A Dog’s Day
I got my High School degree; I got the “required” bachelors, and went on for my masters. Still, well, after this latest stunt, I don’t think my wife will take me the least bit seriously. She won’t trust me; I was gonna say she wouldn’t trust me any farther than she could throw me, but she had long ago learned that it was merely an exercise in futility. Okay, this hadn’t been the first dumb stunt that I had pulled. Maybe, that is what made me so endearing, lovable and even gullible. The gullible act wore off and I should have saved that “cute card” for a time in need. It isn’t just women who have their emergency cards. However, some women are doled out more than they need or maybe they play their cards better…My wife wasn’t feeling so hot, I figured that it would be nice to take the kids and give mommy some “alone time” time she could catch up on some sleep, go get a mani-pedi, or whatever. The kids and I went up for breakfast and up to a local Spring fair, or something. The three of us; my oldest, Lynn, who was 12; myself and 10-year-old John headed out on our epoch adventure. It was a Sunday in February. Yes, it was Valentine’s Day, February 14. The local spa was having this special on pedicures or something like that. According to the schedule, that Annie had set out we were a bit off the mark and kinda had to make up for lost time. Annie had already put out the cool weather clothes for the kids and we just threw some extra boots and coats in the car for whatever emergency reason that might befall us—better safe than sorry. So, while the kids were still resting up, I was sticking a few odds and ends into the back and preparing my speech to the kids for why we couldn’t take Ellie, our dog, on this wild adventure of ours. Like most other times it would probably work to just get them side tracked and thinking about some other thing. But what? I was at a loss. What thing? Annie would probably chastise me because I couldn’t even out think a couple of kids. But, they were clever! These were our kids and I couldn’t just trick them with some ludicrous plan. In the meantime, I had arranged with my sister-in-law to take the dog. I was super proud of this achievement, as though…well, it was Valentine’s Day “We will only be gone for half a day, then, your Mom will be home to feed and walk her.” The kids weren’t overly excited by this plan, but they loved being part of this dastardly, conniving plan even though they couldn’t really support it with an alternative argument (It was pretty obvious that I didn’t have a budding lawyer between them. Besides, what could this one have been anyway: “Kids’ v Dad’s Adventure Prep” ). What could I expect, they were barely out of elementary school where their main priority was simply conquering the jungle gym. I set out a few cereal choices and a carton of milk. I poured each of them a glass of juice for each and a mug of coffee for myself. I put a banana by each bowl, just as Annie said. We headed out for our fun-filled family Valentine’s Day. Annie knew that I had something up my sleeve. She knew, but I don’t know how she knew it. I hadn’t told anybody. Just maybe, the fact that I had made arrangements for my sister-in-law to take care of Ellie for a bit tipped her off? It was as though that girl of mine had a Sixth Sense! A real Gem. Fifteen years my brother was right when he said, “Don’t let her get away.” Annie would be happy and rejuvenated when she got back from the spa. The kids and I went by my brother’s place to retrieve Ellie, our dog that John’s family was caring for. She’d been fed and walked, I couldn’t have wanted more. My brother and their kids had a dog, too. His wife nearly insisted that we stay for a little dinner, but I told her that we had a little something planned for Annie and had to go. She gave the kids a hug and said, “Happy Valentine’s Day.” We got home, Annie was on the phone, “Look, I’ll call you back, okay?” With her, it was always family first. I was sort of beaming with my catch, but Joanie knew just how much rope she could give me and figured I’d already been given more allotment in the shopping arena than I could handle. She, more than graciously pointed out that I had been suckered by the oldest trick in the book. She said, here…they are offering a 2 for 1 deal. It sounds great! You are saving a boatload of bucks! AND you are even getting an item in return for free! First of all, you don’t even want the thing that they are offering, in the first place, then you have to pay for the next thing at even a discounted price, but you got it anyhow and you need to store it. At this point you have two items that you never really wanted in the first place, but you are getting a third one for free! You might be saving a little, but they got you coming and going. What you are really looking for is a good deal. Good deals won’t come up and slap you in the face and say, “…and Happy Valentines’, too.” I am glad you are my Valentine! I told her that Joannie, her sister-in-law (the world’s most renowned dog lover) asked if she could feed the kids, I said, “No thanks, we had plans.” With a twinkle, Annie said, “We have plans?” “Damn, I gave it away. Annie? Will you be my Valentine?” She said, “Can I think on it and get back to you after these kids are fed and in bed?” In nearly the same breath she said, “I hope you two have brushed your teeth!” I was watching T.V., she came down from tucking the kids in, sorta took me by surprise and said, “Of course!” I said “Great, cause I have reservations at six and a sitter, too; Shelia.