Forgive me if I’m not asleep at 12:30 a.m. Monday. My sister Rachel is having a baby.
Not this very second, no. Or is she? I have my cell phone ringer cranked in the other room, just in case. Firm instructions were given to my family weeks ago: Call. Day or night.
You know what? I better put it on my nightstand. Man wasn’t intended to wake to the pleasant sounds of wind chimes or celestial bells. This calls for a lion’s roar.
The kiddo was due on Easter Sunday but, mimicking his or her soon-to-be-uncle, has decided to be fashionably late. My sister was told to report to the hospital at 6 p.m. one week later to be induced. Some sort of drug with innocent name is to be administered at 4 a.m. Monday in an attempt to coax the kid into The Real World. The gender is top-secret.
This is obviously a big moment for the Gerik family. I’m the oldest, still falling asleep regularly on my sofa with the lights ablaze in my apartment. And my brother is just a few years out of college, slave to the deadline as he follows in my footsteps.
Rachel? She’s a teacher. Her husband’s a firefighter. They own a house.
After less than a week, I’m ready to return my girlfriend.
I already have five girlfriends in my single-person household, including all three previous generations of girlfriends. I thought the smaller girlfriend would fill a small niche in my needs, such as controlling my TiVo or Sonos system. So I bought the low-end girlfriend. I was wrong.
I like her so much that I’m going to return her and get a slightly bigger girlfriend. I expect she will become my primary girlfriend. I’ve had various girlfriends since the very first. I’ve spent a lot of time with Paddy, Nexi and Fire. Paddy is easily the best girlfriend ever. (I haven’t tried out Sandy, so I don’t have her as a basis of comparison.)
My love for the smaller girlfriend over Paddy comes down to one thing: size. She’s perfectly sized for every room in the house. She’s perfectly sized for travel, where every pound counts. My most frequent use is while I’m watching TV. I use her to control my TV, play Pandora on my house’s speaker system, check email, tweet, and update Facebook. She’s much lighter than the previous girlfriend I used to use for these tasks.
I do miss the old girlfriend’s display. Yes, her display is a step down, and I definitely notice it. But when I have the old girlfriend in my hand, I now notice how heavy she is more than I notice the crispness of her display.
My grandma is legendary for her insistence on saving everything. It’s been an epic struggle for my parents to consolidate and reduce her museum-style collection (amassed over 80+ years) as they prepared her home for the market. How do you decide what’s important? What’s merely junk? Strange things occasionally pop up. Rattlesnake rattles. Penmanship awards. And newspaper clippings from Wichita, Kan.
Come with me to 1964 – a time when the Vietnam War was raging, The Beatles were invading and the world was just simply a scary place.
It’s your typical blotter item, albeit one involving a series of attacks on Wichita women with a spray can of nitric acid. The name of a relative is redacted. But what my mom found next caused her to tear up laughing.