A very productive personal assistant
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
“I’m not going to work tomorrow,” Husband-Head announced the other evening with a smug look on his face. “So you don’t need to make my lunch.”
Actually, I never thought that I needed to make his lunch ” it’s just something nice that I do so he doesn’t gorge himself on hot dogs, beef jerky and potato chips all day long from the nearby convenience store.
“And why, pray tell, are you not going to work tomorrow?” I asked curiously. “It’s only Thursday. I have to work, and so should you.”
“I’m taking a personal day,” Husband-Head said simply. “I’m going to spend the day doing whatever I want.”
With that, he clapped his hands and jumped up and down in excitement like an out-of-control pogo stick.
“OK, Ferris Bueller,” I said, referring to the 1986 hit movie in which high school senior Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick), plays hookey from school. “But I expect you to behave and stay out of my hair. I have work to do, you know.” Because I work at home, I was a little nervous about the prospect of Husband-Head hanging around the house all day and interrupting me.
Normally, Husband-Head has to get up at 6 a.m. for work. But since he was taking the day off, he was under the mistaken impression that he would get to sleep in.
He seemed to forget that our two big yellow Labs and the cat ” who don’t care WHAT day of the week it is ” all want to pee and eat beginning at 5:30 a.m.
So I got up with them as I usually do.
Our day begins when I go downstairs and feed the pets, let them outside, make my coffee, turn on the TV news, light the fireplace, go outside to get the newspapers and basically wake up the whole house.
On weekends, the pets graciously allow me to sleep in until 6:30 a.m.
“Why am I up at 6 a.m.?” Husband-Head cried out on this particular morning in response to all the commotion going on downstairs.
“That’s how we do!” I called back. “Sleep time is over ” I’d get my happy butt out of bed if I were you. …”
Reluctantly, he did.
Husband-Head started his decadent day with a long, leisurely dip in the hot tub.
“That felt good!” he said while drying off after he came in. “Nothing like a good, relaxing soak first thing in the morning on your day off.”
“Soak this,” I whispered under my breath, with 3 million phone calls to make and several stories to write.
But watching Husband-Head sit with his bowl of cereal gave me an idea.
“You know, the dog has an appointment at the veterinarian’s at 9 a.m.,” I told him. “Since you’re not doing anything, do you mind taking him? I’ve got a lot to do today.”
Husband-Head didn’t look exactly pleased, but didn’t really have an argument as to why he couldn’t, either.
“Oh, and while you’re out, can you take this package to the post office?” I asked sweetly.
Husband-Head grudgingly accepted it and muttered stuff under his breath that I couldn’t hear.
A little later on when he returned, he announced that he was going to go to Wal-Mart to get some things that he needed for his man cave.
“Oh, can you pick up some bird food while you’re there?” I asked. “And I need some more computer paper.”
Husband-Head stopped in his tracks.
“This is supposed to be my personal day off, but I’m just your little errand boy, aren’t I?” he insisted.
Well, maybe. It was kind of like having a personal assistant, and I was enjoying the hell out of it.
“Are there any OTHER errands you need me to run while I’m out here?” he called and asked from the road. “I’ve got about a half-hour to wait.”
I started to read him the grocery list before he cut me off.
“Never mind,” he said quickly. “I can easily kill time at the hardware store.”
When he finally got home at the end of the day, he looked exhausted.
“I thought slavery was abolished in this country in 1865,” he sighed as he sank down into the couch and closed his eyes. “Obviously, you have not read the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution.”
And then he added, “From now on, I think I’d rather go to work. …”
Heidi Rice is a staff reporter for the Post Independent. Her column runs every Friday. She has a new book collection out of previously published columns called “Skully Says Shut It!” For more information, visit her website at http://www.heidirice.com.
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That sideline parent is me, parading to the field with a foldable chair, carrying an iced-coffee, armed with a bag of band-aids and a salty vocabulary ready to slay the referee or opponent that meddles…