They say the best time to write something is when you’re emotional because it allows you to focus all your energy, so you don’t end up sobbing in front of collegues. I’m not sure who “they” are but it works for me.
Most of you might understand the rollercoaster ride I’ve been on lately, i.e coming to terms with Dude leaving the house at the end of this year. Fortunately for me, life is making it easy, reminding me of numerous milestones he’s reaching throughout the year. Little signals that taunt my soul. Like him turning eighteen or him being accepted by a university, albeit a provisional acceptance, or him asking a girl to be his date at the prom.
Their high school only allows final year students to attend this annual event, so there is a lot of compulsory pairing going on at the moment. And it’s a big thing. Like a wedding. But without the cake and the bridesmaids and the white dress and the in-laws and the church and the honeymoon. Maybe it’s nothing like a wedding…
Dudes have it easy when it comes to putting together an outfit. They need a suit, a tie, comb their hair, splash on deodorant and Bob’s your uncle. Unless you’re offended by the name Bob, then Tim could be your uncle. But if Bob was married to your mother’s sister then he will remain your uncle, irrespective if you like the name or not. Where was I?
Oh yes. Dude. And prom.
The only other thing Dudes need to worry about is the transport. And since my Dude’s father owns an SUV, the father in question has not been asked to play chauffeur. I’m slightly offended. Who wouldn’t want to drive to the ball in a SUV? I’ll even wash it for them. Or maybe just get it washed. He is still looking for an alternative.
What got me writing this post was the photo of the happy couple after she said yes. Which I never doubted for a second…
I got a little teary eye because he made an effort. He did something original. They have been friends since the beginning of time and everybody sort of knew they would hook up for prom. Even so, he wanted it to be special, something she would remember. Now that might not seem like a big thing but coming from a guy who basically hangs around the house, waiting for his next meal, it is huge. Ginormous. Maximum effort (Thanks Deadpool).
He made a poster. He brought flowers and chocolate. He showered. He got dressed. He made a poster. I know I’ve said it already but he made a poster! With a heart. He asked her dad to drop her off at a designated spot, where he stood all dapper and debonair, ready to get the yes.
There once was a boy who lived in a village that time forgot. It was a fabulous place to live, a place filled with happiness, laughter and love. Where the other villagers took care of one another. They were considerate and kind. And this boy stole the hearts of all the other villagers. Some visitors of the land would carry tales of his kindness or his humour or even his handsomeness but they all couldn’t stop telling the story of how he was loved by all the other villagers. He might have been the most loved person in the village.
The mayor of the village was especially fond of him, and even had a special name for the boy. He called him Dude. Because why not? When a person gets a nickname made of love, then one doesn’t consider the amount of time that was spent scanning through countless books of baby names, just to try and find that perfect balance of manliness, meaning and pronouncability. Not to mention the ease of spelling the damn thing.
The tragedy of the village was that time moved a lot faster than in the normal world. What feels like a brief moment turns out to be months or even years in real time. Moments that fly by at the speed of light, moments that turn into memories faster than life itself. And then one random day in a year, the villagers wake up and realise that their short stint in time turned out to be a whopping 18 years of real time!! And that my friends, is fucking ridiculous. (Sorry readers but it is what it is.)
The problem with reaching 18 years of real time is that the boy is no longer a boy. When a citizen of the village turns 18, it implies that he will be leaving the village shortly. In a few months from now he will have to say goodbye to the other villagers and then he will only be able to visit them every now and again. (And let me tell you dear boy, it better be more now than then!) But there’s nothing anyone can do about it. The mayor have tried to stop time or even slow it down but there’s no stopping the inevitable. Time is a heartless bastard. The man-boy will have to leave the village and face the real world which is a horrible place filled with things like responsibilities. A place where he will have to stand up and face all the consequences of the many decisions he has yet to make.
The good thing is that Dude is well prepared for life in the real world. He has grown into the most amazing man in all the land. He is kind, and generous, and wise, and disciplined, and courteous, and funny, and responsible and dare I say, ladies, dashing as hell. And even though he might leave our little village, he knows that he’ll always have a place to call home. A warm place where the other villagers will support him and encourage him and love him until death and beyond. And they will wish him well on his journey and on this landmark birthday, a soon as they finished sobbing and are able to speak. Once they have dried their tears of joy and pride.
Because starting tomorrow, we will call him Mister Dude.
And with that, I wish you the greatest, happiest and best 18th birthday. May your future be as bright as your own being. May your day be filled with a thousand chuckles and a million laughs.
We love you in a way you may never fully comprehend.
This was homework given to me courtesy of All in Dad’s work and Crubbs and Critters before time began. Before dinosaurs ruled the earth and fax machines was considered a luxury. This post is so long overdue that I would be very surprised if they even remember giving this assignment to me. If this was a school project I wouldn’t even get detention because the teacher would probably be dead already.
In the spirit of all my new followers of my blog and the fact that I’ve been absent for more than a year, I thought it a good idea to provide some critical information about yours truly. Better late than never. Here goes:
Who are you named after? My Dad. It’s a family name which I didn’t pay forward.
Do you like your handwriting? Yes. It’s lovely, like a crab crawling through ink.
What is your favorite lunch meat? Anything. And everything. Except Enterprise viennas and poloni.
Longest relationship? The one that I’m in. Dated for 2, married for 22.
Do you still have your tonsils? I think so but I attended a conference in Bangkok last year and came back with a sore throat and fuzzy memory and I didn’t check what was the black market price for tonsils at the time.
Would you bungee jump? No. Unless someone pays me three-twenty-eight-and-a-half thousand-million-hundred dollars. I’m easy, but not cheap. Or good in maths.
Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? Yes, I’m not a barbarian unless they’re slops. Then I just flick them at the closest kid.
Favorite ice cream? I’m not a massive fan of sweet stuff but if someone wants to buy one for me I’ll struggle through a nice big cup of vanilla and strawberry soft serve.
What is the first thing you notice about people? Whether they’re happy or not. You can see it on a person’s face. I tend to avoid unhappy people. Life’s too short.
Football or baseball? Neither. I’m not American. Or European. Or bored out of my mind. I watch rugby.
What color pants are you wearing? Dark blue chinos because I’m trendy AF.
Last thing you ate? Two burgers in one sitting. I’m awesome.
If you were a crayon, what color would you be? This has to be the weirdest question I’ve ever come across. Oh no wait, it isn’t. That honour belongs to the time when they asked me whether my third leg was a prosthesis but that is a story for another day.
Favorite smell? Weed. I’m just kidding. Jeez, relax why don’t you. When someone is smoking weed.
Who was the last person you spoke to on the phone? My parole officer.
Hair color? Mousy brown with a couple of tasteful grey stripes that are strategically placed to make me look more mature and responsible, courtesy of God.
Eye color? Green/Grey. I know. I have never been able to pick one. Let’s just say my eyes are greyeen. Aaaaand I’ve just invented a new colour.
Favorite foods to eat? Spaghetti Bolognaise, steak and anything with wine. But not brussel sprouts because if you can eat that shit you are also the type of person that place kittens in a tumble dryer for three minutes.
Scary movies or happy endings? I’ve got teenagers so my day basically swings between a horror movie and a happy ending. I like superhero movies. And let’s be clear, Catwoman and the rebooted atrocity of the Fantastic Four doesn’t count as superhero movies. Wait a minute, what kind of happy ending are we talking about here?
Last movie you watched? Pitch Perfect 3. Don’t judge. They make music with their mouths.
Favorite Holiday? Not working.
Beer or Wine? Duh…this is such a stupid question.
Night owl or early bird? If I had a choice, night owl but adulthood and parenting gets in the way of me achieving my ultimate dream of sleeping in every day. How I do love sleeping…
Favorite day of the week? Wineday because that could be every day.
25. Which three of your favorite bloggers you would like to know more about? And who were the last three people to follow your blog?
They happen to be the same three people. Coincidence? No, just me being lazy and I listed six. ‘Cause it’s my blog and I can do what I like. Besides, she said it was fine.
I’m really, really, really sorry for not sticking to some kind of routine when it comes to my posts on this blog but it’s not because I don’t want to, it’s just, well, you know, life. It happens. Like shit.
There are so many things that happened in the last few months of my life that it’s becoming rather difficult to keep track. I opted out of the rat race, sat down and took a breather (and two glasses of wine because some things never change).
So this is me, taking a breath.
I changed jobs. Yes, I did. It’s my third week in my new office. I switch from a job where I hopped around the globe to one that has basically no travelling. And I love it. I love being home. I love seeing every game my kids play. I love not having to plan my life around a business trip and an important event involving my family and friends. I love not missing anything anymore. I love the different environment. I love the challenge. I love meeting new people. I love the change. What I don’t love is the fact that I might never see New York again. But I’ll survive. *cue music
I’ve entered the final year of my MBA. Yes, I did. Can you believe it? A journey that started two years ago has reached the final stretch, albeit the toughest part of the race. I have to complete a thesis. And thesis stands for the-headache-ends-shen-I–submit. (”When” didn’t work in the context of the acronym.) I’m ready to do this thing, head down, pushing forward but before I continue, let’s me just use this opportunity to clarify an issue: The reason for my absence from this, or any other blog for that matter, is because of those three damn letters. Even the wife has mentioned how she misses me sometimes…
Dude is a Senior now. Yes, he is. “This is mind blowing”, he says, as he slowly shakes his head, taking in the picture in front of him, grey matter splattered across crisp white floor tiles and a fluorescent ceiling. Yesterday Dude was still running around in nappies and now he is running around in his final year of high school! And he is turning out to be an amazing and mature young man, despite the example he got from his Dad. We had to apply for a university and low and behold he got accepted, at least provisionally, depending on his final marks. He plans to study commerce. Or accounting. Or law. Or not. What person truly knows what they want to do with the rest of their lives when they’re 17? I mean I don’t even know what I want for breakfast tomorrow and I’m supposed to be a Dad with all the answers. (Please don’t let the cat out of the bag, it took me three hours to stuff it back in.)
Princess is stunning. Yes, she is. I don’t understand how one person could become prettier by the day but yet, there she is. Living proof that beauty is in the eyes of the father. And not only is she gorgeous, she’s intelligent, independent, organised, responsible and she doesn’t take any crap from guys. She calls them out on their shit, without any hesitation. And this is probably her most endearing quality, in my humble opinion.
Brother and sister forced to pose together by Mom and Dad.
Wife is still amazing, running the household, keeping everything together, taking charge of her two kids and her wonderful man-child. She does get a little less enthusiastic about the idea of Dude leaving the house at the end of the year, but like any responsible and loving parent, we simply avoid discussing the issue. Kids don’t like it when both parents are bawling their eyes out in a restaurant or mall or church service or rugby game. We know this now.
So if you were worried, don’t. Everything is fine with me and everyone I love. I promise to try and find the time to write more.
It seems that I’m losing the urge to (1) Stab a certain coworker in the throat or (2) Wanting to down a bottle of wine at 10 in the morning or (3) Both of the above in quick succession of each other. But I do have another problem. Or more accurately, an addiction.
Addiction is a dependence on something in order to sustain normal behavior. There are many forms of addiction. Examples include heroine, cocaine, sex, alcohol, Facebook, Jennifer Aniston and/or Britney Spears. And before this post turns into a fifth grade report on substance abuse, let’s just all agree that the first step in recovery is admitting you have a problem.
My addiction came from nowhere. It was an innocent act that prevented my from falling asleep during meetings but then turned into this full-on if-I-don’t-do-this-I-will-probably-die-a-slow-and-horrible-death situation. So without further ado, let’s admit so we can fix the problem.
My name is Ah Dad and it has been twelve minutes since I played that stupid game on my smart phone.
Some of you might snicker at what you may consider an insignificant problem but if you speak to Wife she’ll tell you that it’s becoming an obsession. This kind of radical, emotional thinking is lost on most men, by the way, as we have logical thinking. It’s just a game after all. But in order to assist my fellow man and prevent them from falling into the same trap as I did, I compiled a list of behaviors that can act as warning signs. A study has shown that if you tick any three of the items on this list, then the chances are about 87% that a Wife/girlfriend/daughter/mother/sister/dominatrix/bar lady/random female stranger has reprimanded you already and it would probably be best for your health and relationship to seek help.
When you spend more time playing the game than your teenage daughter spends time browsing Instagram and Facebook.
When you take your phone to the loo and end up playing the game instead of reading tweets like a normal person.
When you say shit out loud without any consideration as to where you might be because you’ve just lost a life. Like sitting in church or something.
When you obsessively check the time because you know your lives refill every 30 minutes.
When you miss an important announcement in the board room because you are finally able to crack that all important level 157.
When you watch a movie and half way through it you pick up the phone to try level 158 once again. And the movie stars Jenifer Aniston.
When you get excited about achieving something that has no real impact on your life whatsoever.
When you watch a stupid ad just because it gives you a free life.
When you start asking random strangers to send you lives.
When you actually consider spending your hard earn money to buy a gimmick that might help you to progress in the game.
When your teenage son tells you that you have a problem.
And most importantly…
When the Wife tells you that she hopes you never fall ill and have to spend a day at home because your fingers would cramp up due to their excessive use of playing that stupid *#@^$*! game. Also known as rock bottom for this type of addiction.
Lately my writing time has been soaked up by a lot of other shi stuff in my life. It’s not the best excuse but it’s the one I’m using. I really wish I had more time to write because it’s the one thing that prevents me from kicking random strangers and/or colleagues. The other thing is coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. I’ve had more than one anxiety attack lately because my life has been hectic. Just last week I was googling my symptoms on WebMD and I was either having a mini-stroke or just very hungry.
I have two kids. *The crowd goes silence in suspense* These kids are getting older by the minute. *The audience gasps at another shocking revelation*. They will be leaving the house soon. *Audience members are leaving as the suspense is becoming too much to bear*
This reality scares me shitless. (And for clarification, it’s not the audience leaving part, it’s the kids leaving part.) I cannot fathom living in my house without both of them complaining about the speed of the Wi-Fi. The reality is getting way too close for comfort, as Dude is now in his final year of high school.
A few weeks ago I was handed a crumpled form, dug out from the trenches of Dude’s bag, moments before we had to leave for school. (Certain things never change.) It was the registration form for his senior certificate exam i.e. high school diploma for those of my friends who speak American. He casually informed me that this specific form had to be submitted on that specific day, otherwise he won’t be able to write his matric. (Writing matric is the South African way of saying someone graduates from high school.) Pay attention.
Standing with the form in my hands, I asked him what would happen if he didn’t submit this specific form on that day, to which he replied, “I probably would have to stay here for another year.”
And that woke the devil on my shoulder.
I have been dealt a trump card. Back in the day that used to mean something. A trump card used to be considered a valuable resource that may be used, especially as a surprise, in order to gain an advantage, as per English dictionary. Now any reference to trump-anything brings forth images and words that you probably won’t find in any decent DIC-tionary. See what I did there? I’m that good.
Back to the issue at hand.
Not signing the form provides me with an opportunity to make Dude stay for another year under the roof of yours truly. And I know it would be easy because I posses the two things that would sustain the life force of a teenage boy and that is food and Wi-fi.
My devil woke with so much noise, he shattered the silence and pieces flew across my head, falling on the head of my angel, who was napping on my other shoulder. He woke up with a yawn.
I’m offering a brief narration of the discussion that occurred between the two.
Angel: WTF? Do you mind dickhead? I was sleeping here.
Devil: I don’t care! This is worth a party. Where’s the damn wine? Ah man, no we have to go to work. Maybe if we took some shooters.
Angel: Are you crazy? We can’t do that. Remember the last time we did something so irresponsible? Besides what can be so exciting? It’s a Monday.
Devil: Did you not hear! You’ll end up sleeping through your own death. We have an opportunity to keep Dude in the house for one more year.
Angel: Oh no, did he fail his Science paper again?
Devil: No man. And more importantly what do you mean again?
Angel: Never mind.
Devil: If we don’t sign this form then Dude can’t write his final exam and then he won’t get his diploma and then he won’t be able go to university. He’ll have to stay here. For one whole year!
Angel: That would be really unfair. The poor boy has been working very hard over the last couple of months and I think he deserves an opportunity to spread his wings.
Devil: I don’t agree. The kid is extremely spoiled and he is totally dependent on us. He can’t even prepare a proper meal for himself and would you really want a starving kid on your conscious? And have you seen his room? It’s a safety bio-hazard. I seriously think we should consider an additional year of parenting.
Angel: That is bull shit and you know it. It’s selfish because you’re not taking his feelings into consideration, so just sign the damn form. I don’t remember us being very independent when we went off to college.
Devil: It was a different time and we were…
Angel: Just. Sign. The. Damn. Form. Or I’m calling Wife.
Angel: I’m not kidding.
Devil: *still sulking
Angel: *crossing arms
Wife: Are you going to sign that form or are just going to stand there for the rest of the day?
I signed the form. Besides it was three against two. An unfair fight.
Age is a number, they say. Age is a mental concept, they say. You’re only as old as you feel, they say. Well “they” can go and f…ondle themselves on a highway. “They” are walking around with their head up their ass because growing old is inevitable but ridiculously hard to get used to. I’ve gained a newfound understanding for how age can creep up on you and then jump and throttle you like a facehugger.
We spend our annual holiday camping at a family resort, which is basically paying a lot of money to live like a homeless person. I used to be very anxious and actively involved in setting up our camp site making sure everything is done in a proper way because camping becomes a lot less fun when the wind blows your tent to the next country. The resort we stay at has people who are more than happy to set up the site for you, at a fee of course. Being who I am, I didn’t oblige because I have slaves working for free, my two teenage kids. But this process of getting them to do what I want them to do, implies an increased high blood pressure for yours truly, due to my method of giving them instructions. Wife says it’s just me barking random comments but I disagree. They don’t listen. (Maybe they don’t speak canine.) And contrary to what some of you might think, a raised blood pressure and two annoyed teenagers, does not a happy holiday make. This year I paid the fee, not because my kids didn’t want to help, but because I didn’t want too. It’s less effort.
In my younger days I would have blasted Britney without any consideration for retaining my own ability to hear, never mind the objections or feelings of those people around me. Music sounded better when it was loud, until it doesn’t anymore. The entertainment crew of the resort were playing music at the pool, blasting some atrocious shit at the volume of a missile launch through the speakers. Wife and I unconsciously migrated to the furthest point in the pool. We just drifted away from the source of the noise, to find a quieter place where we could have a normal conversation without having to spit in each other’s face from pure exertion to make our voices heard.
And don’t get me started on the utter bull shit they were playing. I mean who in their right mind listens to this shit? No wonder millennials are all set up for failure, just look at what the poor sods have on their playlists? I still believe that every time you hear an eighties song, it makes you a better person.
I normally could make quite a splash when I entered a pool, whether it be diving, bombing, falling in drunk… This time I refrained from any physical activity whatsoever because I had a very tough year. I resorted to hang around the pool like a hippo on a hot day. I turned out to be an annoyed hippo because this one little brat kept jumping in the pool, then he got out, then he jumped in, then he got out, then he jumped in, then…well you get the picture. All happening within two feet of my face. So instead of running the risk of me screaming at the toddler “For $#@!* sake dickhead, do you mind?” my Wife simply guided me to calmer waters.
I know if given the opportunity, I could be an Olympic athlete, if they make sleeping an Olympic sport. I do pride myself on being an excellent sleeper, especially lately. I never used to be very good at it, wasting my effort and time on things like partying until the sun comes up, hanging out with mates, watching movies and/or studying. As I grew older I developed an appreciation for the gift of sleep and even though it’s not official, I’ve started my training just in case they do elect sleeping as an Olympic sport. I now take naps as often as I can. Anywhere, anytime. I’m so focused that I would wake up in the morning and mentally schedule my next nap, before I even get out of bed.
Henry Ford invented a car (or stole the idea) because he got tired of walking from his house to McDonalds. Hence, we don’t have to do it anymore. Walking in the South African summer makes me sweat (which is not a good look for me) and besides, it takes much longer than a quick drive. Every time I walked from our camp site to the pool, I felt my fat cells withering away, crying sweaty tears in agony, as I was killing them slowly. I’m not a sadist and believe that every living thing has the right to live, their own little place in the sun. What kind of person would I be if I continue with the genocide of my own fat cells, even if there is an overpopulation of them around my midsection, a direct result of an unexpected escalation of their birth rate, over the festive season? So I used my car a little more than I normally did. To protect the innocent.
Getting out of bed or a chair or any position for that matter used to be easy. And without noise. During this holiday I realised my body is making more noises than it used to. Even if I had to move for a very good reason like getting a beer. Surprisingly these “noises” were not only created by the joints in my body, or the occasional fart, they also escaped from my mouth. Grunts and moans and other extra-terrestrial sounds that I’ve never been able to produce before. It’s like I learned a new language overnight.
Getting older is less fun than most other things in life, even though it’s bound to happen to everyone, irrespective of how many creams you slap on your face everyday.
The best thing would be to embrace the reality and make fun of yourself whilst you still have the mental ability to do so. And that’s also the reason why I’m back in the gym again because who are you calling old?
The third website I found, after googling “most dangerous countries in the world” as part of my research for this post, listed South Africa as number 17 on their list of 20. It has to be said that the list was compiled by someone in the UK and we all know they’re just a bunch of scaredy cats. The first two sites were a little more kind and listed as somewhere in the forties. Based on this reality of living dangerously, I also own a semi-sophisticated security system that allow us to sleep at night.
Or more importantly, a system that allows us to wake up in the event of an intruder on our property.
In order to make this happen, I’ve installed a house alarm as well as four beams on the garden perimeter, that not only sets of an alarm (turning your heart into a glazier) but also automatically notifies an armed response company when it is breached. If the company is any good, they will phone home just like ET and check if everything is in order, before they arrive with sirens and bullet proof vests and guns blazing. An alarm is a fickle thing, anything can set it off. Like a bat, a bird, an elephant, a lion chasing a gazelle, a drunk husband or a sleeping child wanting to go for an innocent piss.
So they call, to check, before they crash.
Fortunately, we have not had the face-to-face confrontation with a burglar, as my waking-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night look will likely scare the poor burglar to death or scar him for the rest of his life, at the very least. We have a different problem…
We like gardening. Or more accurately we like paying someone else to do our gardening. We’re more the landscaping type, telling other people where to plant what. We like sitting outside, sipping wine and watching other people work the work of others. We have birdfeeders and fountains and green grass and luscious trees. It’s truly magical. And the birds agree.
Stay off our lawn. Or suffer the consequences. And that goes for your whole damn extended family.
I understand that my friends up North, near the Wall, are currently freezing their asses off but down here in the #17 most dangerous country of the world, it’s spring. The sun is shining, pools are sparkling, flowers are blooming, people are braaiing… It’s also the time of year when birds do what birds do best, they sing. And mate. Like bees. Early in the morning. Let’s define “morning” shall we. Morning is when the sun peeks over the horizon and the first lights cracks the night sky. Or if I want to be frank, five’o clock. So it might be lovely if you hear the birds talking for the first time but it becomes extremely annoying when you hear it everyday at five. But this is still not the problem…
We have a wide variety of beautiful, fantastic birds frolicking in our little garden of Eden. And there we have a flock of hadedas. These birds hate us. They arrive every morning and scream like tweens at a Justin Bieber concert. They certainly don’t make, what some would call, a pleasant sound. It’s just a loud cry for help from a drunk woman in Wallmart, who can’t find adult nappies. But this is still not our problem…
Being the size that they are, the flock of spiteful creatures breach the outdoor beams of our alarm system EVERY time they arrive or depart from the grass. And this sets off the alarm. At the crack of dawn. And this wakes up Wife. With heart palpitations. She checks the time and realises it’s not a burglar because criminals do what most people do at that hour. They sleep. Wife then waits for the call from the security company to tell them that there’s nothing to worry about as it was just the f……….. birds. Again.
She never actually swears, even though I know she’s dropping f-bombs like it’s the second world war, if only in her mind. Because, and herein lies the problem, wife can’t fall asleep again. This happens every morning. You may wonder what happens to yours truly during this time and the answer is very simple. I take my sleep very seriously. I don’t fuck around. When I sleep, nothing on earth can wake me up, not even this…
Animal Sound No. 11 - Hadada Ibis - YouTube
Wife is not that lucky. For those single people out there, I have one life changing piece of advise, one must never wake a sleeping woman unless it is snowing. For if you do, as per wisdom of Yoda, “Sleeping woman you wakes, not a pretty picture it makes.”
It’s not my fault I don’t hear a thing. It’s not my fault that the hadedas prefer our grass to any other house in the neighborhood. It’s not my fault she is the first contact on the security company’s list of numbers to call. It’s not my fault we had to install beams…. But apparently it is. My fault.
I’m just here warning every bird out there, if I’m getting it, so will you. If you continue to wake my lovely Wife at an ungodly hour and I get the rap for it, I will kill you. And then make pie.
Before you call animal welfare, instead of me turning into a violent madman who spends mornings chasing innocent creatures in my pj’s, we decided that we won’t activate the beams anymore. Even though I paid a small fortune for the installation. We’ll rather take our chances with an intruder, whom I will probably put in a mental institution once he sees my half-naked body and bedhair, than risk being woken up by the gang of spiteful, neo-nazis, flying around outside.
And it worked. This morning she woke up at a decent time, all bright eyed and bushy tailed.
This image was borrowed from yellowscene.com because I googled “date night” and then searched for images and found this really cool pic because I love superheroes and shit and now I have to give credit to the site because I don’t want to get arrested for copyright infringement.
Princess was on a boat cruise over the weekend as part of a school tour for the top academic achievers of each grade. She obviously takes after me… Seeing that it was our twenty-first wedding anniversary last Thursday, I knew this weekend had serious potential for a date night. I just needed to get rid of Dude. Which is extremely easy to do. One only needs to move the PlayStation console and plug it into a different monitor at the venue you want him to move to. Like a friend’s house.
And yes I brought flowers because after twenty-one years chivalry and romance is not dead, it only needs a kick in the butt every now and then.
Friday night arrived and we were home alone…
I had a dream. A dream of a wonderful night. Just like when we were young. We’ll drink. (Technically I’l drink because I married my designated driver.) We’ll laugh. We’ll go to a restaurant that requires a booking and high heels. A place where the price of a glass of wine equals three bottles in the store. We’ll celebrate our love. We’ll hold hands and get lost in the nostalgia of our lives. We’ll celebrate not having kids around. We’ll go to a movie and maybe find a place to dance until the sun comes up. We’ll go out and paint the town in every shade of red we can lay our hands on. We’ll remember this night for the rest of our lives.
But like most dreams, reality is kind of exactly the opposite of the dream.
Wife and I discussed the possibility of going to some fancy restaurant where the food is stacked 3 meters high on a square plate, decorated with beetroot and kale garnish. OR going to our favourite family steakhouse because we know the food is excellent. And the wine is cheap. Besides we were still lounging around after our afternoon nap because we’ve reached the age where you wake up and immediately calculate the amount of hours you need to spend awake before you can sleep again. We opted for the steak.
At the restaurant we got a table for two which seemed kind of small but we simply nodded at the waitress as we ordered what we always order from the menu and held hands. We clinked glasses and celebrated our love and reminisced about the first time we met and our wonderful life together. About seven minutes later the conversation turned to Princess on her cruise and Dude at the friend’s house. We were speculating what they were doing and got slightly depressed as this was a reminder of what life was waiting for us once the kids learn to fly and leave the nest for good. We finished our meals and skipped desert because we had steak.
We know the owner, so I dropped a not-so-subtle hint about our anniversary and were awarded for my effort with a bottle of champagne that we didn’t want to drink because I already had two glasses of wine. And our steak was done.
We agreed that the weather was kind of iffy and it would be much better to change into our pj’s and snuggle under a blanket with a movie on demand. We were excited about the prospect of getting home and being able to pick a movie without the grunts and complaints from the kids.
I poured some more wine, rented the movie and settled down under a blanket. The house was blissfully quiet and we were left with our own thoughts. There was no sudden requests for food or us having to drive one of them somewhere. There were no loud music or any arguments about the speed of the WiFi because Princess is streaming again. There was just silence… Peace and quiet…
And needless to say we both fell asleep and never saw the end of the movie.
We had fun on date night even if it wasn’t anything like the dream we had. It was still a celebration. Albeit an imperfect one because for it to be perfect, we required two additional things…those damn kids.
The lucky ones among us get to meet people on this journey through life that leaves a lasting impression. Like a great tattoo. They inspire and change you. People who walk in and accepts you for who you are, with all your flaws, warts, shenanigans, bad habits and everything else that makes you human. The kind of person who makes you want to be better at being you.
And if you’re really, really, really fortunate, you get to marry that person.
My love, it’s been 23 years since we’ve met and look how far we’ve come on this journey of forever together. Your birthday is just another simple reminder of how blessed we are for having you in our lives.
You guide us with your iron fist and gentle touch. You comfort us with your sincerity and hilarious puns. You give us confidence with consideration and drive. You make us choose the high road, every frigging time. You inspire. You love. You create a safe haven. You keep us all together. For you are the greatest soulmate, friend, mother, partner, Wife, guidance counselor, taxi driver, secretary, judge, chef, organizer and home maker on this planet.
And we’re very privileged and happy to be able to call you ours. Here’s wishing you a wonderful birthday and the most blessed year ahead.
We love you. Like no other human has ever been loved in the history of mankind.