he didn’t even flinch when the doc gave him his annual shot.
With Rodney’s appointment behind me, I thought I finally had a few moments to learn what others were saying about the debate. Just as I settled into my favorite chair, though, our daughter emerged from her room to inform me that her show choir practice was starting a half-hour early. I glanced at the time, shut down my laptop again and got back in the car.
Since my wife was still at work, I had to stay for a parent meeting while the kids were rehearsing. We didn’t get back home until after 8pm.
By that time, I was done. All I wanted to do was watch a little mindless television with my wife and go to bed.
Catching up on politics was just going to have to wait.
Sometimes life gets in the way, even for those of us whose job depends on staying up-to-date.