Itís not that I donít want toÖ


I forgot Iím supposed to be puppysitting later this week. Remembered it earlier this afternoon, and since I was alone in the yard at the time the response to rememberingóďcrapĒófell a bit flat. Allow me to say it had a lot of meaning behind it and significant emotion. If the chipmunks under the shed were around to hear me, they know I wasnít at all thrilled by the prospect of arriving guests.

Itís not that Iím against puppysitting. Iím great with it. Love dogs in general. Love the dogs that are supposed to be coming over this week. Happy to help the friends that asked. ButÖ

Truth be told, now that the day is approaching, I can think of a few dozen things Iíd rather be doing.

Donít get me wrong, the dogs on the wayóand yes, that is dogs, pluralóare great dogs. Theyíve never damaged a thing in our house during previous visits, can be left unsupervised if I need or want to go out for a bit, and basically the only responsibilities I have in this entire arrangement involve food, water, and opening the door into the backyard. (Note to self: Turn on the light and check backyard first. No skunks. Watch out for the skunks.)

The only problem Iím likely to encounter, based on previous puppysitting of this duo, is that they will take over the bed. Theyíre sneaky that wayÖ kind of like camping out for something they really, really want, theyíll head in there in the middle of the afternoon to claim their spots. They might move for dinner. They will move if they hear the door open. Itís possible they might find a spot on a chair in the living room while I watch television. More likely thoughÖ napping on the bed hours before I head in there, and then I have to move them to claim my spot.

It isnít the dogs though. Iím realizing itís cleaning the house thatís getting to me. Iím fine with what I said I would do, itís the things I need to do to get ready to do it. And the problem there is that Iím getting old.

Men with beards donít grow beards because they want to have beards. They grow beards because they donít want to shave. They donít want to shave every day. That kind of getting old. Understand? Itís likeÖ hold onÖ new paragraphÖ

Thirty years ago, getting ready to go out for the night or away for the weekend was never a concern. I cleaned upÖ I packedÖ I knew there was a good chance I would come out the other side lacking sleep. Now?

Iíve been known to pick a restaurant for dinner with my wife based on whether or not I can get away with a t-shirt and shorts because I have no desire to iron. I really, really want to see my friends tonightÖ I really, really, really want to be asleep eight to nine hours before I have to wake up.

A month ago, when I said ďsure, bring them overĒ I felt great about it. Now? Ugh. But those dogs shouldnít be offended, since Iím also kind of happy itís going to rain tomorrow because I have no desire to mow the lawn.

Iíd like to come up with some wonderful defense of all this, but other than just wanting to put on my pajamas, grab a cookie or two and a bottle of water, then sit down with the remote being the preferred plans, Iíve got nothing.

Yup. Old.

The twist, of course, is that once those preparations are over and the actual event takes place, itís usually a blast. You start having thoughts about why you donít do things like it more often.

When those dogs leave, Iíll get a bit depressed and wish they could stay. Iíll be thinking about whether or not Terry and I need a puppy in the house.

Crazy stuff.

Eventually, the every day realities return. Iíll be happy spending a day in my pajamas and not worrying about accomplishing anything. Iíll greet requests to play cards, or comments like ďletís just watch a movie hereĒ, with joy (and relief).

The routine. Itís what makes the special special.


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