Preparing for Dad’s Weekend — with mom in tow

We’re supposed to leave soon, and this time, I control exactly when that happens.

While I’m writing this column, my wife is upstairs getting ready. We can’t leave until I finish this column, which is why I’m sort of in control here. I seldom control what time we leave for anywhere.

Sure, I can make suggestions. Say our destination is two and a half hours away, and we need to be there at 3 p.m. I can suggest that in order to be on time, we leave at 1:15 p.m. But with my wife, a departure suggestion is just that: a suggestion.

What usually happens is I will be standing by the door at 1 p.m. waiting for my wife, who has insisted that she will be ready in “just a minute,” and then 45 minutes later, finally come downstairs and says, “Are you ready?” And I will want to say, “AM I READY? AM I READY? I’VE BEEN READY FOR 45 MINUTES. WHERE IN THE (BAD WORD) HAVE YOU BEEN?”

But I don’t say that because if I do, my wife will say, “Gee, why are you always so grouchy?” So instead I say, “Yes, yes, I am ready,” and then my wife will say, “Wait, I forgot …” wepp it doesn’t matter what my wife forgot;what matters is that she always forgets something and has to spend another 15 minutes looking for whatever it is she forgot while I continue standing by the door.


But this time, I’m in control. This time, we can’t leave until I get this column done. While I’m writing this column, my wife will have plenty of time to get ready. So when I’m finished, all I have to do is pack a bag and then, just like that, we’re off.

My wife and I are heading to see our 20-year-old daughter, Emma, at her college for something called Dad’s Weekend.

Normally, I go to Dad’s Weekend by myself, but this year, Emma said that several of the moms have decided to join their husbands for Dad’s Weekend.

I’m guessing that’s because Dad’s Weekend tends to be awkward. See, dads are male people, and male people sometimes aren’t the chattiest people in the world. In the previous two Dad’s Weekends, here are a few samples of the conversations I’ve had with the other dads:

Conversation No. 1: Hey.

Conversation No. B: S’up?

Conversation No. III: Hey.

So I’m guessing that Emma and some of her friends decided to invite the moms to Dad’s Weekend to sort of spur along the conversation.

Actually, I’m fine with having the moms join the dads for Dad’s Weekend. With my wife along, I don’t have to worry about talking and can instead concentrate on drinking beer.

My wife is a very capable woman, and she can do many things very well. But one of the things she does very, very well is talk to people — not just people she knows, but also complete strangers. The two of us can climb into a cab in Chicago, and 15 minutes later, my wife will know how long the driver has been driving a cab, where he’s from, how long he has been married and the names and ages of all of his children.

So this weekend, the moms will handle the talking, and the dads will handle the beer-drinking and the not-talking and everyone will be happy.

Because my wife is excited to spend time with Emma, she wants to leave right after I finish this column. So in a few minutes, I’ll go upstairs and pack a bag while my wife stands by the door waiting for me. Then, about 45 minutes later, I’ll finally come back downstairs.

“Are you ready?” I’ll ask.

Gee, I wonder what my wife will say.