This weekend provides an example; I'd explain but that would defeat the purpose.
I can tell you that Long Suffering Spouse and I went to Indianapolis to visit Older Daughter and her husband, Hank. Older Daughter was just implanted again, and Long Suffering Spouse was planning to visit and see to it that Older Daughter really did rest. (Older Daughter is undergoing IVF treatment. If you're interested, you can catch up here and here -- feel free to read all seven parts if you really want.)
I was not planning to go. I thought I'd be at home with Younger Daughter and the pseudo-dog, Rodent. Rodent is the pocket-sized pooch owned by Oldest Son and his wife Abby (following the links from this post will tell you more than you ever wanted to know about Rodent). Oldest Son and his wife were in Vegas for an extended weekend and Younger Daughter was asked to dog-sit. Since Younger Daughter has no place of her own, and dogs -- even very small ones -- are frowned upon in her college dormitory, the Curmudgeon residence is always volunteered as the venue for the dog-sitting.
Not by me, you understand.
I had stuff I'd planned to do at home -- viz., the grass, the laundry, a post on my public blog, preparing for a speech on Monday evening, preparing for a cable appearance on Wednesday afternoon -- and we wouldn't ordinarily leave Younger Daughter home by herself, especially with the dog. There would really be nothing for me to do in Indianapolis except mope around. Long Suffering Spouse was planning to stay at the kids' apartment; I'd have wanted to stay at a hotel -- but that would have been inconsistent with my wife's goal of hovering to make sure her daughter stayed at rest. So the decision that we would go our separate ways this past weekend seemed settled and uncontroversial. But Long Suffering Spouse was enormously tired by the end of the week. I already forget why. So much is going on in our lives at this point that I'm having trouble keeping track. It may not have been any particular crisis; it may just have been the consequence of my wife's return to the classroom after Easter Break: We're both usually dead tired by Friday evening.
Anyway, Older Daughter and Younger Daughter were both concerned that Long Suffering Spouse would have difficulty making the drive by herself on Friday. I suggested that she stay home Friday and leave early on Saturday -- but that was vetoed. And by late Friday morning it had become apparent that I was going to have to go too.
I left the Teeny Tiny Law Office in mid-afternoon and Long Suffering Spouse and I started packing immediately. We had dinner at home, though, so we weren't able to leave until 6:30. We weren't moving fast.
And we only moved slower when we got on the Tollway. I know better than to try and drive through the city on a Friday evening -- the Kennedy delays can make forever seem like an eye-blink -- but there was an accident on I-294 and it took us a good hour to make a portion of the trip we can usually make in 10 minutes.
We heard from Younger Daughter en route. It seems a giant centipede ("furry" and "with stripes") had decided to show itself just after we left. I asked if the centipede ate Rodent; Younger Daughter was not amused. Although he had escaped the giant centipede, Rodent had begun barking, first at the front door, then the back door -- just little yip, yap, yip barks -- the kind that confirms for any experienced gang of house-burglars that herein lies easy pickins. Younger Daughter could not get the animal to stop. She'd looked out the windows but saw no gangs of any kind; nevertheless, she'd turned on every light in the house. (She'd already turned on most of them in response to the centipede. Younger Daughter had a spray bottle of bleach ready to confront that centipede should it reappear. Long Suffering Spouse counseled against this. "You'll only make it mad," she warned.)
We got to Indianapolis well after 11:00pm local time. Hank poured me a tumbler of Irish whiskey to help me unwind from the drive. I don't think he minded too much because he had an excuse to join me. Then I had to wind my 6'2" frame into a 4' loveseat. (Oh, yes, we had to stay at the apartment, even with me along.) Long Suffering Spouse was on the full couch with Older Daughter -- who refused to toddle off to bed until long after I
Saturday Hank and I went out -- I had a charge card bill to pay at Chase. Chase makes it impossible to pay a bill on line unless you give them a cell phone number so they can send you a phony "security code." Look: A security code is entirely stupid and pointless when someone is trying to pay a bill. First of all, I really don't care if some stranger wants to put some money toward my staggering Chase Card balance. I don't mind if you do. Why should there be a security code to discourage that? Second, I realize that the only reason Chase wants me to give over my cell phone number is so they can sell it and I can start getting sales calls on my cell phone. The bastards. They are never getting it from me.
One of the reasons our departure was delayed Friday was that I was trying to pay the stupid bill on line. I was trying to get Chase to send my unnecessary, unneeded and unwanted security code to an email account -- Chase says it provides this service -- but I sat waiting... and waiting... and waiting... and the email did not show up. Meanwhile, while waiting for Chase's email, the Chase site automatically logs off -- for my protection, of course. The thieves.
So Hank and I went out. Fortunately, there's a Chase by Hank's office and, even more fortunately, Hank needed to stop by his office anyway to scan some documents he and Older Daughter needed to send to their mortgage broker.
It's not enough, you see, that they're trying to get pregnant with this horribly invasive IVF process, with the shots and the pills and the acupuncture and the ovaries in overdrive and all that stuff -- Older Daughter and Hank have also decided that now is the time to buy a house. Well, their dog, Cork (more about him here) had been chewing holes in the carpeting in the apartment, so naturally the remedy for this would have to be to get the dog his own house with a backyard to play in.
While we were at Hank's office, Hank introduced me to one of his colleagues who was there doing a little extra work on a Saturday morning. Hank said, "This is my father-in-law," and the young man said hello. I said, "Yes, it's Hank's turn to watch me this morning."
The young man did not bat an eye.
Either he has no sense of humor -- or he took one look at me and found what I'd said all too plausible.
I'm hoping it's the former.
These errands alone were not enough, of course. Two men can not go out on a Saturday morning without returning with baked goods. This is a survival from prehistoric times. The cave women would want to chitchat, so they'd tell the menfolk to go out and find a mastodon or something for lunch. I think donuts and coffee cake are much more civilized, and also easier to carry.
So we ate and watched Harry Potter movies (Older Daughter wanted a 'film festival') and I missed Phillip Humber's perfect game.
I didn't know anything special was happening until Oldest Son texted me -- just one word: "HUMBER!!!"
I'd better get me some by-gosh grandchildren out of all this.
More on the Indianapolis trip tomorrow. Probably.