Monday, October 24, 2011

All By Myself

I’ve learned that a lot of people don’t like doing things by themselves. They get freaked out or nervous or scared. Me?  I have a great time.  Whether it’s going to a movie or a restaurant or the mall, I really don’t mind.  I don’t want to give you the wrong impression, though. I’m not anti-social or a hermit or a leper. For the most part.

I don’t mind being alone.  I lived alone for two years in college, which was quite different from many of my friends who shared houses with 9 other Dudes.  I’m the youngest of three siblings by several years so my brother and sister were in college before I was even in high school. When I moved to California a dozen years ago I lived with my brother. Technically. Really he spent most of his time at work or his girlfriend’s house so I had the run of our 900 square foot palace including my luxurious futon and papasan.  I guess that worked out for everyone since they've been married for over a decade. Sadly the futon and I went our separate ways a few years ago.
My first home in Los Angeles: 802 West Knoll

SS and I have co-habitated for nearly 6 years.  It took a lot of getting used to for a variety of reasons but I’ll get to that in another post soon.  Over the last almost-two years however, I never knew I could enjoy living with someone as much as I do.  It’s cliché to say that since BC was born, my whole world has changed.  Not only is that very true, but so has my general outlook on life. And not just because his fingerprints are usually all over my glasses.  

Given the nature of my occupation, I’ve been fortunate to spend more time with my son than most fathers do. And it’s been great.  Even when he’s screaming like Richard Simmons at a glitter factory, I know what to do to make him laugh and suddenly everything is OK with the world again.  Sure, I could do without an extra person in my bed at around 6:30AM and the “Little Einsteins” playing in the background of my waning moments of slumber. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  

So in an interesting twist my wife took the Little Dude to see her sister, brother-in-law and our infant nephew in San Francisco recently.  If you know me well you know I loathe the Bay Area but will go for a few days to see family every so often.  Or if I'm promised pizza. I had a conference to attend in LA so I couldn’t go with them on this trip (DARN!) but I figured I’d be so busy that I would hardly notice they were gone.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Their trip was 5 days long and it felt like 50. Yes, I talked to them every day and Skyped a few times but we were on different schedules and it seemed like different planets.  I had obligations to occupy me during the days, but at night when I’m usually the Dude on Duty (and often doody, too) I was a free man.  I didn’t have to worry about slicing turkey dogs into bite size pieces or giving bubble baths or watching Elmo. Well, at least for BC, that is.

Sure, I got to watch whatever I wanted on TV and stay up as late as I desired, but there was an obvious void around the house.  I had the dog to keep me company but she’s basically an 8 pound lump.  Regardless, I figured I could work on some blog posts, catch up on some other projects,  get some sleep  and generally have a mini-staycation.

Free time never quite turns out to be as free as expected for me though. My car had issues.  I had to attend the conference.  I had to work. I intended to do a few important tasks around the house that needed to be done: cleaning, laundry, sleeping. Of course that stuff all got put off until the night before they returned. Somehow after a couple days, I thought I needed 5 or 6 more to get caught up on life. And when I went into BC’s room to straighten up, it hit me how much I really missed him.  Sure, getting drenched during his bath and having to chase him around afterward while hoping he won’t pee on the floor aren’t my primary ideas of fun. But either is chasing the lunatic dog around at all hours of the night because she guesses (wrongly) that SS is coming to rescue her from my evil grip as though I was Buffalo Bill and she was Precious. 

This trip was the longest period that I have gone without seeing BC since he was born.  When he returned he seemed like a different kid. He said new words. He ate new foods. He seemed taller. It had only been 5 days. I can't fathom what it will be like when he goes to college.

While I was glad to have a little free space for a few days and reminisce about my days of bachelorhood, I was happier to have my Little Dude back in the chateau doing the things he does best: poking me in the face while I’m sleeping, spilling Cheerios all over the floor and grabbing the dog’s tail then squealing in delight. I was very glad to have him back. Not sure if the chihuahua would agree, though.

Thanks for reading The Dude of the House! Tell your friends... 

--JJ aka The Dude of the House


  1. Are we going to be blessed with this one for the next showcase? Pleas say yes!

  2. Funny how we all wish we could have a break and when it finally comes we can't stand it. Trust me I could use a couple of days, but after that I might be bored out of my mind.