I’m down in beautiful, underrated Cincinnati this week while I muse about how best to hitchhike a ride back to Chicago, staying with my wonderful friends Justin and Loren (“Publish This Book” fans will recall these two). They are married with two young boys and I gotta say, being a useless, mooching houseguest of two adults who you can also make dick jokes around may be my new favorite thing ever.
Think about it:
1) Their refrigerator is fully stocked with food as opposed to my apartment where I’m lucky if I remembered to have both the cereal and the milk on hand at the same time. The other night while we were watching some Food Network show where you think you might get a heart attack just from the viewing, I said to Justin, “Damnit. Now I’m starving. How late is that Wendy’s open? What is it a mile away?”
“What?” he said. “Why? We have barbecue chicken in the fridge. Just eat that.”
And sure enough, I open their refrigerator and it was like coming over a rise and finding Shangri-La, meaning they also had cut-up pineapple and Girl Scout thin mints.
2) They’re just really nice. Justin gives me Bud Lights, and the other night I was about to go out and Loren offered to iron my shirt. First of all, I don’t own an iron and ironing board and wouldn’t know what to do with either if I did. When my shirts get wrinkly, I set them on fire and go back to Goodwill to restock. But they just own grown-up stuff like that, and after two minutes while I distracted their three-year-old by flipping him upside down a bunch and tickling him, she handed me back my favorite shirt, and it looked like it did the day I bought it.
3) They have a huge TV with all the good channels. My roommate Erik and I don’t have cable because it’s a pointless expense when you can watch everything on-line, but they have that kind of cable complete with every sports channel and NBA late-night Mavs-Nuggets game I can possibly suck down. They have HBO and Showtime. Last night, I re-watched the final hour of “Game Change”, caught an episode of “Shameless” for the first time and turned the volume way down for one of those weird sex shows that runs between 2 and 4 a.m. (I am, however, on a strict no masturbating policy in their house, although Justin would never believe me).
4) They go to bed at like 10 p.m. People with young kids are usually appalled by my sleeping schedule, which borders on schizophrenia. I’m never sure when I’m tired and can operate about the same on 2 hours of sleep as I can on 12. Their new baby, of course, wakes up in the middle of the night and they have to feed him. Justin and I have developed a regular date at around 3:35 a.m. when he stumbles from his bedroom into the living room bleary-eyed and exhausted to find the kid’s bottle and looks at me like I’m a used tampon he stepped on in the bathroom of a homeless shelter. It’s really cute.
5) I can be the cool uncle. With their older son, all I had to do was show up with a present and dance really weirdly to the music of all of his toddler shows, and let him steal the soccer ball from me every few minutes after he’s thrown himself all over the yard trying to get it. He thinks all this is incredibly interesting, including when I drew a picture on his chalkboard of his dad barfing. Yet at the same time I will never have to exercise any discipline with him or even remotely pretend like I’m an authority figure. This is great, and should a condom break, this will also be my policy with my own child.