I love him. He left last night after a whirlwind two days of playing with his kids, making out with his wife (and trust me, if you had been bereft of your spouse for two months, many would be the makeout sessions), a non-surprise party, and a dinner with his swiftly-getting-sick-yet-still-determined-to-knock-back-a-martini-with-her-lobster-bisque wife.
I sent him back to Las Vegas with bronchitis.
Hey, I know how to treat my man right.
So here’s what happened, and in this post you shall get a glimpse of why I call him the Ogre.
First, the children and I parked at the absolute most BFE spot in all of the Love Field parking garage and then I got lost trying to get from the parking garage to the terminal.
Twenty-five minutes later we finally managed to navigate the concrete labyrinth and make our way into the baggage claim area. I really wanted to keep the Ogre’s arrival a secret from our children until the very second they saw him, but when they saw that we were in the airport they put two and two together. Throwing all notions of mental reservation aside, I flat-out lied to them.
I told them that Daddy was most emphatically not coming, but that he had sent a package on an airplane because it would get here faster that way and we had to come to the airport to pick it up. I let them guess what was in the package while I mentally added onto my “list of sins to confess”
Five minutes later, the Ogre walked down the stairs wearing the very same outfit he had worn to propose to me. (I know, right?) Charlotte caught sight of him first, but no sooner was “Daddy!” out of her mouth than Sienna trampled right over her and leapt into her father’s waiting arms.
Charlotte wasn’t far behind, and even Liam squealed and toddled his bowlegged-toddle toward his father.
And then I kissed him inappropriately, in front of the whole airport, and I didn’t care and neither did he.
After we got his bags and trekked for miles back to my ludicrously-chosen parking space we headed out to my aunt and uncle’s house.
Background info: in the day leading up to his arrival, I had done my best to throw together a last-minute surprise party for him on Sunday afternoon. I frantically called and texted in between running around like mad to prepare for the Ogre’s arrival. I made the phone calls, ordered the Sacher torte, haggled with the bakery about how “Congrat’s” is truly not an appropriate substitution for “Congratulations” and even if it was it wouldn’t contain an apostrophe and how no, for the love of all things holy, they may not shorten his name to the colloquial nickname for it or I will throw the cake at them, and asked various family member to pick up salami, olives, wine, and cheese.
Then I got on the phone with my brother-in-law, the Sommelier, and asked him to come get the Ogre at precisely noon, take him for a celebratory beer, and return him shortly after one, at which point the guests should be assembled and the libations and food should be set out.
He gave me some pointers about how to be casual (since everyone knows I’m horrible at throwing surprise parties) and I took them very seriously, and proceeded to implement them almost as soon as the Ogre had put the car in reverse.
First, I casually mentioned that I would like to go to nine a.m. Mass at the parish across the street from us. He agreed and then asked if we could go out to Irving to see his parents afterward.
This was an unforeseen curveball. How could I handle this without seeming like I didn’t want him to go see his own parents after many many moons away from them?
I did what I do best, blundered and blustered and mumbled something mostly incoherent about the Sommelier wanting to come see him and how we should wait until afterward.
The Ogre dropped the subject right away, which I should have immediately realized was a hint that I was being about as opaque as a freshly scrubbed window. Then I realized that I had forgotten to invite Charlotte’s godmother Sister Awesome and immediately began texting.
More background info: the Ogre hates text messaging almost as much as he hates Chuck E Cheese. More to the point, though, it infuriates him when I text while he’s driving. Even more to the point, I began texting mere minutes after seeing my husband for the first time in two months.
Not surprisingly, he got irritated. Unable to think quickly on my feet, or at all, I told him I was nearly finished. He gave me The Look. Feeling panicked and trapped and knowing that if I didn’t give Sister Awesome at least a little advance notice she wouldn’t be able to come and the Ogre would very much miss her (as would I), I said rather hysterically, “I have to finish this text! It’s extremely important!”
Then the Ogre was silent.
We had a delicious dinner with my aunt and uncle composed of steak and mushrooms and hash brown casserole and multiple bottles of wine, and we were happy.
Then the next morning, while I was getting ready for Mass, the Ogre ran to Starbucks for essential caffeine. While he was gone, I sat the two girls down and gave them a very serious lecture about how Mommy was planning a surprise party for Daddy and they absolutely must not, under pain of no dessert, say anything to Daddy about people coming over or wine and cheese or Mommy furiously scrubbing the bathroom every time Daddy’s back was turned.
The Ogre returned and we all sat down at the table for breakfast. Sienna immediately stage-whsipered, “Mommy, can I tell Daddy about his surprise?”
My mouth fell open as the Ogre said, “It’s okay, sweetie. I already know about the surprise. Mommy isn’t very good at this sort of thing.”
And then, when I protested that it was really his fault for asking inconvenient questions and being inexplicably enraged by text-messaging, he laughed and said, “Maybe next time you should plan better.”
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why my husband is the absolute Ogre.
*Oh yes. The bronchitis thing wasn’t intentional. He may not even have it, but since he spent all weekend snogging me and my doctor yesterday sent me away with vast quantities of antibiotics, steroids and cough syrup, he probably will get it.
**And then he’ll blame me.