Random adventures through my life... in all their glory and splendor.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

How I made my insurance man's day

Step 1: Find bat in attic
Step 2: Go to internet and search for "OMG, I has a bat in my attic! Please Advise." Be sure to read about how good they are for the environment, how disease ridden they are, and then the part about how there's a big fine if you're caught exterminating them, you insensitive twit.
Step 3: Call insurance guy and say, "The interwebs said that most home owners insurance policies cover bat removal and clean up. Does mine?"
Step 4: Tell him to call you back when he's done laughing.

For extra credit, read about how you aren't supposed to 'relocate' bats in June, July, or August because the babies can't fly yet. Then look at this and try to care (No, it's not my attic.)

Ok, but the ironic thing is that, although they won't help get the bats out, they will pay for property damage caused by bats. Not clean up, but actual damage. So I guess I have to wait until the attic is so full of bat turds that it crashes through to my dining room. Geniuses.

De-Dinked: The Last Hoorah, no regrets.

It occurred to me recently that there really isn't a formal, "Go out with a bang because from now on you'll have to actually BE responsible, and not just faking responsibility like you have been throughout your marriage" rite of passage. There's no equivalent to a bachelor party before having children. I've watched my friends scurry about trying to get in that one last gift for themselves before their baby arrives. Money is almost always tight and the wife is usually keeping an eye out for such activity, but most guys wheedle in one last treat. I got lucky. I got permission to get the bass guitar early on. But Hallmark is really missing a niche here. Whichever company convinces women that having a child should constitute a celebration (and I'm not talking baby shower) will make some serious money.

It might also eliminate some of the awkward conversations I've had with folks who try describe the joy of children but are just too exhausted to think striaght. Seriously, parents are the worst salesmen for parenthood. "It's the best thing in the world... well, I mean, it's hard but it's worth it... and it's going to change life as you know it... and you won't sleep for 18 years, but you know, it's great." Um, so which is it? Because as far as I'm concerned worrying about whether the bleach is in a locked cabinet and "sheer bliss" are mutually exclusive, but apparently becoming a parent melts your brain to the point where that makes sense. Anyway, wouldn't it be easier if instead of trying to explain how joyous it was when your kid finally coughed up a LEGO, if current parents could just say, "So, what did you do for your Un-Dinking?" (Dink= Double Income No Kids) See? It's easy.

Anyway, I was thinking of all this because the past couple weeks have really been kind of one extended DINK fest (if that catches on, you heard it here first) and it's been better than any one event I could have planned. At a wedding reception, the math is working against you. A four hour reception with 240 guests means that you get to average 1 minute with each person, and that assumes you visit all through dinner. Maybe I've just been more aware of it lately, but I've done most all of the 'Me' things I've wanted.

-Had coffee with Wandtkes
-Played at The Brick
-Went to an Ethiopian restaurant with the Owens
-Sang at church
-Drove the commute with my wife one last time
-Saw movies (in the theater) with Megan, Brent and Zach
-Karaoke'ed with good (I dare say, borderline "great") friends
-Saw my favorite bartender
-Had lunch with "The Boys"
-I READ A BOOK!!! (Well, half of one anyway...)
-Various people who I haven't seen in ages have called out of the blue, the list goes on.

I know none of this stuff sounds like party material, but add it up and it's actually what any single celebration could ever hope to accomplish. I've interacted with nearly everyone whom I consider near and dear (I've missed a couple of you, but you know who you are!) in the past two weeks and that has made this transition into parenthood a real celebration for me.

So thanks to all of you who came to my two week De-DINK-A-Thon. It's really been my pleasure, and hopefully Team Gardner can return the favor sometime.