My good friend Gina is funny, charming, creative, and one of the most talented advertising professionals I've met in 20 years in the business.
I don't give a shit.
She needs to not travel with my wife. When the two of them leave town together, the moles of craziness start popping up all over my world and I can't beat them all down.
You know, stuff like bloody deer hides showing up on the front step.
A couple weeks ago (it's taken me this long to get the wording on this post to be sufficiently diplomatic) the two of them were heading down to Dallas to sit in on some focus group research. One day. Two nights. No big deal.
Monday. 2:00 p.m. Car leaves Creative Memories parking lot.
Monday. 2:30 p.m. School nurse calls. [unnamed child] is in the process of receiving the first of many monthly gifts.
Monday. 2:35 p.m. I call my sister in hopes that she's available to swing by after school and offer some…coaching. (Because she may or may not have very recent experience in just such…coaching. I'm not sayin' anything. But even if she doesn't, she's got to be a damn sight more qualified than me. Right?)
Monday. 3:00 p.m. I ditch work in order to get home before [unnamed child] because I'm not at all sure how much trauma is involved in this process. Do I need to be there for hugs? Ibuprofin? Emergency laundry?
Monday. 3:30 p.m. Arrive home to find [unnamed child] and her friends already home, running around the house with vanilla scented air freshener and screaming. Evidently, one of the dogs is sick. Evidently, it's the big one. Mr. Whipple, Mr. Clean and I manage to remove, dispose of, and scrub up all trace of four enormous piles of runny dog crap.
Monday. 4:00 p.m. Evict [unnamed child]'s friends and check in to see how she's doing. I suggest a phone call to my wife (who hasn't even boarded a plane to leave Minneapolis yet). To my disappointment, I notice that my sister's not going to be coming by to help with…coaching. She did stop by and leave a grocery bag filled with…paraphernalia…hanging from the front door. Lovely gesture. Very grateful. But stuff I can buy. I know how to insert a credit card.
Monday. 4:15 p.m. [unnamed child] talks on the phone with my wife and with my mother-in-law. Child opts to stay with the pad (whew) and take a shower.
Monday. 4:20 p.m. [a different unnamed child] bursts through the door in tears. The track practice we're almost-but-not-quite-forcing him to go to was too hard today. "They made us run all the way around the fenceline. And my legs just got really tired!"
Monday. 4:45 p.m. Finish reassuring [a different unnamed child] that running all the way around the fenceline is supposed to make your legs feel really tired. And the fact that he had to walk part of the way doesn't mean that's too far for him. It means he needs to do it a few more times in order to build up his muscles and endurance.
Monday. 5:00 p.m. Discover medium dog yacking all over entryway rug.
Monday. 5:15 p.m. Discover medium dog dragging litter-encrusted chunks of cat crap out to deposit all over the laundry room.
Monday. 6:15 p.m. Go outside to clean the car after a long winter.
Monday. 7:00 p.m. Return to the house to discover – based on two steaming, runny clues – that the small dog is also afflicted with some sort of intestinal malady. It's at this point that it begins to dawn on me that this could be a long night.
Monday. 11:00 p.m. Optimistically send all three dogs out for, "one last time before bed."
Monday. 11:50 p.m. Small dog needs to go out.
Tuesday. 12:40 a.m. Small dog needs to go out.
Tuesday. 1:30 a.m. Small dog needs to go out.
Tuesday. 1:55 a.m. Text wife.
Tuesday. 2:20 a.m. Big dog and small dog need to go out. Big dog doesn't want to come in.
Tuesday. 2:55 a.m. Big dog wants to come in.
Tuesday. 3:10 a.m. Small dog needs to go out. What? Oh. I guess small dog must have needed to go out a few minutes ago.
Tuesday. 3:15 a.m. Scrub carpet.
Tuesday. 4:00 a.m. Big dog and small dog need to go out.
Tuesday. 4:50 a.m. Small dog needs to go out.
Tuesday. 5:40 a.m. Small dog needs to go out. What? Oh. I guess small dog must have needed to go out a few minutes ago.
Tuesday. 5:45 a.m. Scrub carpet.
Tuesday. 6:00 a.m. Alarm goes off.
Tuesday. 6:01 a.m. Alarm reset for 6:45.
Tuesday. 6:45 a.m. Alarm goes off. (What? Over an hour? The small dog must be getting tired.)
Tuesday. 7:00 a.m. Come to the realization that I'm working from home this Tuesday. At home, no one makes fun of me when I fall asleep on my notebook.
So, with shaky hands and bleary eyes, I type this humble request: Gina, stay home.