Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Surprise Visit

Ricky, Charlie's coming home!
Recently, around 6:30 on a quiet Friday evening, the phone rang, startling Seth who -- after changing from his tee shirt and sweat pants into his tee shirt and pajama pants -- had already begun slipping into his pre-weekend coma.

I recognized the number on the caller ID and happily sat down before answering, looking forward to a chat with my was your day, what did you eat for lunch, will you make sure that I'm in a good nursing home when I'm know, the regular topics.

You could have knocked me over with Buzzy's tail when Charlie announced that – surprise! --  he was on his way home for a weekend visit. He'd be home in less than three hours. “See you soon, Ma!" and he hung up.

No kidding! Charlie?
After blacking out for an undetermined period, upon revival I hollered for Seth.

Splayed out in the recliner, a cold Budweiser warming in his hot little hands, although he had trouble initially comprehending what I was screaming, he snapped to in a moment or so and came running, clapping and jumping up and down with me in the kitchen.

Guess what, Andy! Charlie's
coming home!
Suddenly, we stopped and looked at each other.

Oh my God! Not expecting a visit from the young prince, the fridge was lacking food! Not to mention Charlie's room was a mess since we'd done some minor renovations in the house and had been using the boys rooms as a dumping ground. 

Anything that we didn't immediately need, want or were not prepared to throw out would make its way to either room and we'd close the door. Poof---out of sight! The house seemed neat and orderly until we'd open a door to toss another item inside. Our children's bedrooms now made us eligible for an episode of Hoarder's.

Charlie's coming home?
Seth and I made panicky eye contact but, in a few incoherent grunts, clearly communicated the next course of action.

After meaninglessly wiggling our eyebrows at one another for a full minute, we sprang into action: I grabbed my wallet and started off to the supermarket only having to return for my shoes and the car a few minutes later. I then drove off on only my back wheels and with my head sticking out of the sun roof while Seth threw on a haz-mat suit and ventured into Charlie's room with a dozen or so garbage bags and his jaw set to "action."

Who is Charlie?
Once in the supermarket I filled my cart with bagels, bialys, whole grain bread, peanut butter, ham, provolone, liverwurst, onion rolls, fresh tortellini, cereal, milk, rice pudding, halvah, light bulbs, mustard, toilet paper, Greek yogurt, apples, strawberries, avocados, tomatoes, bananas, unshelled peanuts, seltzer, Drumsticks (the ice cream kind), Dove Bars, grapefruit juice, orange juice and two dozen eggs. I am not kidding about a single item on this list and have the receipt to prove it.

It’s inevitable that, in our local market, you run into no fewer than 174 people you know and this evening was no different. 

If I saw anyone with whom I would normally exchange pleasantries or quite possibly stand in one place and talk to until blood pools in my ankles, I simply shouted the word “Charlie!” at them and kept moving. The women understood exactly what was happening while the men all thought I’d mistaken them for Charlie.
Quick, beam Charlie up!
Is he bringing Camilla?

Astonishingly, when I got home, Seth was done in Charlie's room.

It was perfect. The bed was clear of debris and made up nicely, you could actually see the floor, his desk was neat and the top of the dresser was empty but for his assortment of half-used bottles of Axe body spray.

 It was a miracle and I could not have cared less as to where all the stuff went. I still don't. All that mattered was that the prodigal had where to lay his head after a long drive. Well done, Seth!

Maybe I'll give him a new car!
I put away all the groceries, emptied the dishwasher, filled the dishwasher, re-neutered the cats, freshened my pedicure, swept the floor, turned on the outside lights and phoned all my neighbors and asked them to do the same and located Seth who had put out and illuminated our American flag---joining him at the top of the driveway where he was straightening the mailbox which had been nudged by a snow plow this winter. 

We wanted to spot the car as soon as possible so Seth stood on my shoulders, leaning slightly forward, for a better perspective.

Charlie arrived soon after and Seth and I, doing synchronized cartwheels around him, pretended the house always looked this tidy and that the fridge was always this well-stocked. 

Whether Charlie believed us, we have no idea but upon arrival he immediately noticed and acknowledged the Josh Groban CD I'd forgotten to hide as well as the fact that Seth and I are both shorter than when he saw us last.

It was a wonderful visit.


  1. Haha I can picture all of this happening so well! Love you!

  2. Absolutely hilarious! How our boys control us- quite pathetic really!!!