Party Animals


Once again, I was the odd man out. I should have seen it coming. I was the only one at dinner last night that wanted a full piece of my birthday cake following our meal. By coincidence, the General, my daughter and her husband are all three strict constructionist when it comes to refraining from taking liberties with their diet. They’d be the first to say, “No thanks” to anything that could contribute to a bulging waist line. Even knowing they were collectively on a physical fitness extravaganza, when the General asked what I wanted for dinner, I selfishly suggested grilled hamburgers. I even offered to grill them. After all, if you want it done right, get a…don’t ask a novice to use the grill. To my knowledge the General has never used the outside grill. Consequently, I grilled the burgers.


My son-in-law subsequently accepted an obligatory sliver of the German Chocolate cake just because he was sensitive enough to know that cake is a delicacy to be shared. The General and my daughter both declined. Of course, like I said: “I should have seen that coming”. It isn’t that they aren’t party animals. Well, collectively that might not be true. I’m not sure I’ve ever described the General as a party animal. Pleasant? – “Yes”. Hospitable? – “Yes”. Willing to go off her weightwatcher point system in determining what she can eat? – “No” – Actually “Not No, but Absolutely Not!” That, too, was predictable.


My daughter and son-in-law would be the last people I’d classify as something other than party people. I suspect they both know how to party. In fact they are hosting a crawfish boil at their home this weekend and inviting scores of friends. However, I’m not sure a cake fest is a venue they’d consider, but what did they have to lose? The General made the cake. Actually, she made the cake from my mother’s recipe and it was as good as my mothers. It doesn’t get any better than that. That didn’t matter, my daughter wasn’t going to compromise her nutritional plan by adding any sort of cake serving.


Okay, I’m sorry. I’m getting the data all mixed up in my head. When my daughter was in high school and college, I think the concept of saying “no” to a party invitation would have been a stretch for her. Maybe the same was true for my son-in-law as well. I’ve heard stories about his student days at Louisiana State University before he transferred to the University of Texas and became Texas Proud instead of Cajun Crazy. I suspect “Party Central” is the area code in which his dorm was located, but that was twenty plus years ago.


Guess what? This is another day and his modus operandi is a lot different now than it was back then. He now consistently comes across as mature, responsible, cautious and avoidant of any circumstances that could be questionable. He is also amazing kind and patient. Like I said, “He is avoidant of any circumstance that could be questionable”. Okay, perhaps there is one exception. I am reluctant to bring it up because it might end my potential for a road trip.


I know, now that I’ve gotten your attention, you want me to spill the beans. Okay, I’m easy. What do I have to lose? At the age of 70, I couldn’t possibly have more than 35 years left on this side of eternity. Kevin, my son-in-law, is a smart man. No doubt if he had thought it through, he might have opted to do it differently or at least imposed some safeguards. I’m taking a risk here. If he reads my blog, I could be toast or I could be really messing things up for myself. So here is the secret: “Kevin’s Porsche convertible is in our garage and I’ve got the key.” Did you hear what I said? “I’ve got the key”. Is that awesome or what? So it’s not just what you know or whom you know that ultimately matters. Having the key accounts for something and I’ve got the key.


My daughter, like Kevin is not the same person she was her freshman year at UT. She, too, grew up, matured, adapted a semi-gregarious personality like her father and blended it together with a “take-charge-persona” like her mother. I’d say she is at the top of her game. She was teaching consumer classes in assertiveness training when she was in the third grade. I am actually joking about that, but she has always had the propensity to express herself. She knows what she wants and she’s unwilling to accept a substitution. Did I mention Kevin may not always have an easy life?  You know what they say: “Misery loves company”.


So, here’s the deal regarding the cake. Andrea and Kevin had a personal trainer before they convinced Andrea’s retired mother (aka – The General) that she, too, could benefit for primal scream therapy (Oops, I mean a calculated physical fitness program). I don’t know how any of them do it? Can you imagine and hour or two at the gym five times a week and yogi on Saturday. Frankly, I don’t have the time. Of course, the General only works out three times a week. She has a balanced life with other extracurricular activities. Either that or she doesn’t have the money to make it a part of her everyday workweek experience. If you ask me, three times a week is a lot.


Of course, the General doesn’t work outside the home. She gets a little sensitive if I suggest that she doesn’t do much. I tried that a couple of times or two, but even I eventually figured out that wasn’t in my best interest. Knocked upside the head isn’t a feel good for me.  In addition, I know for a fact that she invested a couple of hours lovingly making my birthday cake, so I’m not making any reference to activities I’d consider non-essential. Besides that, she too has a list of non-essentials that she credits to me. I guess you could say, “It is a stand-off”.  If she got her way, I wouldn’t be investing time writing this blog. Some folks would describe that as unfortunate. They like reading nonsense with their morning coffee.


Don’t hear me wrong. I’m not faulting exercise or the exercise program in which my wife, daughter and son-in-law are participating. In fact, if you want to be in the “Whose Who” in Dripping Springs, you should align with them. The place is packed with the movers and shakers. As for me, I try to steer clear of that group. For one thing, they all look like a million dollars and consequently, I don’t fit in.  That’s not to say they aren’t friendly. They are very friendly. I know I am a prime candidate for some kind of intervention. All they’d have to do is borrow one of those cameras the dentist uses to show you how ugly your teeth are and provide me the big picture of my out-of-shape shape and I’d be a sucker for a sale. I’d have to give up my day-job to have the time to participate.


Actually, all kidding aside: The General, my daughter and my son-in-law all look great. In addition, the gains (I mean losses) the General has experienced make her look like she could be my much younger sister if I had one. No wonder the General was bemoaning the fact that her husband is 70 years old. (I purposefully left out: “and looks it”). Maybe I need to reconsider the exercise program?


All My Best!



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