Tag Archives: Family Member

Oh, Glorious Day

by Richard

Here in North Carolina, today is a virtual holiday. It’s the day all three of my little dudes go back to school following the Christmas Winter Break. It was two weeks of fun, frolicking and fast food. It was also two weeks of a crowded house, cranky dudes and just a tiny bit of crushing pressure.

Either way, I think I need a vacation from my vacation.

Actually, it was pretty nice. We were in Dallas to visit with my dad’s side of the family, we had my wife’s, known to me as She Who Really Enjoys A Gift, family over at our house a lot, and even a visit from my brother-in-law and his family. The only thing missing was a visit with my mom and she’s coming up this month to see the little dudes play sports.

All in all, not a bad way to spend a couple of weeks. The only issue is that I like, no, need, to have a little alone time now and then. Not something I was likely to get around this many family members. In fact, other than the toilet, I can’t think of any time I wasn’t in eyeshot of a family member. Yeah, I spent a lot of time in the toilet.

Following this vacation, I think I can recommend for all us dudes that, when this sort of thing happens, we need to schedule out some time to renew our vigor and vim. That is, some time alone.

Which is something I’ll finally get today. With the little dudes off to school, or back to the salt mines as they like to say, and my better half back to work, I’ll have time to myself. Time to, well, work. Oh, and join the flood of moms and dads who hurl themselves into the gym this time of year to start resolutions they’ll have forgotten about by April. I’m telling you, it’s tough to get a spot on a elliptical machine during the winter/early spring months.

Still, it’s something I’m willing to go through. And so should you. Exercise is a great idea any time, but especially so when you need to get rid of a little stress, a certain tightness in your shoulder muscles from hunching your shoulder up around your ears in anticipation of the next scream, shout or squeal.

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Unintended Consequences

My mom decided she’d like to share her life with something big and dumb and drooling and, since I was away at college at the time, she decided to buy a Great Dane puppy. The dog was a Boston Great Dane, which means it was black and white, and Mom named her Cleo.

I first met the new family member when I came home from summer vacation and she was just a (relatively) little puppy, with all that implies. She loved to nibble on hands, feet, anything really that hung down. She loved roughhousing and, since Mom has MS and can’t really do that and my sister had better things to do, I became the default play object for the little-ish puppy.

Whenever I would lay down on the floor to watch TV, or bend over to pick up something from the floor, or get anywhere near her level, Cleo would come running from wherever she was and jump on me and, in her puppy way, attack. She was small. It was cute. I was dumb as a bag of hammers.

When I came back for Christmas break, the dog had reached her full growth. She was about 19 feet high and weighed three tons. Well, all right, not that much, but, Lord, she was big. She was happy to see me and licked my hand. Nothing to get worried about.

Then I laid down on the floor to watch TV. Suddenly, I felt the earth shaking — GALLUMPH, GALLUMPH, GALLUMPH — plaster rained down from the ceiling. I rolled over in terror. What was happening? That was when Cleo jumped on me and, in her no-longer-puppy-but-still-way-too-enthusiastic way, attacked. I felt like I’d been run over by a metric ton of fear-crazed lemurs. This continued the entire time I was at home. By the time I returned to college, I looked like I’d survived being thrown into a tank of phirana.

Now, as Bill Cosby said, I told you that story so I could tell you this one.

Which I will. Tomorrow. (Hah! See how I left you with a true cliffhanger? That’s literature there, dudes.)

— Richard

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