My wife and I were planning a trip to Florida to visit Mary Ellen’s old high school friend, but Joy’s husband was unexpectedly called out of town on business.
Steven and I usually play golf together, so I was a little disappointed. But a change in scenery and time to read on the beach still sounded enjoyable.
“You’re still welcome to come along,” said Mary Ellen when she heard the news about Steven’s absence.
As you’re reading this, please say the sentence, “You’re still welcome to come along,” about six different ways, and just try to make it sound like I really was still welcome to come along.
“Well, do you want me to go with you?” I asked my wife point blank.
I had put Mary Ellen in an awkward position. My wife always tells the truth, which in this case would probably hurt my feelings, but at least we’d save on a plane ticket.
“It’s not that I don’t want you to join me …” she began, “but don’t you think it would be good for our relationship to spend a little time apart?”
Now I was the one who was in an awkward position. Suppose I said, “Yes, that’s a good idea, Mary Ellen.”
“You’ve never mentioned this before, Dick. How long have you felt this way? Maybe we should have taken separate vacations long before this. I thought you liked my friend Joy.”
Or I could have said: “No, I’d still like to go.”
“And what are you going to do all day while Joy and I are talking about old times? I don’t want you to be grumpy the whole trip and feel ignored. I certainly would be OK if you visited one of your old friends without me.”
“Okay, how about my friend Erik who lives in Paris?” (Heh, heh, that was a good one. I wish you’d seen the expression on her face.)
The bottom line is that Mary Ellen is off to Florida, and I get to stay home and be a bachelor for a week. That, of course, is one of the dumbest expressions ever uttered by a married man. There’s only one thing I would want to do if I really were a bachelor for a week, and I think you know exactly what I’m talking about: I want to eat my dinner standing up at the sink.
My biggest concern when my wife leaves is that I have no clue how to use our TV remotes. We have one for Apple TV, one for the DVR, one for the VCR and one for regular TV.
Mary Ellen told me to gather all the remotes in the house and practice. “How are you doing?” she asked, as I fiddled with each device. “Did you successfully change any channels?”
“No, but I opened and closed the garage door several times.”
I hope Joy and Mary Ellen have a good time together. I also hope Steven and I see each other soon. I sent him a text inviting him to come here to play golf, just the two of us. I also told him he has a standing invitation for dinner.