Offspring went on a mini-break with some friends—paintballing, Call of Duty, Axis and Allies*… basically a war games long weekend—giving me and Husband a chance to test drive this thing without him. See how we get on when it’s just the two of us. Make sure our marriage won’t be a casualty of the infamous Empty Nest Syndrome.
I’m glad to report it seems we actually like each other after all.
We did learn a few things the first couple of days that were surprising.
HIM: (looking at the kitchen towel hanging on the refrigerator handle) Oh. You refold the towel.
ME: Um, yeah. I can’t stand to look at it all… yuck.
HIM: (shrugs, dries hands then refolds towel)
ME: Does that… bother you?
HIM: No, it’s nice. I just never see it folded. He always fucks it up before I see it.
ME: (sighs) Yeah… I know.
We tried to discuss what chore distribution would look like when Offspring finally leaves us for good, but Husband started in on some nonsense about the person who cooks also doing dishes and we had to table the whole thing. Called on account of stupid, if you will. Because, I mean… come on. How is that fair? Oh, I’ve just spent hours in the kitchen on fucking chicken and forty cloves and a garden risotto, but now let me DO THE FUCKING DISHES, TOO?
HIM: I’ve seen the kitchen when you’re done! I don’t want to do the dishes after that!
ME: Okay, let’s compare things you make to things I make. One of the simplest things I make—say, meatloaf, for example—takes the meatloaf pan, the largest metal bowl, a cutting board, sauté pan, and a knife. Then there’s sides—let’s say I keep it simple and do mashed potatoes and roasted green beans—that’s another cutting board, pot, masher, and the pan and tongs for the beans. I make—
HIM: You complicate the shit out of anything, yes. I know.
ME: No, I make things that you’ll eat. But I do make more complete meals, and I don’t stress, “oh, but it’ll be more cleanup!” I worry about whether you’ll eat it, and if the kitchen is still standing after that’s just a bonus. You make wings and you use a steamer, one pan and two racks. Boom, done.
HIM: Okay, but if I make… spaghetti and meatballs—
ME: God, now I want meatballs. Where’s our waitress?
HIM: (ticks off fingers) … That’s a bowl, saucepan, stock pot, broiling pan, strainer, and another pan for the garlic bread. And a knife!
ME: Seven things. I had ten for my simplest, you have seven for your messiest. You see?
HIM: I do try to simplify.
ME: No, you deliberately make tidy, easy-to-clean dishes. Which is fine, because I’ll basically eat anything. Including our waitress if she doesn’t bring that veggie burger soon.
ME: But you’re picky, so I have to worry about feeding you. Trust me, if I wasn’t worried about your willingness to eat things our menus would look verrrry different.
HIM: You’d still complicate the shit out of it.
ME: (shrugs) Maybe, but I’d have learned to make sushi.
Hey, at least we had a conversation in a restaurant, right?
But that’s why… shit.
I just told COMPLETELY THE WRONG STORY.
Y’all, I am so sorry.
I meant to explain that photo from last week’s post, I swear.
Blame the leftover alcohol sloshing through my system, k?
Right… so Offspring is out of town—shooting his friends in basically all the dimensions to celebrate the fact that all of them graduated early and are joining the Army together, sigh—and that left Husband and yours truly home alone when Jake’s birthday came along.
You remember Jake—I once threw him at a zombie ghost that may or may not have been there.
Anyway, Jake wanted to do karaoke for his birthday and even though I’ve loudly proclaimed karaoke to be against my religion,** I agreed. Because I’m a good friend.
And because I haven’t gotten irretrievably drunk in some time.
Now, here’s a thing you don’t already know about Jake: he has a ridiculous man-crush on my husband. Seriously, his wife Kira just rolls her eyes at this point and admits that if anything ever happens to her Jake is coming for my man. There’s a long-running joke that Jake even has nekkid pics of Husband on a bearskin rug. So, when he requested no gifts for his birthday I whipped up that shitty little photoshop of my man on the famous Burt Reynolds centerfold and pasted it into his birthday card.
Like I said, I’m a good friend.
I won’t give you a blow-by-blow of the party, partly because you’ve all been to drunken karaoke-fests before (and if you haven’t, no time like the present!) but also out of respect for those who were absolutely too drunk to remember what they did. I will, however, share some of my notes. Because of course I took notes—my phone is always with me, and the two apps I keep open at all times are Evernote and Twitter (for recording and reporting bad decisions)
- Jake and Kira’s ultra-metal rendition of So Happy Together (I wish I’d recorded this for you. I mean, I got a short video, but it’s crap and WordPress is being shirty about letting me embed it… but trust me, you’re not living your best life because you’ve not heard this thing I’ve heard, and I’m sorry for you)
- George R. R. Martin was there.*** He sang You’re Sixteen You’re Beautiful (and You’re Mine) (This was only the fifth creepiest thing that night.)
- Sketchy guy who was definitely in possession of at least some crack kept circling whichever ladies of our group were at the bar; we eventually all moved to a table. He sat behind Husband for a while—the better to glare at the ladies—then left. Husband says he was sure every second he was about to get shivved. (We were in, perhaps, the diviest bar I’ve seen since they quit letting people smoke in bars.)
- I should not be allowed to drink at karaoke. (I confessed waaaaaay too many guilty pleasures. No, I will not share them with you. You still respect me.)
- What is a real estate novelist? (Seriously, that was my note. I remember when I took it, too… and I remember what happened next… )
- Just had to talk Jake out of buying pot from a stranger we met in the bar. I am too drunk to be making other people’s good decisions. (Best part of this note? My pants were around my ankles when I made it. Calm down, I was in the ladies’… I think.)
- 5/4-CURDLED, ugh… (I drank maybe five Long Island iced teas before I moved on to the white Russians, which were made with non-dairy creamer so I figured they should have been fine on my dairy-biased stomach. Except the fourth one curdled, and drunk me responds to a vile drink by chugging it so she can move on to something yummy. I cannot express to you the regret I suffered for that all night long, because it takes more than that to make me vomit, but less than that to make me wish I could.)
Oh, and that photo?
Not only did Jake show it around to eeeeeeeeeveryone at the bar (of course) and promise to cherish it forever, but I’d accidentally printed out an 8X10 first and left it on the kitchen counter. I spent most of the day after the party in bed, promising my poor tummy that I would never again let anyone pour curdled Coffeemate into it and totally forgot about the spare photo.
Then Offspring came home.
OFFSPRING: (from downstairs) OH MY GOD! WARN ME BEFORE YOU LEAVE THINGS LIKE THIS IN THE KITCHEN WITH THE FOOD!!!!
HIM: I thought you were going to get rid of that!
ME: I forgot! I was still really drunk!
HIM: Go do something!
ME: (goes downstairs)
ME: (finds facedown photo, folds it up, takes it out to garage bin)
OFFSPRING: (sitting in darkened parlor) Are there any more?
OFFSPRING: Are there any more of those… (shudders) things… in the house?
ME: No, no… listen, I can explain—
OFFSPRING: (holds up one hand) No. I just… Warn me before I see things like that.
ME: (turns on light) Okay, but—
OFFSPRING: I’m glad you guys had fun.
ME: IT’S NOT YOUR DAD. It’s photoshopped.
OFFSPRING: I DIDN’T LOOK! I saw my father’s face and all that… and I ran!
ME: Okay, well… it’s actually a famous photo—
OFFSPRING: No. No. I don’t want to hear. (deep breath) I’m glad you guys had fun.
ME: (gently) Do you even want to know why?
ME: For Jake’s birthday. I put one in his card.
OFFSPRING: (slumps with relief) Oh. Of course! (scampers off to make a sammich)
* That’s an affiliate link, which means if you buy the thing you pay the same price and I make incremental progress toward saying to Husband, “Look, the blog earns enough to go ad-free!” If it bothers you to think of me making a few cents (at no additional cost to you) then don’t click. I promise, no kittens will die just because I can’t afford to get rid of ads… probably.
** I used this line to keep the karaoke machine away from my garden party reception and to this day my mother-in-law believes it’s one of the core tenets of Catholicism. I am not making this up.
*** Husband insists it was not George, that his name was Tom. He answered to George, so I’m going to have to respectfully disagree. Plus, the sketchy-ass dealer we met later agreed with me.