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The Bachelor

I came back from vacation ahead of my family. I think there should be a TV show about the married guy whose family is not around for a while. It could still be called “The Bachelor”, but it would be different. I’ve been married 17 years so it’s sort of hard to remember what I did as a bachelor (aside from trying to meet a woman and not be a bachelor). All I know is that now when I’m a bachelor I have a certain pressure to get things done that generally pertain to our housing situation. Things like pouring concrete steps and painting decks and putting trim up on walls that looked fine without trim for 7 years. Unlike the other Bachelor show, there wouldn’t be anything sexy about this bachelor show – well, we probably can’t count buying a new Bosch drill driver, but it’s close.

Rule 1 as a married bachelor is to use as few dishes as possible. Used dishes will eventually needed to be washed – in most cases. Cooking brats on the grill is good. Using paper towels works well. There is really no time to sit down and eat. And to make sure there’s no mess one can always eat over the sink. Eating must be done quickly and efficiently. Food content is inserted via the mouth port to gain maximum sustenance and avoid feeling of hunger (energy depletion). Sometimes ice cream is eaten before “regular” food to coat and soothe the stomach. Early in the bachelor time, maybe day 1 or day 2, one may have a small bowl of ice cream before dinner and then a bowl after dinner. This is referred to as the “Ice Cream Sandwich”.

Rule 2 for the married bachelor is to try to get the house clean early in the bachelorhood so you don’t have to think about it during the bachelor time. This is often hard to do, because at the end of the day, cleaning the house is very much like cleaning the house.

Rule 3 is to go to bed at a decent hour. I solidly fail at this all the time. When my wife and kids aren’t at home I don’t know when to go to bed. I wish I could speak more highly of myself. I wish I could be like a regular grown up. But when I’m in the house by myself I lose all concept of time. First off, within the first day or so I do something involving power tools that pops several breakers in the house. Once the breakers are reset and the projects are done, I often neglect to reset the clocks. Since I’ve popped a few breakers, sometimes maybe hours apart, all the clocks are reading different times. No problem you say, look at your watch. The problem is I don’t wear a watch. You wouldn’t believe how many places you can find the time if you don’t wear a watch – when out in public and not in my time free home. I do have the time on my cell phone, so there’s one time anchor. But even if I know it’s eleven o’clock or midnight I can’t seem to bring myself to go to sleep. I want to say that I’m in deep organization mode, filing important information away that has stacked up on the dining room table, but most likely by that time I’ve decided to watch a bad movie. Not just any bad movie, but probably some action movie that Cynthia would not want to watch with me. And after fast forwarding through most of it I realize she was right in not wanting to see it.

In the morning when I wake up, I’m still tired. Maybe I should just sleep more. I would have 18 years ago. Now I’m at a certain age where waking up early in the morning is my only option – even when there’s no kids requesting that I get up and play trains. But things must still get accomplished. Wait, maybe I’ll go out to breakfast with a friend. Pour a little concrete. Talk on the phone. Eat a meal or two over the sink. Hey, where did that day go.

I guess “The Bachelor” show I’m proposing wouldn’t be so much fun to watch. There would be some suspense in waiting to see when the next shave would take place or watching to see if the bachelor would eat anything healthy during the day. Maybe viewers could place bets on whether or not he could go to sleep (in bed, not chair) before 11pm.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my quality alone time. I’m just still struggling with how to keep using the word “quality” with the words “alone” and  “time”.

Sadly Yours,

Jason Spafford

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