Monday, September 21, 2009


Since the Great Commitment of '08 (a.k.a. my wedding), I've hardly had a night alone. That, I hear, is the point. So I considered carefully how I should spend my time when Abe left Sunday on a three day boys-only trip to camp and fish.

I'll give you the run-down for free, because I'm considering adding advertising to this blog, which will obviously result in fabulous wealth (or $1.00 would be fine) that will more than make up for me giving you my two cents for nothing.

Based on my two days of experience, here is how to make the most of a weekend alone.
  1. Meet up with people. You could do this in all sorts of ways - I did via church, since it was conveniently Sunday morning when Abe left. Make sure these are people who care about you and have food.
  2. Make sure you mention you're alone. Even though you are a grown-up person and fully self-sufficient, these people will most likely feel (a) sorry for you, and (b) obligated to take care of you, especially if (a) they are your parents, and (b) you are still sniffling from a cold (fake it if you're one of those people with a functional immune system).
  3. You have already scored. The above actions will result in an invitation of some kind (85% of these invitations will involve free food. Don't ask how, this is science). In my case, I got invited for an entire sleepover, because I took full advantage of all the results-boosting options (listed as (a)'s and (b)'s above).
Of course, it wasn't all that easy. In order to spend the night at my parents' house in Waxhaw, I had to pack up the cats. Those cats had no interest whatsoever in loading themselves into their carrier, which necessitates an exercise commonly referred to as "herding cats." As an expert in the discipline with millions in ad revenue on their way from my blog, I'll offer the following tips pro bono.
  1. You will need at least two and a half* full-grown adults (or one adult per cat, plus at least one half additional adult. Here is this convenient equation, because I took algebra once and then forgot everything: x=y+1/2, where x=adults and y=number of cats) in good health to attempt this.
  2. You may want to wear long sleeves, long pants, long socks, and long gloves, or borrow a beekeeper's suit from a friend. (Also, introduce me to that friend?) Or declaw your cats.**
  3. One adult should pursue each cat. It's wise to shut off any doors by which the cats might try to escape before introducing the carrier(s) to their environment. A frightened cat with any brain waves whatsoever will immediately look for a place to hide. Don't try this in a bedroom! Your cat Will Not Ever come out from under the bed. Even for earplugs (a.k.a. food).
  4. The additional half adult should watch and try not to laugh. Because this is serious business. They should also be put in charge of the carrier(s) - opening the doors and closing them once the cat is contained. Lightning speed is of the essence!
  5. Once the cats are captured, hold on for your life. And stuff them as quickly as you can into the carrier(s). If you have trouble remembering, just think: "hold and stuff."
  6. Then you may need some ear plugs of your own, because the cats will mew and meow furtively, and plaintively, and at first it will be hard to resist letting them out. And then it will just get old. So the ear plugs will be good either way.

*My mother is suffering from a broken elbow acquired in a bicycle wreck. The alleged "accident" involved her son-in-law Ben, who is an experienced rider who has won prizes in bike trials as well as ridden a ten-speed across America. Is this suspicious? You ask yourselves.

**DON'T! I shout because I actually don't at all believe in declawing. Because (a) how would you feel if somebody ripped your fingernails off?, and (b) without claws your Fluffy has no way to protect herself if she ever gets lost or a crazed possum breaks into your house.


  1. Karen, I just spent a rare three-day stretch apart from my partner K, and could have benefited from your step-by-step plan. Alas, your invaluable advice was imparted a few days too late.
    You mentioned that 85% of the invitations resulting from the careful implementation of your plan involve free food. So I have to ask - (for next time) - what kind(s) of food?

  2. "I was just riding along..." and what he doesn't add is "on my back wheel" haha. Having seen the whole thing occur, though, I can attest to the fact that even though Ben was riding a wheelie, Mom wrecked completely on her own.

  3. Lovemonger - The variety of food will most likely depend of the variety of people who offer the invitation. (For example, you won't be eating chicken nuggets with your vegetarian cousin.) I enjoyed a lunch of spaghetti and salad, and a free Sunday dinner spread of wine, carrots, crackers, cheese, bread, artichoke tapendade, hummus, apples - and Moosetracks ice cream for dessert. It pays to have parents!

    Ben - Right. (what you can't see is that I'm winking at you. In a 'conspiracy!' and not a 'flirting!' way)

    Lexi - I miss you.