In Part I of this episode, my girlfriend decided to invite her ex, her ex’s new girlfriend, and all their children to my cottage for the weekend. On the day before they were to arrive, my dimwitted contractor failed to show up, and an epic construction-stress-related battle ensued. My girlfriend stormed out, vowing never to return.
The next morning, I woke with a grinding wine hangover. I reached over to my girlfriend’s side of the bed, but the familiar lumpy thing that had been there for the past several months was absent. Then, I realized that she really had left.
It was the morning that her ex and her ex’s girlfriend were due to arrive. I had no idea whether she had phoned them to cancel, so when I heard a loud knock at the door, I panicked.
Would I still be obligated to entertain my now ex-girlfriend’s ex? What is the etiquette in this situation?
But it wasn’t the ladies. Instead, there at my front door at 6 AM was my crack(head) construction crew, which consists of a father/son team, each lazier and no-good than the other.
“What the hell are you doing here?” I asked.
These guys rarely showed up before Noon, and they never, ever knock.
They had a slew of house keys made, and planted them around my house like Easter eggs. I’d hunt for the keys, and toss them out, but they were much too cagey for me.
Every night for weeks, I’d come home from work to find 16-year-old Junior sitting on my couch, an energy drink in one hand and the TV remote in the other, waiting for me to make his dinner.
“You said you needed the house done today,” Senior chirped, dropping his tools, and planting himself on a club chair.
“Yesterday. I needed it done yesterday!” I said, using every cell in my being to resist the urge to add “you idiot” to the end of that sentence.
I still needed him to finish the house, after all. And, as I’m sheepish to admit, I’d grown rather fond of them over the past two years.
They are slow, lazy, and temperamental. They use me like their personal ATM every time they get themselves into trouble, which is a lot (they are very handsome, and complete morons when it comes to women). But something puppyish about them makes it impossible for me to stay angry with them.
As I made them breakfast, I reported on the events of the past 24 hours, and how they largely were responsible for the breakup with my girlfriend.
Senior, who never liked my girlfriend, because she was stern with them, and would bark at me each time I offered them a snack, listened sympathetically.
“These damned women, huh?” he said.
Over the past couple years, as they inched their way to completion of the cottage renovation, I regularly had listened to his lady problems, which were historic in scale. He was married, but that didn’t stop him from courting several hot, albeit trashy, divorcees, all of whose first names ended in double vowels.
“I was going to break up with Tracee last night, but then, she sent me this,” he said, pulling out his phone, and showing me a naked picture of her. “Nice ass, huh?”
Just as I began to choke up at the thought of my right-wing, small-town handyman comforting the only lesbian in his life with nudie pictures of his girlfriend, a car pulled into the driveway.
Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion. In Part III, my girlfriend returns, her ex and the ex’s new girlfriend arrive, and I work heroically to keep the conversation alive.