The Man Cave

Posted on January 27, 2011 by Jeff

By a strange combination of circumstances I found myself all alone at home on a Saturday night.

Kristie has taken an extended weekend to travel to visit her grandmother in Nebraska.  She returns on Wednesday evening.  So until then, I am a single father of three.  However due to our weekend services I arranged to have my kids spend the night at their cousin’s house. (even I, Father of the Year, have limits)

It hit me after our Saturday night service… “Wait a minute, it’s 7pm on a Saturday night and my wife is out of town and my kids are at their cousin’s house…”  At that moment a feeling of anxiety came over me.  I was embarking on an evening all to myself and I was unprepared.  This was an event that occurs with the frequency of a lunar eclipse and I hadn’t put any thought or preparation in to it.  What was I thinking?  I weighed my options, sought council from friends who are dads and I came up with a plan.

First stop was Blockbuster Video.  Now Blockbuster Video has been pretty much picked over by 8pm on a Saturday night.  It came down to a choice between ‘Hotel Rwanda’ and ‘Cinderella Man’.  I spent a few minutes in the video store having the following conversation with myself:

“You’re having a night to yourself, do you really want a movie with ‘Cinderella’ in the title…?”

“No, but it also has “man” in the title”

“Are you sure that Hotel Rwanda is going to be the feel good feeling you’re going for this evening?”

“Are you putting way too much pressure on yourself in this moment?”

“Are people noticing that you’re talking to yourself?”

I opted for Cinderella Man.  Very Good.

Second stop was Cub Foods.  I bought a large Ribeye Steak and a box of my favorite cereal.  I realize that if I were a single guy, I could eat wherever and whenever I want.  With a family of 5 you can drop 50 bucks at Applebees without even trying.  50 bucks!!!  APPLEBEES!!!  You’re not eating THAT good in the neighborhood.  For 50 bucks I could eat at the Capital Grille and pay for my valet parking.

As I left Cub to head home I found myself driving fast with anticipation of the perfect evening that was waiting for me.  I was giddy.  I got home, dug out the grill and grilled up my Ribeye.  I made Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans and I had two Cokes…. TWO!

I turned the volume up on the Stereo, took down all the baby gates in the house to facilitate free movement from floor to floor.  I left cabinet doors open and toilet seats up.  I was living a dream.

It was a great night and I enjoyed it very much.

BUT.  I didn’t like going to sleep alone.  I was struck by the silence in the house.  The house seemed big.

I wouldn’t trade what I’ve got.  When I crank the stereo I prefer to have kids screaming and dancing and getting their “groove on”.  (that’s Kerr family speak for bobbing your head up and down to the music while making a pained face as if to say ‘this music is so good it hurts’.) I prefer to have Kristie singing along or yelling over the music telling us to turn it down cause the kids have to go to bed.

I wondered how my nights like this it would take for me to be bored and lonely.  I don’t think it would be that many.  Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed my night to myself.  But I think one was enough

Well… maybe two.