I had one of those days today that made me want to clap for myself. It’s all because… by 10:00 this morning… I had already accomplished two loads of laundry, swept the floors, put dinner in the crockpot, changed two poopie diapers, unloaded the dishwasher, picked up all manner of party fallout debris, remembered to sign yet another field trip permission slip for the boy, made beds, wiped down the kitchen counters and fluffed the throw pillows on the sofa.
I really wish that someone would invent a handheld device that you could push a button on, and immediately loud applause would burst forth from the speakers. I feel like housewives everywhere need this affirmation that scrubbing pink mildew out of a toilet is worth some clapping and cheering and good confetti dropping from the ceiling.
And a JOB WELL DONE coupon for a free chai from Starbucks is also an option.
In other news, Hubs and I had a mini vacation this weekend.
Hubs turned MUCH OLDER last week, and I had no idea what to buy him for his gift. It’s because men are just difficult to buy for, when what they really want is a new Cadillac sports car with an engine the size of an aircraft carrier parked in their garage, with a giant red bow on it. I looked in our savings account labeled MONEY FOR NEW CADILLACS, and realized that it held nothing but an echo, so I had to think of something else.
That’s when I hopped up to Small Town High School and bought Hubs a ball cap in our school colors that supports our local school. I don’t think anything screams out, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” like a brand new hat, thank you very much.
And then I looked online and realized that a hockey team in Bigger Town, USA was playing Saturday night, and WOULDN’T IT BE FUN TO GO TO THAT, AND LEAVE THE KIDS BEHIND?
Not that I MUST leave the kids behind, but listen: Our good friends, Keith and Carrie, are famous for calling in a grandmother to stay with their boys, while they zip off for fun-filled weekends with just the two of them. I’m convinced that they know what they’re doing, because REFRESHED! They always come back home with sparkling eyes and giant hugs for their boys, and they have all of this renewed energy to tackle things with, and they spend a lot of time kissing in the kitchen while they make dinner.
So that’s what we did.
(Minus the kissing in the kitchen part, because this is a PG blog.)
I didn’t buy tickets for the hockey game ahead of time; I just thought we’d get them up there. Hubs and I packed a bag for us… we packed a bag for the boys… and we solicited the help of Sister and Mam, who were scheduled to tag-team the boy and Thing 2. And then we got into Hubs’ car (which is NOT the sporty little Cadillac that he’s currently coveting), and we drove to Bigger Town.
We got ourselves a hotel room at a posh little spot, and I’m not kidding you when I say that the clean factor impressed me so much, I wanted to hire their maids to come do a once-over on our house. Normally, I’m a bit of a freak about hotel rooms, because HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE STOOD IN THEIR BARE FEET IN FRONT OF THE BATHROOM SINK, AND COULD THERE BE A LINGERING FUNGUS? I’m thinking that this hotel’s maid staff had pretty much obliterated any hopes of a fungus thriving on a tiled bathroom floor, because I could still smell the bleach, and bleach is one of my favorite things to smell.
(If I had a little handheld device that I could push a button on for applause, I would do so at this time, to celebrate the hotel maids and their JOB WELL DONE.)
And then the surprise of the century arrived because Hubs said, “Since you didn’t already buy tickets to the game… Let’s just skip it. Let’s go out to dinner and linger at Barnes and Noble and have a quiet evening.”
And… because it was his birthday trip… we did just that. I will admit, I was plum shocked that Hubs was passing up his chance for a live hockey game, but whatever. We went to a great little restaurant that serves barbecue, because Hubs wanted barbecued pulled pork and coleslaw, even though he’s not really a Southern boy. And then, in the manner of changing his mind about not attending the game, Hubs changed his mind about dinner, too. He ended up ordering the barbecued ribs and baked beans, even though he walked into the restaurant with pulled pork and the ‘slaw on his mind.
(And men gripe that women change their minds a lot.)
After dinner, Hubs changed his mind again. He decided against lingering in Barnes and Noble, and we went to the world’s most enormous sporting goods store. I’m not even kidding you… fifty-six super Walmarts could have fit inside of this building! There was an indoor Ferris wheel and a bowling alley. There were displays of every kind in every corner, and it was a sportsman’s dream store.
And… because it was Hubs’ birthday weekend extravaganza… I stood beside him for A SWEET HOLY FOREVER while he looked at ammo for guns. Honestly, I had no idea that boxes of bullets could steal the attention of the male mind for so long, but I’m here to tell you, THAT JUST HAPPENED. I felt like I had aged twenty-four years in front of the cartridges and ammunition. I had been there so long, my recently-waxed-plum-off mustache probably grew back. And then! THEN we went to look at the actual guns that fire these slugs. We went into the locked vault, where all the guns looked like assault rifles from a Francis Ford Coppola movie. Hubs even picked out a $4,000 gun that shoots bullets the size of school buses and announced, “THAT is the one I want!” I felt badly, too, because he looked just like Ralphie, from A Christmas Story, as his eyes shown with the hope of getting a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-Shot Range Model Air Rifle With a Compass in the Stock and This Thing Which Tells Time.
So, I looked into our savings account labeled MONEY FOR HIGH-POWERED, FULLY-AUTOMATIC ASSAULT WEAPONS THAT LAUNCH FIREBALLS and realized that it was as empty as a Democrat’s promises.
Needless to say, we did not come home with a $4,000 gun that was probably more of a machine than any Navy SEAL has ever laid his eyes upon.
But we did get to spend some quality time together looking at football gear, and fishing poles that are strong enough to catch Great White Sharks with, and Traeger barbecues, and bottles of seasonings for grilled meats, and deadly swords, and hockey equipment.
All I have to say is this: Boys enjoy shopping on an entirely different level than girls do. Had it NOT been Hubs’ birthday trip, I would never have known that store HAD giant assault rifles, because I would never have left the clothing section.
And that was our Saturday-night date, people. We went back to our hotel room, and LOOK, HONEY! The Colorado Avalanche are playing hockey on TV!
On Sunday morning, Hubs and I both woke up at exactly 5:00, because Thing 2 has ruined us for sleeping in, even when he’s not in the same building.
And then we got free hotel coffee with a better-coffee chaser from a local Starbucks, and we lingered in Barnes and Noble. And, people, after enduring all the ammunition and firepower and football helmets the night before, I ditched Hubs. Yes. Yes, I did. I left him in the section for Chevy magazines, and I went off on my own.
I ended up buying three books, and then I sat in an overstuffed chair with my Starbucks chai tea, and I read. No one interrupted me. No one said, “He wants to watch Mickey Mouse!” And no one else said, “Mom, have you seen my tennis shoes?” And no one said, “Do we even have any clean socks in this house any more?”
And that was the exact moment that I realized my batteries were fully charged again.
Hubs and I drove back to Small Town, USA, and we collected our boys. Thing 2 greeted us with screeches and bear hugs and an excitement that is usually reserved for space shuttle launches. The boy greeted us by saying, “So? You DIDN’T buy me a sword from that store? Why? Don’t you even love me any more?!”
And then, because we had just beat the storm that was coming in, we went to Walmart to secure every manner of food, because people keep complaining in this house that our fridge could be used to guide airplanes in, what with it being so bright and all, since there’s nothing in it to block the lightbulb. I made homemade hot wing soup for the boys for dinner, because it’s a feel-good meal that’s full of butter and cream and chicken and… well… hot sauce.
And now, we’re ready to take on this entire week with fresh energy.
(Even if there’s now snow on the ground, that wasn’t there yesterday.)
Exactly like Keith and Carrie would do it.
I think I was even kissed in the kitchen for the creation of my pot of hot wing soup. It made the boy yell, “Gross! That’s disgusting!”
(He wasn’t talking about the soup.)
(It should also be noted that Keith and Carrie would’ve come home TAN, because their mini weekends usually include WE SAT ON A BEACH and NO ONE LOOKED AT GATLING GUNS.)