Right for the last time

Published 4:51 pm Sunday, July 17, 2011

I got to try on the old bachelor’s hat again this week.

With my wife out of town for 10 days visiting family on the West Coast, this was my chance to let me hair down (speaking figuratively, of course), enjoy the space a little, bask in the knowledge that for more than a week I’d never be wrong and soak in the simple pleasure of walking away from an unmade bed.

My own man, once again. The world at my beck and call. Master of the house. King for a week, that’s me….

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By the second morning, I’d made the bed. It’s funny; I never noticed during 37 years of bachelorhood how messy a room looks when the bed is unmade. I’ve also learned that the sheets are far less likely to come off in the middle of the night if they’ve been neatly arranged before the bed is used.

And it would seem that master of the house isn’t so terrific a position without the mistress there to share it (not “a” mistress, mind you!). And even though our mobile phones guaranteed I wouldn’t have to suffer in the silence left by her absence, spending a few minutes a day chatting on the telephone is a poor substitute for a hug and a few words of support spoken earnestly and with love to my face.

As it turned out, this was one of those weeks when I direly needed that support. Let’s see: Ran over a skunk. Had a fish kill on the lake behind my house. (Yes, there was a stinky animal vibe going on that I don’t quite get.) Realized that a stolen hard drive had irreplaceable photos on it of vacations and grandchildren. Got into an ugly and unnecessary fight with someone via email.

All in all, it was exactly the kind of week when I’d like to have spent some time cuddled up with my best friend on the couch. And she was 3000 miles away having a Thelma-and-Louise moment with her sisters.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad she was able to go. I’m thrilled they had such a good time together. And I’m not sorry to have stayed home; she and her sisters needed the time together, without husbands hanging around.

But I’ll definitely be glad to see her again on Monday. And, from what I hear in the office, everyone else will be glad she’s back, too. Whatever.

I just have to make the most of this last day or two of being right. Who knows how long it will be before it happens again?