eat your hearts out, alan arkin and peter falk
and now a word about my in-laws. two finer, more upstanding, superior, better looking people you will never ever encounter in your life. EVER!
they came down this past weekend and set up shop in the baby's room. when they arrived, there was a desk in there, a file cabinet and a giant shitty crumbling home depot closet thing that mrs nice guy and i assembled nearly five years ago. when they left, all that crap had been cleared out and replaced with new sturdy cabinets MOUNTED ON OUR WALL, a crib, a changing table, a glider rocker and an armoire, which they assembled and built and bought and installed. the room looks like it belongs in a baby room catalogue. i normally am not a fan of the baby aesthetic, but man, i am considering sleeping in the crib until the kid gets here. it's the coziest room in brooklyn.
did i mention that these people are saints? my mother-in-law makes mr clean look like a filthy degenerate hobo with scabies. this apartment is spotless.
but the true badge of courage belongs to my father-in-law. he is a Man's Man. this is no exaggeration: he built his three story home and barn and garage in the wilds of vermont WITH HIS OWN BARE HANDS. FROM THE GROUND UP. sweet weeping baby jesus on the cross, a nuclear winter could sweep across this land leaving him the only survivor and he would be able to build a new city from the ground up and single-handedly repopulate it with his quiet virility. i can't even change a lightbulb without setting something on fire and crying. he comes in here this weekend (despite severe cat allergies) and rewires several lights, builds and mounts cabinets, fixes our closet up with new attachments, constructs (with my skilled mother-in-law as his able bodied assistant) the crib and rocker and changing table and armoire. meanwhile i mostly cowered at work or hid at home behind my computer. he is a good, solid, quiet confident old school man. a dying breed.
what kind of man am i? glad you asked. when the father-in-law asked me for a phillip's head, i thought he wanted me to decapitate a spanish monarch. you see, i am a simpering three year old with a tendency to whine like cabernet. ellen degeneres could kick my ass and probably i would enjoy it. seriously. i am not at all qualified to be a father to this, or any, child. little sister, maybe, but father no.
anyway, not only is my wife's step-father a profoundly capable man and a good man and a nice man, but he is also a funny man. after the baby's room was immaculately set up, after my mother-in-law scrubbed every square inch of apartment--from picture frames to individual spice bottles--after he sweat good, wholesome, mansweat all weekend long, he walked up to me and winked. he said "here's something even you can do." and he handed me the warranty card for the baby's crib. "fill it out."