Did you say Ray is coming over?

It’s Superbowl Sunday. I have been after my husband to have some guys over. He’s 42 and the bar thing is a little played out. Well, the guys he goes out with are single so they party a bit differently. They aren’t used to the constant interruptions of a stressed out wife calling every hour screaming, “when the Hell are you coming home!” If the kids are sick it gets worse. “You know we could really use your help, you got a sick kid here.” And then the final one. “Just forget it-get drunk with your stupid friends.” Yes, wouldn’t it be nice to have these insults slung at you in your home rather than a bar?

So he called a few guys. I know two wouldn’t show up. These are the “bar” guys. Some other guy from work was also invited. He never showed up. But he did text saying there was a family situation. Ahh, he must be married to a screaming wife too. But faithful as always is Ray. Ray is my husband’s former college roommate who lives nearby. He and his wife Jackie don’t have kids, but they are so nice to ours. The whole morning I kept telling the boys, “This is Daddy’s party, keep your toys upstairs or in the basement.”

Charles had bought enough food for a bachelor party for a dozen guys. The boys were so excited to see bowls of chips, dip, pretzels-even pie! And they couldn’t wait to see Ray. Ding-dong. It’s Ray. Had the boys not been on their 15th time-out of the day they would have been right at the front door. Alas, timeout is over and they coming flying down. They circle Ray like buzzards (but cute ones). They have so much to say to him. “Ray, do you want to see my new Star Wars toy?” “Ray, look I gotta remote controlled motorcycle.” Instead of rolling his eyes or walking away,he says, “Cool, hey that looks like your Dad’s old motorcycle.” Onward with the chatter. “Do you wanna see what this does?” “Are you gonna watch the game?”

At one point my oldest came running to me and showed me Ray’s phone. Before I could ask if Ray said it was okay that he had the phone, he exclaimed, “Look what his phone can do. It farts!” Oh, just what Mommy wants. Thanks Ray, because we don’t have enough actual farting in our home, we need the simulated type.

Eventually I got them upstairs for a bath. I was hoping Ray didn’t hear them saying, “Mom,he’s looking at my butt” to each other. Then to our room to watch Tarzan. It took them about a half hour to get over the fact that we needed to give Daddy some time with his friend.

It really didn’t matter that more guys didn’t show up. For hours you could hear the two of them cheering and booing the team’s plays. And there was laughter. Lots of laughter. I’m not even sure what they’re were laughing at, but it must have been very funny.

My younger son was running a fever so I laid down with him. Just as we were both almost asleep we heard this cheer from downstairs. My son turned to me and said, “It’s okay, Mom. It’s just Ray.”

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