Sunday, August 20, 2006


(thanks, Andria)

Nobody has any consideration for my feelings. Most of the time I get walked all over by people who purport to care about me. They obviously don’t. For years now, Kristy has taken The Quartet (well, first The Solo…then The Duet…The Trio…etc…) to her parents’ house on Saturday afternoons. The kids play with their grandparents, watch cartoons on cable TV, run around the backyard, play with their cousin, watch some more cartoons, eat, more cartoons, for the day and into the evening. They enjoy themselves immensely and look forward to it at the end of every week. I’m glad they look forward to it and have such a grand time. I’m glad they’re so preoccupied because on Saturday evenings, when I close up shop and call it a day at work (my sixth day of working), I get the evening to myself. It’s Me Time. It’s roughly four hours of whatever craziness I want to get into. Usually I sit somewhere – a local coffee shop or someplace – and read or write, or work a crossword or Sudoku puzzle, because that’s how wild I can be, and about all I have the energy for. I have used this time productively in the past – doing yardwork or getting some projects done at work that I didn’t have time for during the week, but mostly I sit. Sometimes I just stare into space, relishing the quiet and the solitude. But that’s all over. My in-laws have sold their house and are moving into, well, they’re moving into someone’s garage. Call it a carriage house or guest house if you’d like, it’s all semantics now. The gist of it is, their new living quarters aren’t big enough for this Quartet to spread out, so there are no more trips to grandma’s house on Saturday. So now I’ll be expected at home after work, just like any other day. My Saturday has become another Tuesday. What’s more, this backhouse they’re moving into is in our neighborhood. There is a good chance that they will be at my house on Saturday nights. I may be expected to hold up one end of a conversation, I surely can’t get away with burying my nose in a book and acting like I don’t recognize them the way I do when I see people out at the coffee shops. Sweet, sweet silence, I hardly knew ye.

I know this seems selfish. I know there are other dads out there reading this, cursing me for complaining when at least I had this time. I realize it’s like complaining that the steak is too tender, or the scotch is too single-malty, or that Angelina Jolie sat too close to me on the plane. And trust me, I’ll feel bad about it later, but right now I have to plan out the last couple of Saturdays I have to myself. Let’s see, find a very quiet place to sit…