My Saturday activities are structured tightly around a central philosophy. That is, do absolutely nothing out of necessity except spend time with my wife.
Nine-thirty usually finds us mumbling morning-speak to each other while we alternate positions in the master bath. There are those two other bathrooms, one of which gets used fairly frequently because it is downstairs, providing convenient access to the lav while downstairs as opposed to trooping back upstairs to the master bath, the other of which adjoins the guest bedroom, and I only catch glimpses of as I enter and exit the guest-bedroom/computer room. I have used the guest bath occasionally, only to feel as if I'm visiting friends and had to use the facilities. Besides, there's no books in the guest bath, not to mention the toilet paper gets pilfered and relocated to the master every time we deplete the supply, as procuring a fresh roll involves trooping downstairs. Don't get me wrong, I love having three bathrooms. It gives a breadwinner a sense of accomplishment. What more could a soul want?
The above paragraph may well have been the mother of all sidelines.
Ten-thirty or eleven usually finds us at Cracker Barrel, where the maitre d' (French word for hostess) recognizes us, infusing one with the small-town warm fuzzies. Twenty minutes later we are invariably enmeshed in some fairly deep, fairly abstract discussion. (I eschew the peg game as Job eschewed evil, viewing it as yet another way to demonstrate my lack of left brain competence.)
Noon finds us at the library, a place I fantasize about sneaking in at night, just the two of us, and over-indulging my book lust. I roam the aisles with the frustration of a kid in a candy store. So many printed words, so little time. I often marvel at the poker-faced librarians. Don't they find it utterly incongruous, not to mention hilarious, that a person who would check out books by C.S. Lewis, William Golding, an expose on the 9/11 hijackers (which, by the way, will unfortunately most likely collect dust for two weeks, harsh reality having lost out to riveting fiction and philosophy) and a CD of Tchaikovsky, would also check out a video cassette of Winnie the Pooh, and another book entitled It's a Dog's Life, Snoopy ? Such professional composure leads one to believe maybe they were formerly employed at a mortuary.
Not that I consider Peanuts any less a philosophical commentary on life than William Golding. If I were a pastor, I would incorporate Charlie Brown into more sermons than not.
My personal favorite strip: Charlie Brown lies in bed in the dark with those familiar worried insomniac wrinkles around his eyes and muses, "Sometimes I lie awake at night and ask, 'Does anyone remember me?' And then a voice comes to me out of the dark that says, 'Sure, Frank, we remember you.' "
Then it's off to the city. No good reason, really, and that's one of the things I love about Saturdays. While driving, we're scuttled in another conversation regarding music, thanks to whatever CD I have chosen. Most recently, it's been classical. My wife wields a knowledge of music I lack. I prefer to think of myself as a "music-as-an-art" connoisseur.
As to music, all sorts and genres, I read once that Sigmund Freud despised music.
I find that not at all surprising. To a soul such as Freud's, that believed in nothing comforting, nothing absolutely true, music would be a unthinkable blasphemy, a feast in a mausoleum. Music would have grated against Freud's futile notion of life the way the preaching of the gospel would grate against a soul in hell; insanely cruel and presumptuous.
Back to my sideline. Our wheels carry us to a sprawling up-scale shopping center on the outskirts of Lexington. Barnes and Noble is only slightly less seductive than the public library. (The idea of exchanging filthy lucre for the privilege of reading tends to tarnish its luster.)
Nonsensical wandering through several clothing stores usually produces nothing, only toward the end of the world's shortest and cheapest shopping spree do we find something in a particular store which name escapes me. She picks out and tries on for size, and shape, and color, while I browse among the tastefully expensive home furnishings, reminding myself once again that when I own a home, I want a study, and when I have a study, it must have a globe, a leather armchair, and a painting or print, rather, of some exquisite taste.
After she puts back all the items except two, we leave and depart, with a little more purpose now, toward the lights of Wal-Mart, getting business done and heading for home again where we'll do more of the same. Hang out. Read. Watch Winnie the Pooh.
I love being married.
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