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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

wherein mr nice guy gets a little touchy-feely

well it was quite a weekend. wasn't supposed to be quite a weekend, but that's what it ended up being: quite a weekend.

mrs nice guy and i had to take an impromptu trip back to her hometown. the husband of her mother's best friend unexpectedly passed away and we had a sad surprise funeral on our hands. not exactly the kind of thing that gets a body excited for the weekend. but, there it was.

we flew into burlington, vt, on thursday morning for the memorial service later that afternoon. it was, as these things tend to be, a very sad affair. i didn't know the man well, but mrs nice guy had known him for most of her life. she babysat their kids; his wife married us. this was baby nice guy's first funeral and she behaved perfectly. for a 10-month-old. meaning not well at all. i sat out for the bulk of the service, walking the baby, cruising with the baby, cursing the baby for her habit of screaming every time we came within four feet of the chapel's nave.

so that was thursday. if the occasion that brought us to vermont was quietly tragic, the rest of the weekend ended up being quite nice. wonderful, really. lovely. restful (well, restful after we decided not to switch sides of the bed anymore). fun.

some things that happened:

1. we had our nine-year live-together anniversary. mrs nice guy and i started out as platonic roommates NINE YEARS ago. nine! 1997! that's almost a decade ago! i was just 22. the calculator hadn't been invented yet. calvin coolidge was president.

i haven't lived with anyone (much less been friends with anyone) for nine straight years without having attempted to steal from (or murder) them at least once. it's fitting that we moved in together (platonically) on april fool's day. an omen. the first kiss wouldn't come until the following november. so this fall we'll have our eighth anniversary as a couple. someday, maybe, i'll tell you that story.

2. we hired a nanny. i have to go back to work in may. denial was turning out to be an ineffective method of finding someone responsible to look after my kid. "but i really thought the ferns could handle it, officer." nope. so we hired someone who we met through a colleague. she has stellar references and was very impressive in person, if a little stern. stern is good.

still, neither mrs nice guy or i have ever heard her outgoing voicemail. she always picks up the phone when we call, which i reckon is a good sign. but i just don't want to call her next week and hear "feelin' on yo booty," though, you know?

anyway, apparently she is so good that she can command ... FIFTEEN GODDAMN DOLLARS AN HOUR. we did the math: after i go back to work, all of my income after taxes is going into her pockets. so, basically, i am hiring a nanny so i can go back to work so i can make enough money to pay the nanny. makes perfect sense, right?

3. we went on a date. since omi and opi were on the scene, the wife and i went out for a lovely dinner in burlington. we even saw a moving picture show! in an actual movie theater! (spike lee's new joint: it was quite good, even if it totally unravelled in the third act [you love it when i drop terminology like "third act," admit it]. it gets a nice guy endorsement.)

if you've never been to burlington and environs, you really ought to pass through. a lovely part of the country. if you venture away from downtown, though, be careful of the Hill People.

basically, the weather was stunning most of the weekend. we ate really well, we all had some nice heart-to-hearts, fueled only a little bit by gallons of wine. (warning: trite earnest banalities to follow, proceed without irony) sometimes the death of someone you know, even casually, helps bring the world into tighter focus. you realize how truly blessed you are.

life (my life, anyway) is so sweet. i spent four days surrounded by people i love, and i tried to hug them just a little tighter, even when they were nagging me or pooping in their pants.


Blogger Kimmellee said...

You lucked out on the weather. We're getting raind and snow now. Did you notice the lack of snow up here? Amazing isn't it?

4/04/2006 1:04 PM  
Anonymous Meredith said...

Yes, welcome to "working for the nanny" territory. Ours costs $14/hr but we have inflated bay area incomes so it is only 1/2 my pay (but our mortgage is also inflated being the most outrageous market so it all evens out to poverty for us).

I love Burlingame - I grew up not too horribly far away. We'd get 25 cent pints of ben and jerrys rejects - maaybe too much heath bar, maybe none at all! Or a finger!

4/04/2006 5:00 PM  
Anonymous dear wife said...

I just have to ask, why bother going back to work if all it is going to do is pay the nanny. Or are you just exaggerating. We are luckily (wow I do not if that is the right word) so we get aid from our school for day care. Well at least you got a nanny and you may be paying her fifteen dollars an hour, but she has to live off that in NYC, so it evens out.

4/04/2006 8:46 PM  
Anonymous Matt said...

My wife too is from Burlington, which I find to be a wonderful place for many reasons, so I am more than happy to visit the in-laws...

However, I have to ask about your comment, "if you venture away from downtown, though, be careful of the Hill People." Who are these oh-so-fearful Hill People that I seem to have to-date, managed to avoid?

Just curiuos :)

4/04/2006 10:04 PM  
Anonymous egohound said...

Yeah. I'm wondering about the "hill people" comment too. As you may remember, I grew up in Burlington too -- on the "hill" as a matter of fact...

Glad you had a good time though.

4/05/2006 8:59 AM  
Anonymous dreadmouse said...

I want to hear the story... /whimper/

My wife is still on maternity leave. I'm doing my very best to not think about how much child care is going to cost us when she has to go back to work.

4/05/2006 11:10 AM  
Blogger Mama Grouch said...

My husband and I were platonic roommates before we started dating! Please tell the story so I can compare it with ours - like how cool it was that we got the whole "fighting about household chores" stuff out of the way before it became personal.

4/05/2006 10:32 PM  
Anonymous valerie said...

I think I *am* a hill person... :) do you mean the college kids??

4/06/2006 10:22 AM  
Blogger bunmaster said...

Seeing's how you like both liquor & moving picture shows I highly recommend the Stowe Cinema 3 Plex & Lounge next time you head out that way. They'll serve you booze while you watch the show. At least they did when I saw Star Wars: Episode 1 there a few years ago. mmmmm peachy Jar Jar Binks concoction mmmmm

4/07/2006 12:28 PM  
Blogger jess said...

yeah, a little slow on commenting, but i've been thinking about this post for brain has been doing this:

if MNG is working just to pay the nanny, what does he get out of going to work? benefits? paying more taxes? getting away from BNG for a few hours?

won't it actually cost more than if he stayed home?

doesn't a household where both people work need for both people to be making crazy money for it to be worth it for both of them to continue?

if one of them is making crazy money why can't the other give it up? is it just that some people like working better than parenting 24/7? wouldn't it suck even worse to be on a rigid work schedule AND parenting at night?

what are the conditions when both parents working is the best solution? free day care? low cost day care? absolut necessity (even if that just means one parent is paying the nanny, housecleaner, and condributing $100 in income monthly)

clearly i am a SAHM. i have no judgements about anyone's decision to work or stay home. i am just really into trying to figure this out

4/11/2006 11:27 PM  

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