“I don’t care if it rains the whole time. All I want to do is be able to sit on my “butt” for more than 5 minutes at a time.” Except my friend didn’t say “butt”…
That was the primary sentiment as me and a few of my buddies rolled out of town on Thursday for an all dude road trip that included football, golf and a few beverages.
All married and all but one a father, the mood of the group as we headed west was more like that of a prison escapee than that of an adventurer. These guys weren’t so much looking for a good time as they were looking for a reprieve.
To be sure…none of the bunch has a chronically sick child, and financial worries are more along the lines of “am I saving enough for college/retirement?” than “how am I going to make the mortgage payment?” But that doesn’t mean average dudes don’t need a little time away from the day to day grind that is our modern life. We all love our families…but we’ll love them a little more if we can get away for a little breather now and then.
So as a few of us drove off to meet a few others down the road the conversation was inevitably about what we won’t have to deal with the next few days. No having to get a child a cup of milk 30 seconds after having just sat down from getting another child a very similar cup of milk. No having to referee the pointless battles over toys, TV shows to watch or couch space to sit on. And no having to act like the painting from preschool today is the greatest piece of art since yesterday’s painting from preschool.
That last one only applies to those of us putting our third child through preschool. Those parents that are watching their first child go through preschool, I’d suspect, might still like those paintings. Some of us however have had to stop acting like today’s was better than yesterday’s for fear that we might one day get to a point that we’re standing on the steps of the Louvre shaking a fist and demanding that little Sally’s “ducky with a blue head and foot” be placed prominently on the walls inside.
Long car rides are great for catch up time and we sure took advantage of it. Changes at work, what’s going on with mutual friends and of course the kids were talked about extensively. Somehow the subject of the conversation constantly comes back to the kids. There’s plenty of other topics but like the toys on the play room floor the one constant is the kids.
When we finally checked into the hotel we had a few hours to do what one of us wanted to do from the get go. We got to our room and we just sat there. Five thirty-something fathers that would not have to get up to get even one cup of milk for anyone. Of course someone had to reach for a beer now and then but at least that could be delivered with a toss and a topical insult of whoever was to get the beer.
Sure we had a football game to watch and a round of golf to play through the evening and the next day but as much as any moment the pay off for the trip was right there. Friends, beer, humorous insults, lots of laughter and not one person in the room crying…it was heaven on earth.
Although the whole trip was great, the slow decent from the zenith began that evening after the football game. It was late that night and the cruel reality of bed sharing hit me hard.
I’m used to sharing a bed. It tends not to be a problem…of course mine’s a king size bed and I share it with my wife. This was a double bed I was sharing with my buddy. And even though I’ve known the guy for thirty years now, his are not feet I want to touch with my feet in the middle of the night. Just the potential of that makes for a tough night’s sleep. Never mind when it actually happens…twice. I slept about as well as a kid on Christmas Eve after a few Red Bulls…
The next day we headed to our next destination that had enough beds for everyone and the conversations continued. As did the habit of referring back to our children and even to our wives. But now the references tend to be more of a gracious nature. The previous day the stories were more about kids being sick and puking on you…but now the stories are more about how the sweet little guy actually apologized for doing it. We were no longer talking about the crappy TV shows your wife watches…we were talking about the crappy TV shows we watch with our wives.
A fun round of golf, a great dinner around a bar and a long night of poker wound up a pretty great get away. The insults got tougher and the laughs got louder through the night until the last huge hand of cards. That’s when yours truly lost a healthy pot of money to someone with 5 of a kind. If you don’t know…losing to a 5 of a kind in poker is like losing to a unicorn in a horse race. We all know they don’t exist…but they take your money anyway…
As we awoke…groggy and with headaches…I didn’t get the impression that anyone was wishing we could stay another day. It was a great few days and we’ll be sure to do it again, but it was time to get home to our families. It turns out we were as anxious to get back as we were to leave in the first place. I guess that means the breather worked.
It was nice to get home, hug the wife and kiss the kids. It was even nicer to lay in my bed and touch the feet I want to touch with my feet in the middle of the night…
If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read you can subscribe by hitting the “Subscribe” button at the top of the page. You may also hit the subscribe button if you did not enjoy what you’ve read…that’s totally cool too.
If you’re on Facebook please feel free to post this link. It’s quite possible that all your friends will think you’re cool and speak highly of you in the presence of others!
Tim’s email: [email protected]