Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The family way -- part 5 -- how we didn't see Madonna's halftime show

Scroll down or click for Parts 1, 2, 3 & 4.

Long Suffering Spouse returned from Indianapolis on Sunday, or at least her mortal shell returned, and I had undertaken the solemn duties of preparing for the week to come. I did the laundry as I usually do on Sundays. I also assumed the task of laying in groceries; it became obvious that I'd need to do this because Long Suffering Spouse's departure from Indy kept getting delayed. (I only had to call my wife three or four times to clarify items on the grocery list.) I'd even gone to Mass on my own; mentally calculating the latest changes regarding the return of Long Suffering Spouse and Younger Daughter from Hoosierland, I realized I should 'take one for the team' and handle the church-going duties solo.

It was Super Bowl Sunday. There would be a 6:00 p.m. Mass but there was also a Super Bowl Party at the Parish Center and the parking lot would be jammed. Long Suffering Spouse would be exhausted and, at some point, we would have to return Younger Daughter to her dormitory.

We did anything we did absently. In a fog. Our conversation revolved around the visit to Indianapolis -- and, really, solely around Older Daughter. Would she "stick?" There was a 70% chance, according to the experts, who'd upped the odds from 50-50, they said, by waiting for five days (instead of three) to attempt implantation.

I liked the odds, I said. Long Suffering Spouse said she liked the odds, too, but she wouldn't be happy until things were much further underway. I wouldn't be happy, I replied, until one or more babies was brought home, healthy, from the hospital.

We watched the Super Bowl (the game -- in Indianapolis this year, of all places -- was arguably better than the commercials -- who'd have thunk it?) and I fielded a few texts from other offspring (Middle Son said everyone at his party loved the M&M's commercial, while I had thought what the shell is this all about?) but mostly Long Suffering Spouse and I talked about Older Daughter.

Long Suffering Spouse's phone went off. It was Abuela -- again. Long Suffering Spouse had talked long and hopefully with her mother for some considerable period of time already that day. But Abuela was not calling to rehash these matters.

No, she was calling in a dither. She'd been down to the basement and discovered, to her horror, that the cover over the sump hole had collapsed. Disintegrated, in fact. Giant sewer rats could even now have detected this weakening in the defenses of her home and might be massing for an invasion.

Now, that brief paragraph above is a hard-won summary of a much, much longer conversation, mostly in Spanish, with Long Suffering Spouse trying to translate for my benefit in the rare pauses in the torrent of words. Having leaped to the conclusion that giant sewer rats were about to ascend to her basement from their usual subterranean depths, Abuela was certain that a plumber must be summoned. Or a sewer contractor. Maybe both. Flamethrowers might be necessary. I'd already begun to suspect that the sump pump cover was all that was involved -- I've spared you the dramatic tension leading to this conclusion by revealing the ultimate conclusion in the introduction to this scene -- and now my efforts were bent toward keeping Abuela from interrupting anyone else's evening. Naturally, therefore, Long Suffering Spouse and I would have to come over and inspect the dangers for ourselves. It was almost halftime.

So it was that Long Suffering Spouse and I spent halftime of the Super Bowl trying to persuade Abuela that the sump hole was in no way connected with the sewers, and that, therefore, even the cleverest sewer rats would not be able to use that missing hole cover as a means by which to gain access to Abuela's basement. (I didn't bother telling her that a rat, were it to find itself in that hole by some cosmic accident, would not be deterred for even a minute by even the stoutest sump hole cover. It could squeeze through the opening left for the outlet pipe. It could just push the darn thing up. It could eat its way through, if it wanted to show off. Why would I tell her these things? She was upset enough.)

Having calmed her as best we could, Long Suffering Spouse and I got back into the family van for the short trip home. I turned on the radio and found that the third quarter of the Super Bowl was just underway. I wouldn't find out for some minutes about someone I'd never heard of 'giving the finger' to the Super Bowl audience.

I remember when "Up With People" provided the halftime entertainment at the Super Bowl. They never gave anyone the finger. Even off the field.

Long Suffering Spouse was philosophical on the trip home. "We worry about things, but life goes on regardless," she said.

It didn't stop us from worrying about Older Daughter. Or talking about it.

Nor did we stop Abuela from calling the plumber.

To be continued....


Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

i had trouble reading anything past where you did the laundry and shopping... (blessings to daughter though)

smiles, bee

The Curmudgeon said...

Bee... is that a note of skepticism I detect?