Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A Night Out on the Town

No matter how sophisticated you think you are, you're really not. Someone is always there to knock you down a notch, to prove no one really knows better--or lives better--than the next guy or gal.
I personally don't need friends like that. I have my four children. Delightful people who take every opportunity to tap me on the shoulder (figuratively and otherwise) and say, "Hey, remember me? Don't make me tell ALL our secrets."
I recently scored a bottle of non-alcohol wine--a gift that didn't do much for me, but seemed an especially big coup for my 12-year-old, who calls it "fake wine." He asked if he could drink it with his dinner while his dad and I went out for the evening. I told him, "No, save it for the weekend." Fake wine is always in order when it comes to special occasions, like a Saturday.
We went out to dinner, where we were served real wine, and where we were seated with six other adults--adults who were far less demanding than the crew we left at home and had much better table manners.
My husband's phone rang more times than I cared to count. Four kids and one 18-month-old nephew equals lots of phone calls.
The 9-year-old called to say that she had made a deal with her brother that if she changed the nephew's dirty diaper, he had to kill the roach in the kitchen. While this particular negotiation signifies many problems in our house, the real problem seemed to be that the brother had renegged on his end of the bargain and she planned to narc him out. Many thoughts went through my mind, like the roach was probably laying about 5 million eggs this very minute and causing general dissension among a group of siblings who, I began to realize, probably shouldn't have been left alone in the first place, so pass the wine, would you?
It wasn't enough that this series of events was taking place in my home and that all sorts of fighting had ensued, probably placing all five children at risk. My husband put his phone away and proceeded to tell everyone at the table about the problems on the homefront. If a panel of judges had been seated nearby, I'm certain that would have cost us on the scoreboard. Burping out loud couldn't have damaged us any more.
Like what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas--what happens at home, stays at home. Maybe we should have done the same.
Back to the fake wine. When we came home, the bottle of fake wine was on a different kitchen counter, with a corkscrew lying beside it. Several tiny holes dotted the foil label. SOMEone had gotten desperate and had to have a fix. He didn't get too far because the cap was metal (not cork), but the really cool thing is that he exercised no effort in covering his tracks. For a non-alcoholic, he's fairly bold. Or not very bright.
Should we be concerned? Should we hide the corkscrew? What does any of this mean? It's hard to tell. After all, it had been a rough night, what with the roaches and dirty diaper. Can't blame him. I think I would have been hitting the hard stuff, too.