The unhandiest of handymen, a 40 year old decrepit house, a maternity ward, 3 inept movers, and a missing set of snow tires. What do all these things have in common? One glorious time in my life.
It was the fall of 2013, when I realized that there was a reasonably good probability that I was going to find myself in what you may call “a dilly of a pickle” on December 18, 2013.
I knew this because precisely 9 months earlier I had done the dirty with my wife, Jerilyn. Then 2 weeks after that, my wife had excitedly told me she was pregnant with our second child. Then 6 months after that, with my Jerilyn’s pregnancy well underway, our doctor had told us that the expected due date for our second child was going to be none other than December 18, 2013.
But that is only half the story, you see, as our family was experiencing the uninhibited joy and excitement of welcoming a new member, there was a concurrent and similarly exciting stream of events taking place. For this reason, December 18, 2013 was shaping up to be a somewhat busier day than usual. 10 months prior to December 18, 2013 I had mentioned to Jerilyn for the 7,456th time that we ought to consider moving away from our decrepit 50-year old money pit of a house that had nearly bankrupted us on one too many occasions. Much to my amazement, one month after that 7,456th attempt she agreed. Then 2 months after that, Jerilyn and I signed paperwork to build, what would end up being our new home. 3 months after that, as construction was well underway, our home builder had proudly slid a piece of paper across his desk towards us that confirmed the expected move-in date for our new home was going to be, you guessed it, December 18, 2013.
For this reason, I had a pretty good feeling that on December 18, 2013, there was a decent probability that Jerilyn would not be the only member of our family potentially admitted to a medical facility that day.
Upon getting this second piece of incredibly exciting news from our homebuilder, I began to envision exactly how this was all going to play out. Firstly, we had a 50-year old money pit of a house which required a number of last minute renovations and touch-ups in order to prep it for sale. Such last minute touch ups and renovations were of course in addition to the countless thousands of dollars of both our own and our bank’s that had been dumped into prior renovations on this little beauty of a house – what eventually came to be referred to as a “character” house on the real estate listing for the property. Nevertheless, all these little touch up jobs were to be completed with a very pregnant-pregnant wife and me – a perfectly inept and unhandy husband. In the highly unlikely event that the renovations, touch-ups, and sale all went according to plan, we would still have a house to pack up and clean in preparation for moving day. This of course would be completed with an even more pregnant-pregnant wife overseeing the affairs. In the even more highly unlikely event that the packing and cleaning all went according to plan, I would have to complete the move with what would amount to essentially a perfectly pregnant-pregnant wife. Likely a pregnant wife on her back with her legs up in the air screaming obscenities for the entire world to blush at. Then of course there would be Christmas to prepare for and lastly but not least we would have the 3rd birthday of our first child also occurring in mid-December with high expectations from said 3 year old that such celebrations be sufficiently appropriate for such an important and momentous occasion.
I believe it was at this point of realization that I began to casually reach for my liquor cabinet, a pint glass, and asked that all mental medical professionals in the city be put on high alert.
Come on Mark, snap out of it I thought to myself as my highly coveted and attractively priced 2-year old Scotch burned down my throat. I had to take a step back here and think rationally and logically. Liquor always helps in that regard I find. Surely I was not the only guy to go through something like this? Surely other self-respecting men had managed to impregnate their wives, while contractually agreeing to build one house, sell another, all the while ensuring that the timing of such events would not arrange itself in such a way such that all hell would not break loose on the exact same day? Surely? But wait, what really were the chances that both the house and baby would arrive perfectly on their forecasted due dates?? Yes, that was my solace here. Forecasts are always wrong, otherwise they would not be called forecasts. Construction projects are always delayed and babies never actually come on their due date, do they? Never in my life has anything ever been on time. Hell, more often than not, I’m constipated. The more I thought about it, the more I took comfort in the very low mathematical odds (based on my own incomplete and ill constructed mathematical process) that everything would actually come together on the exact same day.
If your appetite has been whet, Carry on reading, Part 2 “Start your Engines” here: