Sunday, September 28, 2008

HOME ALONE

My husband and I didn’t get much of a vacation this year. We wasted all of our get-away money and time on other frivolous things, like making our house payments and keeping our jobs. Now that the summer has evaporated like a drought-impacted swimming pool, I find myself missing that all-important break from these same four walls.

Feeling sorry for me, my husband offered me on a short cruise to a small island, complete with “incredible views and a colorful history.” I snapped up the chance to take this mini-vacation, envisioning pina coladas and half-naked men dancing with fire.

We ended up on Alcatraz.

“It’s all we can afford,” he said as we gathered around the park ranger to hear tales of prison escapes and solitary confinement. Apparently my husband thought trading in our same walls for prison walls would be a nice substitute. Maybe for Martha Stewart. (The place could use her decorating touch.)

At least I learned something on the trip. When I travel, I like to go to local museums, explore historical buildings, or take a tour of the important landmarks. Unfortunately, all I learned on Alcatraz was how to make a shank, avoid bird poop, and watch my back at mealtime.

The next day my husband headed for a business trip. He called when he reached his destination. “You’d love it here!” he said. “I’m staying a cute little cottage in Pismo Beach, two blocks from town and two blocks from the ocean.” To be honest, he did invite me along, but after helping out at my grandson’s first birthday party in the park with 50 guests (and 25 babies), I was too tired to go anywhere. Ever.

So I stayed home. Alone.

I was actually looking forward to my husband-less time. I made plans to get take-out from my favorite restaurant, rent a bunch of chick flicks, and stay up late. But I was so tired from playing with two dozen babies, I slept most of the day. I only woke up that night because I my stomach was grumbling. The giant Costco cupcakes had finally worn off. Too tired for that gourmet meal and those hot videos, I microwaved a bag of popcorn (fiber), sliced some apples (fruit/veggie group), and spooned a clump of peanut butter on a plate (protein). For dessert I ate one Sees chocolate (all I had left from the box I’d recently bought) and I washed it all down with a glass of wine (or two.) I enjoyed it all on the couch in front of the TV.

After watching a couple of scary movies on Sci-Fi channel, (“Snakes on an Island” and “Snakes on a Beach”), I fell asleep without doing the dishes, folding the laundry, or locking out the raccoons. I did remember, however, to turn on all the lights throughout the house—for safety, of course.

As much as I enjoyed my home-alone time, I missed my husband. I missed him bringing me the newspaper in the morning. I missed the latte he makes me before he goes to work. I missed waking him at every bump in the night with “What’s that? Go kill it!” I’m glad he’s back.

Next time I’m going with him—even if it is to a decrepit prison on a desolate island. Home alone time is only fun if you have someone to share it with.

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