So, I’ve been having a pretty good last couple of days. Before you check the address bar, yes, this is still my blog, you haven’t gone elsewhere. I have good days too. And I figured I’d talk about them. In fact, if you’ll indulge me, I’d like to go over my last two days in my normal, overly dramatic, prose like fashion I’ve forged from reading too many narrative heavy fiction paperbacks.
That day started off like any other Wednesday. I get to work, sit at my computer and punch numbers for a few hours before heading home and remind myself I’m still alive. It goes well. Too well. It’s nice. The management at work has come to realize that there’s a lot of frustration so, instead of doing something like addressing the problem and seeing what can be changed, they’ve instead, let three chosen individuals (who, despite their claims of it being random) who are good friends get to throw pies at management. And because of this, the heat is off me today and I can work in relative peace.
I get my shift over with and head home to my wife and kid. I walk in the door. My dog, Kai, is the first on the scene as always. He scampers up, shows his excitement through interpretive dance and allows me to pet him in payment. Then, my son looks to see where the noise is coming from, scans the room and finds me. His eyes light up and a widened smile spreads across his face so big it almost seems unreal. I’m home. I’m alive. I had forgotten.
My wife informs me that she needs a hair cut. Unfortunately, we’re in an area of Ohio that seems to be made of sports bars, Wal-marts and disease so the nearest place to get a real hair cut is Crazy Mullets out in Coventry. (Shot out to Crazy Mullets, why not, I’m in a giving mood) But it’s a 45 minute drive for a hair cut that will probably take an hour or so. You know what? Fuck it. We drive.
Our son, in the back, nods off pretty quick so the drive is easy. We make our way there and find a parking spot on the third floor of a parking garage, only to find out that once we got our kid in the stroller that the elevator’s broken. So we take a nice job down three floors of ramps through a creepy darkened parking garage to get ourselves street level.
When we do so, we drop the wife off at Crazy Mullets and it’s me and my son. Time to party.
Heading out to the street there’s a man. He’s sitting on a bench with an alligator in a dress and what I think is a bear made of pelts. After reminding myself I don’t do drugs I realize that the man is a self made puppeteer because, of course, I’m in Coventry. Ohio’s Little Oregon. After trying to explain to him that my son is, one, a newborn, and two, asleep and will not be able to enjoy whatever those puppets do, we make our way on a walk. There’s an hour or so wait, and we’re going to make the most of it.
We head right from Crazy Mullets (who I’m calling CM from here on out, they got their plug time, they can deal) and headed down the road. I wanted to get coffee only to find out that the amazing coffee place I always got coffee from had been shut down, which was a total shock since last time I was there, Chris Evans was drinking there during his time filming in the Avengers movie. I keep walking down the road, coffeeless. Then I make it to Coventry’s once amazing courtyard. I pull my son up to this sitting area and I talk to him and tell him a story.
I tell him about how over a decade ago, I had met his mother here. It wasn’t the first time I had seen her, but it was the first time I really met her. About how I feel in love with her. All these things. Of course, this was cut off when four men got into a brawl 15 feet away. Which was surprising, given how they all shared a mutual love of the n-word and could have probably bonded over it’s overuse together. So I cut the story short and continued onward.
Turning back, I made my way to CM to check on the wife, who’s head was now a light blonde sculpture, much like the kids from an old Dannon’s Sprinklins commercial (Google it). I explain to her that the coffee shop was closed and the girl cutting my wife’s hair explains that the moved to a much smaller location up the street. In need of caffeine, I head out again, past the creepy puppets going left out of the store and make my way to the coffee shop.
I make my way in, giving my son a grand entrance by saying, “after you, sir” and pushing him through the doors. Little did I realize what sort of effect that entrance would have had on the people around. The shop was packed and filled with 90% women and, as this was Coventry, the majority of them were either hipsters or Japanese college girls. I know.
But that entrance with the baby lit a fire. They were buying us stuff left and right. Well, I say “us” because they don’t understand that a newborn can’t really eat anything beyond breast milk and proceeded to get him cookies which I just put in a bag, stating that I will “give them to him later”. I’m not entirely lying. I’m sure I’ll give him cookies in the future.
I got my coffee, the caffeine was so strong I could feel it coarse through my veins like fire along a trail of gasoline. I needed it and downed my mocha in about two minutes. Luckily, a nearly seven foot tall woman with a pixie cut told me that she’d by me another if she could pick up my kid. Luckily, my son was smitten with her, so I allowed it. He was happy, I was happy, she was happy. Win-win-win.
Eventually, I left, the 23 year old version of me from a decade ago stomping around the back of my head in a jealous rage and went to go check on my wife, sharing my newly acquired mocha with her before getting a time check (half-an-hour) and heading back out into the world. This time, we went right again. The guy with the puppets had gone wherever men with puppets go (jail?) and I decided I’d take him to the playground in hopes that they had an infant swing. You know, those giant medical looking gurneys you strap a baby onto so they can be pushed without falling off.
Heading to the Coventry playground with a stroller is not unlike travelling through Skyrim. From the top of the hill, you can see the playground is just a short gaunt. But the path to get there is this serpentine nightmare filled with sharp drops, running children, and, I swear a homeless man sent me on a fetch quest. Hitting the bottom of the hill, and leveling up, I found that there were no infant swings. But there WERE two normal swings on the other side of a Chinese dragon made out of tires. You heard me.
Making my way past that dragon, I get to the swings. There’s a young hipster mother on one swing pushing her child. And a hipster friend to the mommy on the other swing. “Poo”, I thought to myself. I was going to, at least, take my son out of the swing and hold him in my lap while I swung.
But then I remembered what I learned in the coffee shop. I have a baby now. I have +60 charisma against women!
So I walked up and gave a very coy glance and said, “Uh…hi. Um…I hate to do this, but…god, I can’t believe I’m saying this at my age…do you think I could…um…bum that swing? I want to take my son on it.”
High tide. She immediately hopped off as if flung with a giant smile on her face. Leaving a rainbow trail in her wake as landed mid “awww”. I sat on the swing and started swinging. My son loved it. He was giggling audibly much to the delight of both me and the hipsters. The hipster mom told her little girl quietly in a very loud whisper, “look at the handsome baby, he must get that from daddy.”
Then, when I noticed Damian was losing interest in swinging, I got up and got him back in his stroller. Then, being the gentleman I am, I held the swing so the girl that was there could sit back down. She jokingly asked for a push to which I raised an eyebrow and said, “ask your mother, young lady” and continued on my way.
We made it back to CM where my wife had finished getting her hair did. Much like her, the haircut was very cute. Not exactly what she wanted but…that’s haircuts. We made our way back to the parking garage, up all those hills…to our car where my wife feed my kid and we were then on our way. My son cooed for a while in the backseat before dozing off for the trip home. It was so nice. Super perfect day with me and the kid. Plus, I’m happy my wife got to have her hair cut. It’s amazing the stuff you don’t realize is near impossible when you have a kid.
Now, expect part two in the very near future.