Day Nineteen – Kids’ Play


Day Nineteen started slow because I didn’t sleep well, but it ended out all right because of a bunch of kids. You see, I truly think I could become a hermit – for at least a few, glorious months, and I’m reminded of this each and every summer since becoming a professor. After a day at home catching up on work, doing laundry, washing the dogs, and cleaning, I did not want to leave the house in the evening to go see a children’s play. But our friend, Patty, is a good woman and goes out of her way to support things that Dan and I do. She dresses up like an elf every December to come out and help Santa Dan make kids’ Christmas seasons brighter, and not many people would do that and enjoy it besides. When she messaged while Dan was away to see if we would come see the children’s summer camp production she had helped direct, there was no way I was going to turn down her invitation. But as it got closer, I dreaded it more and more. I just wanted to stay home, have dinner at a normal hour, and not have to go out in public. See what I mean? Hermit-y behavior, to be sure. Still, it was going to be my gift of the day.

We went to the show last night, enjoyed it thoroughly, and though we had a late dinner, it was a nice end to an evening. Besides, I guess it wasn’t just a gift for Patty because Dan is a pretty social guy, and he loves going out, whether it’s dinner, a play, or just a drive that often ends with a .99 ice cream cone. Even though I was trying to gift Patty on Day Nineteen, I ended up doing double time because hearing Dan laugh at the crazy kids’ show proved to me that going out of my comfort zone once in a while is a gift to him, too.


One thought on “Day Nineteen – Kids’ Play

  1. Well, apparently we are truly sisters…my fellow hermit. I can’t tell you how many times I face the same predicament. Always being on the go, I CRAVE just being at home with the boys doing absolutely nothing. But then there are those well-intended invites and the disappointed looks and comments when you decide to stand your ground, and not cave to the self -inflicted peer pressure.

    So you mutter and grumble under your breath while standing in the shower. Gripe at yourself while looking in the mirror, throwing on some make up so you don’t look like you just rolled out of bed (though that’s sooo true). You can’t decide what to wear, because reality is, your sweats or your pjs are what you want, but it’d be socially unacceptable. You get in the car, and nothing that you find on the radio hits your fancy. Why? Because you don’t even want to be in your car, let alone listen to another person’s voice. Silence is what you truly crave. Ok, no radio.

    You pull up in the parking lot and take a deep breath counting the cars already there, recognizing the one or the other. Ready or not, it’s SHOWTIME! Plastered on smile, you step into the arena.

    And it never fails…as inconspicuous as you try to be, just blending in with the carpet and the fake fern standing in the corner, here they come! “Oh you made it! So glad to see you! Have you met Mr. X and Mrs. Z? Have a drink! The food is over there”. And then suddenly the blast “Hey everyone, this is my friend!” All eyes on you, you secretetly scream on the inside “I want my sweats!! Is it over yet???” Insert awkward smile and less than confidant wave “Heyyy”.

    But you pull yourself together, albeit reluctantly. You shake hands here, give a hug there, receive a heartfelt wet smooch by a select few who’ve known you for years. YoI cautiously work your way around the room, getting the lay of the land. Since you’re already here, might as well check out the food and what the bar has to offer. Hmmm, not bad. Beats the Cherios and the half sour milk destined to have been your evening dinner with reservation for one.

    A bite of cheese here, a bacon wrapped something yummy there (anything with bacon is yummy!), a gulp of a foreign drink you’ve never heard of, and you suddenly realize “I can do this!”

    Before you know it, you’re engaged in relevant conversation, genuinely laughing at someone else’s recount of a childhood experience, and cautiously criticizing the powers to be about the sick healthcare reforms being offered to our nation.

    The evening slowly winds down, as the first ones to arrive are bidding their farewells. Good time to slip out with them…though engaged, you suddenly remember you didn’t want to be here in the first place. Nothing personal, I just had a date with me, myself, and I and my cozy, torn up, button missing, 15 something year old flannel pj pants.

    Another series of handshakes, hugs, and smooches, and you’re finally back in your car. AHHHH, silence! What a beautiful sound of nothing – just silence, with that slight ringing in your ear from excited conversation and background mood music coming from the Bose Bluetooth speaker in the living room – while you make your way home. Just 6.8 more miles until you get to embrace your old flannel red and blacks and snuggle up with the boys beside you.

    As you lay there, taking in deep breaths of contentment and comfort, reflecting on the night with the ringing in your ears slowly going mute, you get startled up by an unexpected DING! from your iPhone resting on your bedside table. This late? Who the heck? You fumble for your glasses, inquisitively grab the phone (being nosy sounds so derogatory), and go to your text messages. “Hey hon! Just wanted to thank you for coming tonight. It meant a lot to me, just to see your smiling face. Mr X whom you met, was totally smitten, and Mrs Y said you’re a doll with a heart of gold. They’ve confirmed what I’ve known for years. Love you, my friend. Thanks for being in my life”.

    And with that, you slowly fade off into a deep sleep, shamefully realizing that your sacrifice truly meant something to someone and put a smile on their face.


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