My lovely wife told me that our neighbors were going to have a Thing
and that we were invited to the Thing.
This Thing involved snacks, wine, and polite conversation with the other
people in our little part of the new neighborhood. The Thing was weeks
away when she told me about it, and I promised that I would attend.
Since the Thing was so far in the future, I gave it no more thought.
When January 23rd arrived, it showed up with a huge crap-pile of work
for me to do. It was one of those days in the office where you realize
you are going to be there until well after dinner time, and that you would
still not finish everything. It wasn’t a bad day, per se.
It was just mind-
bogglingly full of incredibly-urgent stuff that needed my immediate attention.
And so I was somewhat less than excited when my lovely wife called me
at 1:30PM to “remind” me that the Thing was today at 4:00PM, and that
given the rain-soaked road conditions, I better budget some extra time
make it home.
So what could I do? Blow off the responsibilities which put food in the
mouths of my hungry family? Break my promise to my lovely wife? Learn
to put Things on the calendar? Investigate why I was the only neighbor
who might have difficulty attending a Thing at 4:00PM on Thursday?
I drove home through rain and traffic to discover my lovely wife and child
waiting for me on the sidewalk.
Oddly enough, our OTHER next-door neighbor was outside doing things
which in no way resembled the things one does when one is going to a
Thing two-houses down. Further, the home hosting the Thing looked
rather deserted and dark. My lovely wife wondered aloud if maybe today
wasn’t actually the day for the Thing.
I asked as nicely as I could, if she had read the invitation lately?
Had she, perhaps, discussed the Thing with our neighbor who was outside
doing non-Thing-related things?
We had this conversation halfway down the walkway to the dark, deserted
house. Sensing that maybe she had better consult something other than her
incredible memory, she handed me my son and a bouquet of tulips (a
for the Thing-people), and ran back into her house.
If you ever want to feel awkward, do this – Stand in a stranger’s yard
a bouquet of tulips and a singing two-year-old for a few minutes. Feels
After years of trying to look busy in my neighbor’s yard, my lovely wife
with news. The Thing was actually FEBRUARY 23 – a month away (and
weekend, strangely enough).
Don’t worry about me. I caught up on that work eventually. I just worked
night, Saturday night and Superbowl Sunday. Sometimes Things just don't
the way you want them to.
- Back -