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Friday, Feb. 17, 2006
Have mercy, February is one awfully expensive month.

It isn’t like something I hadn’t already noticed, but does everybody in the world have a birthday in February or what? I’m sure glad that Ally’s parents chose to have a little New Years Eve procreative fun. Otherwise I’d be stone broke trying to fund all this hilarity.

Last night was Maggie the Middlest’s turn. A proud 20-something, she now is.

Boyfriend Bob and I met for a strategy session at the Hole yesterday afternoon to decide on birthday plans. I’d called and told him that we needed to “Figger out what to do about Maggie’s birthday” sometime yesterday morning. After two hours of non-related discussion, the following conclusions were reached:

Outfoxed: “Heh. Let’s take her out to the trendy place, Cuban food.”

B-F Bob: “Right.”

It being the same Cuban place that I had a hand in building back in the fall, a stylish joint with terrific food and waitresses right out of a fashion magazine. I had the seared scallops and the red snapper (I happen to pronounce it “Shnappah” but that’s neither here nor there) and thought I’d been transported to heaven. I ate the stuff on the plate that’s supposed to be there just for show, it was that good.

Made paying a tab that could cover the cost of rebuilding a New Orleans parish seem easier, I guess. But it’s my fervent hope that this is one of the last times this month it will happen. The only thing I’m getting more of, in the month of February, is pounds around the waistline.

And we all know that’s the last thing I need.

In all likelihood we would have made a decision and/or closed on a different house by this time. Come the last of April our lease will have run out on this Dwarfish Rental. Damn, where does the time go.

I say likelihood because the decision has not been reached.

Ally’s Mom was diagnosed with cancer last summer and has been going thru the chemo thing ever since her initial operation. As a lot of you know firsthand, the chemo process can be good or bad and in the MIL’s case, it has not looked good lately.

Even though we live just blocks from her, we haven’t had much daily involvement or nursing calls since Ally’s sister lives there and is quite competent at the assistance game. But the sister is moving next month, far away from Swampville, and there’s going to be a gap that needs to be plugged.

Ally said, “We don’t need for this to stop our house hunting, you know.”

I said, “Um.”

Because it just should. Ally’s Mom is a tough bird, true enough. One of the reasons she and I get along well is because she has seldom asked for help of any kind, likes her privacy and respects ours as well. In my mind that earns her a lot of sacrifice on our part, and I can see it coming pretty quick down the road right now.

One thing that the owners of this rental made clear was their willingness to go month to month after the lease is up (for the rent we’re paying, they ought to by god). So there’s no screaming rush to move. Yanking stakes and bugging out to Carolina would do wonders for our expenses but there’s a pretty sick woman who’s going to need looking after.

Dunno. Things might change. There’s stuff I’m trying to put together right now that will guarantee changes. More about that later, when the rambling Muzak of being on hold gets clicked off for good.

In the meantime, if you see a portly lad staggering out of a trendy restaurant and notice smoke billowing out of his wallet, stop and say hello.

That’ll be me, after another failed attempt to avoid the temptation of the Red Shnappah.

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