If you are reading this, backyard being ignored

We are entertaining this weekend.

And, because I’m writing this on Friday, I should clarify that when I say this weekend, I mean Saturday after the Maple Leaf Parade.

We have been entertaining people at our house after the Maple Leaf Parade for many, many years now. And by “entertaining people,” I mean providing them food and stuff to drink.

To me that’s the only responsibility of the hosts of a party. Once you provide your guests food and stuff to drink, I think it is incumbent upon them to entertain themselves.

One of the ways I can tell that people will be coming to our house is that my wife will come home with a car full of groceries, spread them all over our kitchen and start cooking.

My wife cooks main dishes; side dishes; side, side dishes; side, side, side dishes; desserts; side desserts; snacks; and side snacks. She also prepares special drinks, some of them containing alcohol and some of them not containing alcohol. Then, shortly before the people arrive at our house to be entertained, my wife puts all the food and all the drinks on fancy plates and platters and in pitchers that I didn’t even know we owned and arranges the entire spread into a festive and color-coordinated display of Maple Leaf cheer.

That basically is my wife’s contribution to our having people over to our house.

My contribution to having people over to our house is a bit more complicated and certainly more important.

I buy the beer. And the ice.

Look, if you’re at a party and someone says, “Oh no, we’re out of soup,” you’ll probably just shrug your shoulders and eat something else.

But if you’re at a party and someone says, ‘Oh no, we’re out of beer. And ice,’ you’ll probably say, “Gee, would you look at the time. I need to get going.”

As always, my wife plans to entertain the people who come to our house after the Maple Leaf Parade on our outdoor patio. And, because our outdoor patio is — follow me here — outdoors, I am in charge of cleaning it before the people come to our house to be entertained.

The reason I have to clean the patio is because I am a male person and — at least at our house — male people are in charge of all things outdoors-related. I am in charge of taking out the trash, I am in charge of cleaning our patio, our deck, our shed and our outdoor cooking areas. I used to be in charge of mowing our yard and getting rid of the leaves that fall from the trees in our yard. The only reason I’m no longer in charge of the mowing and the leaf raking is because several years ago I decided to hire people to do that, which of course leaves me more time to clean.

The only thing backyard-related I’m not in charge of is the planting of the flowers into the flower pots. My wife is in charge of the flowers until they all die because she forgets to water them. At that point, I become in charge of the getting rid of the pots containing the dead flowers.

The good thing about cleaning our outdoor patio for our Maple Leaf party is that when I’m done I can officially begin to ignore our backyard.

By law, male people can start ignoring their backyard after the last official gathering of the fall. I normally begin ignoring my backyard the day after the Maple Leaf Parade and don’t pay attention to it again until sometime in April.

So sometime Sunday, after I have put away the stuff in our backyard that needs to be put away, I will come back inside, watch football and begin ignoring our backyard.

By then we’ll probably be out of the soup my wife made, but we should have plenty of beer.

And ice.