My Wild Bachelor Weekend
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.
All very true words. The time alone is enjoyable but it does get awfully quiet and seeing her roll back into the garage is a most welcome thing.
We’ve had a few instances of divergent schedules. One was four or five days for wife and daughter to attend some convention. I took a few days off and, at the time, was remodeling the basement. I got a tremendous amount of work accomplished and I didn’t have to be concerned, or warn anyone, about making noise.
Watching Hallmark movies would have to qualify as going over and above the call of any relationship, so it’s good to see you and Mrs. JPC have settled on a solid arrangement about that.
I am conflicted on those rare times of complete freedom. Part of me wants to dive into projects where I can work uninterrupted for as long as I dare. But another part of me wants to use the time to goof off doing things I would not usually do with her here. A dilemma for sure.
This sounds like a weekend that was pretty close to perfect!! I also value alone time. The movie arrangement you have with Mrs. JPC sounds more than fair.
Also, I love the original “Gone In Sixty Seconds” so much that I own the DVD. My younger brother, having been around when I used to rent and watch it all the time, bought me a die cast model of Eleanor for a birthday present one year.
Another great post. Time spent alone is often underrated, but I’m glad you were (in the end) ready for your wife to return home.
I had seen the modern remake of Gone In Sixty Seconds but never the original. I stumbled across it by accident when I was looking for something else (Vanishing Point, actually) and had an Ah-Ha moment. It is a fabulous movie, so much better than the modern version. Owning the DVD is absolutely a good idea!
Oh yes, I so enjoy those times as well. Sometimes I get a whole week, like when tam does camp nursing while the kids are there.
However, one of my engineering school buddies never married, and although I have been occasionally jealous of his level of unsupervised time I also note that he lives alone with three cats. Not a superior long term situation.
Nice job on the aluminum rim 👍, u pull yards around here tend to immediately remove them. Not sure if they store Them elsewhere or immediately scrap them, clean aluminum being worth decent money.
I once went for something like three weeks alone early in our marriage when the Mrs. took her mother and our 1 year old to Texas to be with her sister who was ready to deliver a baby. The baby took his sweet time and a visit that was planned to be a week or so stretched way out. Three weeks was definitely too long.
As for the rim, I had gone once before and all the wheels had been nabbed. My wheel is a 2-year part of a fairly low production car, so I was happy to learn that they had gotten another one in. My guess was that people grab them to clean up and resell on Craigslist or Ebay.
Hmm, that’s interesting too. We don’t usually get cars in the U-Pull until they’re about 10 years old. Newer than that the We-Pull yards get them (and charge more for the parts)
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I’m sure I would do the same – some movies I have would include Bullitt, Vanishing Point, perhaps Tora Tora Tora!. Also I would engage in some long abandoned basement finishing projects, cleaning my cars’ interiors to wipe away the ravages of winter, and I’m sure, also drop in on my sons to spend some hockey-watching time.
I loved the reference to “unsupervised time”! LOL
I was actually looking for Vanishing Point when I stumbled upon GISS. I had watched Vanishing Point one time when it was in the theater. I was about twelve and came out of the place totally confused about what that movie was supposed to have been about. I have wanted to watch it as an adult to figure out whether I was just too young to get it, or whether it was just 1971 when the trend in movies was to depress you so much that all you wanted to do was go home, get drunk and ponder the senselessness of it all.
I’m sure your wife was relieved to read that last sentence, J.P. — I’m always a bit worried when I travel that my husband will conclude he’s better off without me! Sounds like a fun, relaxing weekend, though. Glad you got a bit of “alone time.”
Looking back, I am a little disappointed that I could not work a nap in there somewhere. Not enough practice at this, I guess.
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This is a delight from start to finish. It’s like what some Facebook posts and Christmas letters strive to do: describe the ordinary in enjoyable terms. And it’s a relatable, lovely paean to the well-married.
Thank you for the compliment. It is funny how something can be both ordinary and very out of the ordinary at the same time, as my “free range” time does not occur very often. Fortunately my Mrs. and I have plenty of things we like to do together so it all works.
For years, my husband had to travel occasionally for work, at which times I would either pull out the sewing machine, the paint roller, craft supplies, or baking goods for the days he was gone. Now he’s retired, and I have to travel for work a bit, and I’m sure his days without me are much the same as yours, however, I’m sure he fits in a few naps while I’m gone. I enjoyed reading how you and your Mrs. have both common, and diverse interests, as do my Mr. and I. I think that’s something every successfully long-married couple is able to do.
Indeed, there is a good balance in how to spend time in a long and happy marriage.
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We love getting the change to hang out! All of it, but I’ve yet to have a bad lunch.
Let me fix the autocorrect- no change has been necessary, though it’s high time we pull out own weight probably. Nonetheless, we’ve loved the chance to hang out. For myriad reasons.
Isn’t it irritating that WP will not let us edit a comment after it has posted? The clarification comment may be purely the creation of WordPress.
It’s fun reading your posts again. It’s funny those little contracts we have with our spouses. My wife gives me ten minutes to talk about whatever abstract idea I have in my head that day. She really loves me.
That sounds like a wonderful weekend. Last Sunday, my wife and kids were out and I binge-watched The OA on Netflix. Crazy times!
Haha, I’m not sure ten minutes would get the strange ideas out of my head. I guess that’s what blogs are for?
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