Thursday, September 06, 2012

Getting up to go? Or getting up to get ready to go?

When my late father-in-law was ready to leave a family gathering he would stand up and announce (in his Cuban-accented English) "I am going!" And then he would walk to the door...

And go.

Just like that.

My father didn't fuss around any either. When he said he was going, he was ready to go.

I am the same way.

Every morning I get ready to go -- phone in my pocket, glasses in my jacket pocket or in my briefcase, sandwiches in the briefcase. Then I sit at the computer, sipping my coffee, reading the comics or checking here for comments or looking at Facebook. Long Suffering Spouse will announce, "It's time to go!" She may even stand up, though not always right away.

I will keep browsing online.


Because her announcement -- it's time to go, or, I'm ready to go -- means something different to her than it does to me. When I say it, I can walk to the front door and go. (This smooth progress may be complicated or frustrated entirely when the stupid computer decides to install updates in the morning, but -- thankfully -- that is not an everyday occurrence.) But Long Suffering Spouse will say it and then she'll begin gathering her papers -- where is my lunch? -- is my phone plugged in? -- did you see my hat?

There may even be a comfort stop. Regardless of what exactly she needs to do or look for, the fussing will go on for a few minutes at least. I try and guess when she's just about done. Then I close out the Internet and stand up grab my briefcase and walk to the front door. And I'll generally beat her there.

This aggravates her no end. In the car, on the way to the train, she will quiz me. Do you have your glasses? -- yes -- did you take your sandwiches? -- yes -- do you have your phone? -- yes.

I'm not prepared to say this is a male/female thing, although readers may have their own ideas on the subject. But I've noticed, in the evening sometimes, when Long Suffering Spouse and Younger Daughter agree to go for a walk, there is at least a 10 minute interval between "OK, let's go" and the front door. Both might decide on comfort stops. Where are my shoes? -- Are you bringing your phone? -- Don't you want to wear a hat?

But the reason I'm not willing to say this a male/female thing is that this pattern sometimes reverses.

Take Saturday night.

You'll remember from last Thursday's post that Long Suffering Spouse and I were going to a 25th anniversary party for our friends Steve and Charlotte. We were bringing Steve's old friend Carl, who flew in from Virginia for the occasion and would be spending the evening with us.

It was a grand affair. Steve has a large Irish family and no one went thirsty. I harbored ambitions of driving home, so I was pacing myself, but several hours into the affair, after the dinner had been served, our host, one of Steve's brothers, called us all out onto his patio (tented, no less, for the party) where someone had produced a microphone.

Alcohol and microphones are a potentially dangerous mix.

The next thing anyone knew, all the graduates of this South Side Catholic high school were gathered around singing their school fight song. Which meant that the microphone had to be wrested from them promptly so the graduates of that South Side Catholic high school could sing their fight song. Charlotte is from the North Side. She and her classmates (her bridesmaids of a quarter century ago) had to grab the microphone next and sing their fight song.

Then one of Steve's less shy cousins decided it was time to lead the entire assembly in song. The Notre Dame Fight Song. The South Side Irish song. Now Carl and I are singing along and Long Suffering Spouse is beginning to fidget.

The fidgeting got even worse when Steve's cousin launched into a medley of other Irish drinking songs and Carl and I began shouting out suggestions.

Finally, Long Suffering Spouse had had enough.

"I'm leaving," she said, and stood up. "You two can walk home."

And there would have been no 10 minutes of fussing here at all if Carl and I hadn't jumped up instantly.

We could stall for a few minutes saying good night to our hosts and the guests of honor and one or two others -- but, if we hadn't moved when the announcement was made, we would have had a long walk indeed.

So I ask you: Are you one who gets up to go -- or do you get up to get ready to go -- or does it depend on whether, well, whether you've started to sing?


Steve Skinner said...

I am ready to go when the announcement is made but not so much for my lovely wife.

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

i get up and go. always.

smiles, bee

Kacey said...

My husband of a million years is the one who is ready to go, but it is I, who remembers all the multiple things that we are going out to do. Like, why go to the grocery without the list? Or, why visit one of the kids without taking back the book you borrowed or the dish she loaned us two months ago? Also, women are in charge of mints, cough drops, Kleenex, gum, sunglasses, cell phones or the myriad of other things that reside in the bottom of our purses (where they might never be seen again). We just are the ones responsible for the needed items in any event!