The homemade three-day weekend

We had a visitor to la casa de Puddin this morning. You know how it works; you need to have someone look at something and want it scheduled for the soonest available convenient time. Unfortunately, no time is really convenient, so you agree to a 10:30 AM Monday appointment. Afterward, you cook up some rationalization that it’s okay that your entire day will be thrown into the pandemonium of irregularity*, and tell yourself you’ll work from home until The Guy has come and gone. Hopefully you’ll make it to the office after lunch, and if you’re really lucky, the morning’s spot fires won’t have managed to yet culminate in the Towering Inferno of office problems.

We were fortunate that today’s visit was from A Professional rather than one of those evil utility “service” companies required by modern life. In other words, our appointment was actually an appointment and not a four hour-ish window that would have to elapse before anyone arrived. Even better, in a refreshing change to the natural order of things, The Guy was right on time. And no, I’m not going to bore you with the details. If you’re really dying for some kind of explanation, feel free to tell yourself that it was a sculptor doing preliminary work on a solid gold bust of me, the first in a series entitled Puddin, in Precious Metals.

Anyway, the Puddinette, wise as she is, pointed out to me late last night that the kids were going to home from school today. She suggested that I should just take the whole day off and we’d have some low-key family fun. Eventually I conceded that I could find no fault in the idea and shot off an email to that effect. Just like that, we had manufactured my very own three-day weekend.

My co-workers, of course, sent the obligatory messages** filled with envious hate this morning. I can’t blame them; no one likes dealing with a Monday while a colleague sits at home. Especially when that colleague is me, as I have the power to ward off the dreaded Mondays.

But enough about them; what did we do with the impromptu family time? Nothing exciting, and it was fabulous. We had lunch at a Mexican restaurant with exceptional salsa, and made a few stops here and there to handle errands. At our last stop of the afternoon, we took the kids to a dedicated candy store and let them pick out something special individually. They were obviously thrilled. Never has $5 bought so much happiness.

For the record, mad props to the Supreme Nut and Candy Company. I have absolutely no idea how they maintain a working business. Nowadays you can walk into any store anywhere and buy a 99 cent bag of candy in the flavor or style of your choosing, yet somehow, these people still manage to keep the doors open. Sure, when we arrived at the place, there was a sign on the door that said simply “Back in 15 minutes” (offer no indication of when that 15 minutes began), but I kind of liked that. It felt like a throwback to the days when Lou, the only barber on Main, would run down to the lunch counter for a sandwich and everyone knew he’d be back after he finished reading the baseball box scores.

We only had to wait about 5 minutes for the clerk’s return, and then the kids picked out a little something to put in a bag of their very own. The Puddinette bought me a tiny portion of peanuts covered in dark chocolate, which made me positively gleeful. I’ve already decided to hoard them, and they’re now safely resting in my personal/secret candy dish, which is the worst kept secret in the house, but that’s okay. It’s a tradition I learned from my own dad, a man who only rarely didn’t have a stash of butterscotch candies or M & M’s in his top drawer. It wasn’t often that you’d find him eating any of them, but they were always there.

I spent the rest of the afternoon playing Wii with my kids and making a delightfully simple and downright delicious chicken noodle soup.

So what was initially going to be a Messed-up Monday, turned instead into the relaxing capstone on a grand three-day weekend.

It was, without question, one of the best days of vacation I’ve ever spent.

And that, even more than the chicken soup, is good for the soul.


*I can’t wait until people looking for fiber substitutes end up here because of that phrase.

**Not really. They’re nice people, mostly.