wherein mr nice guy gets a little touchy-feely
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:
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.
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.)
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.