Generally speaking, I consider the professor very lucky to be married to moi. But this weekend had a couple of moments when even I had to concede perhaps his luck had run out. After nearly-fifteen loooooooong years.
It began with an email in my inbox. From my better half. ‘I cancelled going to Marco’s to watch the Champions League at noon because of soccer. Should I contact him and go, now that soccer is cancelled?’
I read this and nearly spat out my coffee. ‘Should I contact him and go…now that soccer is cancelled?’ I read aloud, so the author could hear me. He laughed-shrugged ‘what’? Leave it to the professor to turn a notice of spousal abandonment into something that sounds like it is more about etiquette, than getting out of the house as quickly as possible.
‘If you’re going to Marco’s, then you’re taking the boys to the bread store first,’ I struck a deal. ‘Fine,’ he relented. Because it was the only thing he could say, ‘what’s the address?’ And I scribbled it down on a little piece of paper. The address for the kitchen of the Sidewalk Citizen Bakery.
‘It’s on 1A Street.’ I explained. ‘Number 5524. So, that’s 5th ave…downtown?’ I’d never been there, but the guy delivers bread to downtown offices on Mondays – on a bicycle – so I figured the kitchen was also…..downtown.
The professor hopped in the van with our youngest two wailers, while I and the detective stayed put. I read a few pages of my book. ‘Do you want to play War with me,’ my slightly-bored seven year old asked. ‘Okay,’ I hedged, ‘let me just take a shower first.’ Figuring the professor would be back by that time and we’d be distracted from dull card games with freshly baked scones.
I got out of the shower. No professor. It had been forty minutes, at least, since he left. And suddenly it dawned on me. 5524….would be 55th avenue. Not….5th avenue. I’d sent him downtown…..when he needed to go south. Considerably so.
The Gort and I played War. And I took pictures of him wearing his thrifted jacket. And I took pictures of the blossoms on the apple tree. And still no professor.
‘Where is Daddy,’ my oldest asked. ‘I don’t know, I think I might have given him the wrong directions,’ I replied. Nervously. ‘Maybe a tree fell on the road where he was supposed to go,’ the Gort offered, seemingly out of nowhere, followed by an equally out-of-the-blue ‘what if it’s just us two in our family from now on.’
‘Would you like that,’ I felt compelled to ask. After all, the kid had informed me earlier that he wished he didn’t have any brothers. ‘No,’ he assured me. Tout de suite. Lest I think otherwise. ‘See, and you told me earlier you didn’t like having brothers,’ I chided.
Finally, the front door opened. It was the Hen, who had run inside while his dad parked the car-van. ‘Is Daddy mad,’ I attempted to gather intelligence. He shook his head. I felt a temporary sense of relief. But then I watched the professor walk to the door with his littlest boy in one arm, a couple of brown bakery bags in the other. And a very dark look upon his face. ‘Henners said you weren’t mad,’ I protested as I opened the screen door to let him in.
‘I’m not mad…..at him.’
‘I’m sorry,’ I apologized, ‘I really thought it was downtown’. How else to defend my faux-pas.
‘People thought I was homeless,’ the professor fumed-accused, ‘attending some sort of homeless function.’
I figured I’d have to get the scoop on the case of mistaken identity at a later time. After the professor had devoured a couple of (delicious) sticky buns.
And then it was Sunday….and I faux-pas-ed….again.