Six friends turned their backs on my wife and I. They started walking away. They were laughing and joking around. My wife and I stood outside the movie complex, quietly holding hands and taking comfort in each other because we are not included anymore.
Our feelings were not hurt, there were no tears shed. It is just the understanding we have with our single friends and our friends that don’t have a 15 month old at home with Grandma.
My wife, who is the acting director of the Hossman Family let’s get together fund, set up a movie day.
When we were first married, this was a day that we did at least once a month. We would call a bunch of our friends and then meet at the movies in the morning. Then we would see at least 2 movies in a row. We had nothing else to do and it was a great way to spend a day. Then, we would head over to a friends house and drink.
The big deciding factor in this was what the traffic was going to be like at 3:00 in the morning. One of us was always be the designated driver, usually my wife. But don’t let this fool you, she likes the wine and gibber gabber. I would have a few and play video games on whatever system was available.
It’s not that I don’t like talking to people. It’s just that sitting at a table for 5 hours straight tends to numb my butt. But my wife could go on for days like this. She did it in college all the time. I would go to bed and she would stay up. Now the tables have turned, I stay up late (past 10) and she goes to bed at 8:30. I bring this up all the time.
But those days are way behind us, which is a little weird.
That day we had decided to have another movie day. We haven’t done this since Hossmom was pregnant the first time. She got sick a lot and once she got the big pregnant belly, had trouble getting comfortable in the chair. But we missed our friends so we went and saw a movie with them.
It wasn’t a typical movie day because we only saw one movie. Then we congregated outside while everyone smoked and we joked around. Then they left. They turned and left and some of our youth and carefree days went with them.
They were going to a party. I don’t even think we were invited this time because everyone knew it was the kind of party that wouldn’t end until around 4 am. Everyone knew that we couldn’t make it. This part of us is left behind, the rapture of my youth is well into the end of days.
I’m only 32 but I can’t hang like I used to. By midnight I’m practically the walking dead. Get 2 beers in me and I’m already buzzing. Give me one more and I’ll fall asleep where ever I happen to be at. My wife isn’t much different. Add some shots, and yup, there is no way I am ever going to make it home.
But we have to make it home because that is where my kiddo is. Being a Dad means never getting drunk and then going home to the daughter. That’s just not a good idea. I don’t ever want her to see me like that.
And when she asks about my drinking days, like before she goes to college, I will deny it all. That’s right, I’ll admit it here. I will tell her that I never liked the taste of alcohol and that the cool people don’t even bother with it. I will tell her that I never, never, took a college exam drunk. I will tell her that if she has ever heard the story of me possibly cutting my thumb open because I punched a light and then bleed for a good 30 minutes before I noticed, I will tell her that I wasn’t drinking at that time that her Daddy is just tough.
You see, I can live with my mistakes. The older I got the more ashamed I got of the stupid behavior I did when I was younger in college. I think that it’s just normal. And I’ll even tell some of those stories when I get together with buddies. My roommate and I once scaled the outside of the dorm 3 stories up to break into a friends room. I will never tell her that. It was stupid.
But even though I can live with them, I don’t want her to see me like that. Parents want their children to know them, but only to a point. They want them to know us how we are now—a responsible man who pays his bills, not the jerkoff that blacked out at his bachelor party and found himself naked on the bathroom floor in the morning with bruises.
I don’t her to know that part of me. I can live with it but I don’t want to make her live with it.
I’m a pretty good guy, mostly always have been. Never did drugs, drank pretty heavily my first two years in college and basically treated people how I wanted to be treated. That’s the guy I want her to know.
If you knew that superman once got so drunk that he wandered around the halls of his dorm in his tighty whities, would you want to know? Of course not, it would take away from his hero persona and he’s always got to be superdad.
In short, my daughter forces me to be the guy I should have been instead of the guy that failed the Care and Management of Companion Animals because I didn’t go to that class at all in the month of October. That sounds funny but actually I’m quite embarrassed that I couldn’t get my shit together enough to pass an open book test. Pathetic.
But now things are different as we watch our friends walk away. We are no longer part of the “group”. Sure, everyone knows us and most read this blog but I am the last guy they would call for a weekend bender. Hey, it’s cool.
Because I know what is in store for you. I know that one day you are going to have one slip past the goalie. And your wife or girlfriend is going to come to you while you are playing a video game and give you that news, “Honey, we’re pregnant.” And you will be in shock. Then you will realize that pregnancy is actually 10 months long. And then you won’t sleep for 4 months and will no longer be invited to that weekend river trip because you can’t think of anyone that will keep your little angel that long.
And finally, you will find yourself outside the movie theater with a bunch of your old friends. You will see them laughing as they turn away and go to that next great party.
And you thought will be same as mine:
Playing peek-a-boo with your daughter kicks ass and it is something you will never have to regret.