When The Cat’s Away

 Source: fanpop

Source: fanpop

As I write this I am alone for the weekend. Gorgeous is away on a trip to visit her daughter. There is also a second trip scheduled for later this month when she’ll stay with a close friend and visit her sister. Consequently, these getaways of hers become scheduled “bachelor” times for me. They are, if you will, my bacchanalic blowouts, my conspicuous consumptions, my gratuitous gratifications. Or in simple layman’s terms, Hostess Heydays.

Source: The Shelby Report
The Shelby Report

Comparatively speaking, I have indeed consumed mass quantities of food in the last 48 hours. Additionally, there have been more TV shows and movies watched than at any time since my retirement began, some of them perhaps even reaching a high school-level mentality.

Other than taking Gorgeous to the airport, and one very critical expedition to a Chinese restaurant for take-out, I have not made any treks to the great outdoors. Gym visits are temporarily on hiatus. The only exercise I’ve been getting are the required knee-bends to reach things on the lower refrigerator shelf. The fruit and vegetable bins, also on the lower shelf, remain fully stocked and untouched. Sorry, Michael Pollan, not this particular weekend, thank you very much.

This is my alone time, and I am affirmatively rejecting the conventional idiom of “holding the fort.” That usage would construe a mature and responsible manner which I think belies the type of zen that I’m aiming for at the moment. No, this is a weekend in which I’ve channeled my inner Onslow. I am happily ensconced in my own particular essence of the Great Unwashed. Unless you’ve got a DVD of “Duck Soup” or “This is Spinal Tap,” my door is closed to the public at large. Don’t even bother knocking.

Source: tvtonight.au
Onslow, from the great British sitcom “Keeping Up Appearances.” Source: tvtonight.au

The so-called bachelor weekend has a long and glorious tradition in the modern marriage. While some use it to initiate get-togethers with others (i.e., poker playing or sports outings for men, shopping or wine confabs for women), still others such as myself see it as a completely solitary opportunity. My stag aspirations are to do nothing more than that which my parents frowned upon during my teen years. Courtesy of early retirement, I’m already fortunate enough on most days to be able to read to my heart’s content (a heavenly gift, btw). But with an empty home presently available, and the usual requirement that conversation and noise be kept to a very dull roar (due to Gorgeous’s need for a harmonious working atmosphere), I am taking full advantage of Newton Minnow’s vast wasteland.

Go wild, Dude. Crank the volume.

All of this, though, is actually unfamiliar ground for me in recent years. After my first marriage ended, when I actually was a bachelor again, I over-compensated with my alone time. With very few exceptions, my routines were always structured and disciplined. To keep busy, and probably to temporarily mask that which made me agitated, I became a Felix Unger neat-freak. Saturdays were spent cleaning my apartment from top-to-bottom — literally a full four-hour operation each week — followed by shopping errands. Sunday afternoons were all about cooking meals that would take me to at least Wednesday or possibly Thursday. Only after all the work was done did I give myself a break to sit in front of the TV. Most often I would wake up around 2:00am with the lights on and TV on, the second martini again having done its job.

In my heart I wanted to be Oscar Madison, a carefree tomcat. However, providence and an obnoxious need for order and oversight won the battle for control.

Enter the wonderful second marriage.

It is said that second marriages offer a great abundance of gratitude. Counselor and therapist Jamie Simkins Rogers writes wonderfully about such gratitude, explaining that “[P]eople who are in second marriages possess a deep sense of gratitude—gratitude for a second chance, and gratitude for life and love, knowing how sweet and fleeting they are. Gratitude elevates us.”

I couldn’t agree more. I am able to enjoy my alone time this weekend, and am planning to later this month too, because I am grateful for the fact that my special person will return home right on schedule. The order that she brings to my life, and for which I am indeed grateful, is the greatest of all possible rewards. Gratitude is powerful.

Still, her return to the palace doesn’t take for another six and a half hours when I have to go fetch her at the Orlando airport. In the meantime there is leftover egg foo young in the fridge that absolutely must be consumed, and an episode of Route 66 saved on the DVR in which I understand Tod and Buz help some forlorn character out of their morass. Oh, wait, wasn’t that every episode of that show?  Well, no matter, I’m still watching it. Vast wasteland indeed, Mr. Minnow.

Until next time…

Source: EW.com
Source: EW.com


21 thoughts on “When The Cat’s Away

  1. Very occasionally my husband will visit his kids across country by himself. I always think it will be a great time to get together with my friends. Ha! I’m lucky if I have one lunch date. I treasure that alone time (and the odd diet that accompanies it). I don’t even think about completing any projects. Alone time is too valuable to waste! Enjoy those Ding Dongs!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fabulous! You had me laughing out loud in “my” coffee shop! I have a secret for you…Gorgeous probably does the same thing when you’re away. I LOVE it when my husband goes away for a few days. Like you I don’t do much of anything. But I don’t do Hostess; chocolate chip cookie dough and (if in season) Thin Mints is usually the order to the day. And my TV watching consists of my Downton Abbey, and Pride and Prejudice (without the zombies…) DVD’s. And Sleepless in Seattle or You’ve Got Mail if I can find it on TV. 🙂 Come to think of it – it might be time for the husband to take a trip somewhere. Anywhere. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I adored Onslow and Daisy and all of the other dysfunctional people on that show! But you do not strike me as an Onslow or and Oscar. I married for the first time in my 50’s and for my husband, it was his 2nd marriage. He is in total agreement with you about the deep sense of gratitude for having someone to share his days with. (I’m actually the Onslow in our relationship.) This was a fun read and I’ll be checking out that link on Rogers. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I do think we find that inner-personality later in life. He/she has allowed the public persona we’ve created to hold court for many years, but then once we hit middle age it can no longer just stay in the shadows. Be it Onslow, Daisy, or Hyacinth it must be let out! Good for you and your husband for finding one another. I enjoyed your post titled “Casualty Cruelty,” and look forward to reading more from your blog.

      Many thanks for reading. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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