bach·e·lor (băch′ə-lər, băch′lər)
1. A man who has never been married.
2. A person who has completed the undergraduate curriculum of a college or university and holds a bachelor’s degree.
3. A male animal that does not mate during the breeding season.
4. A young knight in the service of another knight in feudal times.
Yesterday was Day 4 of being an honorary bachelor while my family was out of town. I finally had a good night’s sleep and awoke feeling conflicted. On one hand I was so excited to see my family while on the other hand…I was sad to know my days of bacheloring around were over. I finally ate that lone hard-boiled egg in the fridge and a Tupperware container full of potatoes. Guess the fridge wasn’t bare after all. Uneventfully, I went to work where I defiantly ate a burrito with everything on it for lunch…one last bachelor meal that my stomach would regret.
So long bachelor meals…so long.
My wife and I checked in as she made the 8 hour drive back with the kids. With her in the home stretch, just a few minutes away, I sat down in the back yard with a Whiskey and a cigar to watch the sunset one last time…like Brad Pitt in “Interview with the Vampire,” but with much less hair and no Lestat looming over my shoulder.
So long doing what I want when I want…so long.
That night I read to the boys and cuddled them in my arms for the first time in nearly a week. It was so good to have them home. They showered me with kisses as they hugged me as hard and told me all about their adventures on the farm in Iowa. They fell asleep hard & fast, happy to be home in their own beds. Downstairs, Kate shucked Iowa sweet corn that had been on stalks the day before at her family’s farm – it doesn’t get much fresher than that. We feasted, played a drinking game while watching the GOP Debate, and teared up watching Jon Stewart’s final night hosting The Daily Show. Kate cuddled up to me on the couch and I recoiled a little in surprise. “Are you okay?” she asked. I wasn’t used to having someone to cuddle with. I replied, “You can’t expect me to be so easily domesticated after leaving me in the wild for so long.” Kate ignored this comment and exclaimed, “No one left you in the wild you big baby.” She cuddled in. My home was full of love and affection again.
So long TV at full volume on a school night…so long.
As I turned off the lights I remembered there were two sweet little boys sleeping in beds…not just an empty room I walked past en route to Sad Town, USA. I tucked them in one last time and kissed their foreheads as they slept. They breathed heavily as they slept and my mind was at ease. I climbed into bed and found my missing puzzle piece waiting for me with open arms, I was engulfed in the arms of loving affection from my best friend. Kate planted a kiss on my lips and then earnestly asked me, “Are you eating beef jerky?”
It helped cancel out my beer breath.
I also had malted milk balls.
I jogged to the bathroom to brush my teeth. I had to come back from the wild and was remembering how to be part of the pack. ArooooOOOoooo! I know it was only 4 days but I came to love my time alone. It reminded me of why I started this site in the first place…to document my transition into my 30’s, corporate America, parenthood, and responsibility. So much change all at once and it came rushing back in just 4 short days. I remembered what it was like to be the lone wolf, and it was lovely. Odd…I was so scared of it leading up to the week. I had so much anxiety asking myself how I’d fill my time during these 4 days. What would I do when I was left alone with…with…with…myself?! The answer? Eat beef jerky and malted milk balls with beer on the couch while watching TV at full volume in my underwear whenever the heck I want…dammit.
So long bacherlordom…so long.
And now, the end is near; and so I face the final curtain. My friend, I’ll say it clear, I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain. I’ve lived a life that’s full. I’ve traveled each and every highway; and more, much more than this, I did it my way.
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