My wife was worried that I would mind being alone for a couple of hours on Sunday.
Sunday was Father’s Day, and my wife had the crazy notion that I wanted to be surrounded by kith and kin all day.
By the way, the only other time I hear someone use the expression “kith and kin” is on Thanksgiving, when my wife and I and our 15-year-old daughter, Emma, watch “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” I decided several years ago that I would try to use “kith and kin” at least once a year in the hopes that the phrase will sweep the nation. As we all know, the nation could use a good sweeping.
The reason my wife and Emma were going to leave me alone for a while on Sunday was because they had some Father’s Day errands they still needed to run.
I don’t want you to think that my wife waited until Father’s Day to run her Father’s Day errands, because that would be wrong. My wife is an organized, precise, exacting person who never leaves things until the last minute. What she did was wait until Saturday to run her Father’s Day errands, but it rained hard enough that day to discourage my wife from driving to Joplin.
Instead, what we did Saturday was begin cleaning out our scary basement. Somehow, in the past few years, our basement has become one of those things that we seldom speak of, and when we do, we do so in hushed, frightened tones.
Me: “What should I do with this box of scary things?”
Wife (speaking in a hushed, frightened tone): “Take it to (sound of ominous music) the basement.”
Me: “Where is that music coming from?”
My wife has decided that we need to remodel the scary basement so that it’s not so scary and we will want to use it. In order for the remodeling to commence, scary things in the basement must go.
Since we are remodeling one room of the basement at a time, many of the scary things in the room we are remodeling first will go into the other basement room.
“But Mike, isn’t that just putting off the inevitable?” you’re probably thinking. “At some point, won’t you have to do something with all of that scary stuff?”
My response to that thinking is to politely say, “Yeah. What’s your point?”
I didn’t mind working in our scary basement Saturday afternoon because I knew I would have ample time to relax on Sunday. My wife likes to make a big deal about Father’s Day and always tries to make sure I have a good day.
Most years, if I’m sitting in front of the TV watching a St. Louis Cardinals game, my wife will sit down next to me and ask me if I’m enjoying my day.
“Yes,” I will say as I try to concentrate on the game.
“Do you want to do anything special?” my wife will ask.
“No,” I will say, trying not to say bad words when the Cardinals give up a run.
“Do you need anything?” my wife will ask.
Suppressing the urge to say “A little quiet would be nice,” I instead tell my wife that I’m fine. Then my wife will get up and leave me alone for five minutes only to come back and sit down next to me again.
“Are you enjoying your day?” she will ask, and the whole conversation will start over.
This year was different. This year, my wife and Emma had some Father’s Day errands to run. The Cardinals game came on TV at noon, and shortly after that, my wife and Emma came into the family room where I was watching the game.
“Are you sure you’ll be OK while we’re gone?” my wife asked.
“I’ll be fine,” I assured my wife.
When my wife and Emma returned, the game was almost over, so the three of us spent the rest of the day in our backyard.
All in all it was a good day. A baseball game and then kith and kin.
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