Thursday, June 14, 2012

Good-bye, Kitty

The cat's away. What shall we play?
Let me first make clear that I love my husband. He’s witty, intelligent, and easy on the eyes.  He helps with housework, tolerates and, at times even encourages, my idiosyncrasies, and loves the dogs.  He is excellent company and a wonderful companion.

Still ….

When familial or work duty calls for him to be out of town, I feel a slight thrill.  While the cat’s away, the mouse shall play.  The house will be mine.  All mine.  Mwahaha.

Like an adolescent who discovers her parents are leaving her behind on a long weekend, I start crafting devious ideas.  Grand Plans.  It’s not like I’m planning a raid on the liquor cabinet or advertising “Party at My Place!” on Facebook … although I suppose in a middle-aged way, I am.  I have visions of inviting my girlfriends over for a slumber party where we revel in martinis, cheesecake, and period piece movies with men in boots and breeches and the next morning we’ll go out for brunch or stuff our faces with Entemann’s cheese-filled coffee cake.  Woohoo.

Yes, I dream big.

But that’s not quite how it pans out.

First off, it’s just too much work. I’d have to clean the house twice (once before the guests and again afterwards).  And where would everyone sleep?  My friends are beyond the sleeping bag on the floor days, not to mention the almost impossible to remove film of dog hair and questionable stains on the living room carpet.  There is the couch and the bed, but is it appropriate to ask friends to double up?  Then there’s the matter of which t.v. to use.  My office is too small with very little seating and my husband’s office, with its full-sized couch, has the t.v. awkwardly placed for group viewing.  I suppose we could all gather on the bed upstairs, although that’s a little too Valley of the Dolls for me.

So, party of one it is. 

I plan a menu of all the foods I love but my husband dislikes: smoked salmon, dressed up ramen noodles, arugula.  I intend to get a slice of cheesecake for dessert, but I usually wind up with white cake. I’m not sure why.  Maybe it’s the frosting, although I’m not particularly fond of frosting.  It’s probably the vibrant colors.  Sometimes, I’ll get Mango Lemonade to mix with vodka for pre-dinner cocktails but I usually forget about it until long after dinner, and by then it’s too late for an aperitif.

I can’t remember how to get the dvd player to work on my husband’s office, and the one time that I did, I couldn’t remember the code to get into the Amazon Prime streaming account.  That leaves watching one of the boots and breeches dvds that I own or checking out the free movies On Demand.  

Sadly, even those plans fall through.

I usually wind up on my computer, writing and taking occasional jaunts onto YouTube to find obscure 80s music videos, to which I dance and sing loudly, which scares one dog but encourages the other to join in the fun. If I’m lucky, I’ll find a movie that’s been broken up into ten fifteen minute sections, which is becoming a rarity since YouTube has been cracking down on copyright violations.

I usually clean the house, playing swing music or musicals on the stereo, which is silly since I can’t hear it over the whine of the vacuum cleaner or when I leave the living room.  But it’s being able to do so that counts.  I’ll do “major laundry” which means I’ll throw the slip covers into the wash.

Truth be told, I don’t do anything that differently from when my husband is home.  But there’s a definite luxury in not having to ask what someone else wants to have for dinner, working on my own schedule, and not bothering to tone down my more annoying habits.  I leave the bathroom door open when I’m using it, which is important since the dogs feel compelled to check-in on me, something they don’t do when my husband is home.  Maybe that’s how they interpret my husband’s request that they “take care of the mommy.”  If so, I have very responsible dogs who take their job seriously.

Of course, there are times when I leave town and my husband will be left alone.

“What are you going to do while I’m away?” I’ll ask.

He frowns and shrugs.  “Enjoy a little peace and quiet,” he says with a wry smile.

“Don’t you want to hang out with your friends?”

“Sounds good,” he admits.  “Maybe I’ll catch a disaster film on t.v. … Nah, I’ll probably just sleep.”

I’m pretty sure he will.

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