I have been married for close to thirty years. My Mrs. and I are not the kinds of people who commonly spend long stretches of time apart from one another. In other words, I am not often left unsupervised at home.
Recently, however, Mrs. JPC took a trip out of town with her sisters and I was left for an entire weekend to cut loose and live the wild life. And boy, did I ever.
I suppose I should just put this out there – my idea of a wild weekend may be different from yours. I am a fairly introverted guy who has no trouble spending time alone. It would get old after awhile, but a weekend is not long enough for that to happen.
I can recall my actual (as opposed to temporary) bachelor days spending weekends in which I did not interact with one other human being between leaving work on Friday evening and reporting back on Monday morning. This did not happen often, but it was certainly not a calamity if it did.
With this in mind, I set out to live my weekend to the fullest. Now, as a long-time-married guy, my idea of living life to the fullest is kind of modest. Some would see the opportunity to go to a bar and pick up the first woman to show interest in an evening of who-knows-what. But that is not how I roll. Instead, I chose to pursue activities that my dear spouse would never choose to join.
So I started with knocking off work a little early and taking a trip to the junkyard. I have always loved going to junkyards. A junkyard is a kind of game in which I hunt for an elusive used car part that is in good shape. Winning is when I find it. I had recently bent an expensive aluminum rim by hitting a pothole. The easy way out would be to enter my credit card info for a really expensive new one. But that would not be fun. I got to my favorite U-Pull, found a wheel for my ride and brought it home. Score! Who has more fun than this?
A meatless Mexican-ish dinner from a drive-thru (sigh, Friday in Lent) and then the wild evening finished with watching Sean Connery in Thunderball. Yes, it was a 1965 James Bond movie. But I had been on kind of a 1965 immersion thing and Mrs. JPC is not a Bond fan. We have an arrangement on movies – She does not expect me to watch Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel and I do not expect her to watch James Bond flicks. It works for us.
Saturday started with some extended reading time. And then I felt a strange urge to do some cleaning. I settled on the appropriate area and set to work. I love accomplishment, and got a good dose of endorphins flowing once I finished what I set out to do.
I had actually planned ahead for one activity, which was meeting some young friends for lunch. We get together occasionally for a meal and a visit. I enjoy it because I am still actually 25 years old and enjoy spending time with others around my age. OK, millennials are not actually my age. I realize that I am slightly older than 25, but work with me here.
They . . . well I am not sure what they get out of our lunches. I guess they get lunch. And sage advice? To bask in the glow of my fabulous personality? Whatever it is, we easily fill an hour and a half and resolve to do it again some time.
Then it was back home again for some writing time at the computer. Did you know that 1970 was the last year for the Ford XL? Did you even know what a Ford XL was? And no, it was not a bottom-rung pickup with no air or radio.
I took a writing break to get to 5 pm Mass and followed that up by a carryout from my favorite Chinese place. And eating it while watching the original 1974 version of Gone In Sixty Seconds via one of the streaming services. How. Cool. Was. This?
The only problem I had was when someone broke into my house early Sunday morning and stole an hour from my night of slumber. I have groused about Daylight Savings Time previously in this space, and my low opinion of it has not improved. So let’s just leave that one there.
Sunday involved driving an hour to share another meal with someone, but this involved brunch in a nursing home. My sister and I joined our Mom for the monthly family brunch the place hosts. She is not eating much these days so they might as well host an afternoon of family bowling or family trivia and Mom would participate just as much. Oh well, its about presence, right?
After the 120 mile round trip my daughter came over to pick up a piece of furniture she had been needing, after which I reheated my Chinese feast and watched The Godfather. Which is another movie that my dear wife fails to appreciate. Oh well, we share enough tastes in movies that I cannot complain about the periodic outlier.
So there were no parties, no bouts of drinking, no looking for action and nothing else that many of you would expect a fellow to do when left unsupervised. Truth be told I was sort of ready for her to come home. There are only so many movies to watch, so many solo meals to enjoy and so many auto parts to scrounge for.
The truth is that I like being married and having her around.
Image Credit: Movie poster from the 1929 Paramount film The Wild Party. Found at Wikimedia Commons, where it is noted as being in the public domain.