Ba(t)chin’ It

Are we having fun yet?

I am now officially baching it  (or batching it…just to keep the pronunciation , if not the spelling, correct).

I began the lonely odyssey this morning exactly the same way bachelors have been beginning it since the first woman walked away , for whatever reason,  from the threshold of the cave…I established my territory. This is done by cavalierly hanging underwear on a doorknob. I know it doesn’t seem like much but it is a time-honoured trail marker that speaks of bachelor-worthy slovenliness. It’s a tip of the hat..or a dangle of the skivvy…to tradition. The position of the toilet seat, overnight, has also become magically moot.

When I was a kid and my mother would plan some time away from home, my Dad would make the impending state of temporary bachelorhood seem very exciting. ‘We’re gonna be batchin’ it, Crockett‘, he would say with a manly gleam in the eye. (They called me Crockett after Davy Crockett..and , yes, I wore the coonskin cap proudly.)

Just two days left till we’re batchin’ it.’ And I’d smile back and giggle with him,  ‘I know Dad. I know’.  Boy, I could barely stand the anticipation! What did batchin’ it truly mean?  Were we going to shoot squirrels in the backyard and drink milk right from the carton?  The unspoken expectation was that you would get to do everything you always wanted to do if there wasn’t a woman present. That was a promise of heady freedom for a ten year old who was programmed to automatically wipe both feet before he set foot in the house.

And then the moment would come. My mother would kiss us goodbye, step out the door and take every trace of estrogen with her. And a very strange disconnect would descend upon the home. There was no singing or tribal dancing or lighting bonfires in the living room . It was then that I realized that batchin’ it would be no picnic. At best it might be a couple of tv dinners on a tray, if truth be told. Laundry lingered, appointments were missed, homework was neglected and there was no nurturing feminine nudge to keep you true to your school. Whenever I had a childhood nightmare I would leap out of bed, race to my parent’s room and kick my Dad to the couch so my mother could keep me safe. And now there was just my father….a hairy , snoring, dead-to-the-world paternal life form in the sanctuary. What if the monsters who lived in my closet found out that my Mom was away for a week? How could she do this to me?

Life could come right off the tracks while you were batchin’ it!

Women know when to return to a home full of men who have been left to their own devices a tad too long. They come back through that door to be greeted by long, lean, slightly desperate looks of irrepressible and renewed appreciation.

They know exactly what they’re doing.

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2 Responses to “Ba(t)chin’ It”

  1. great writing, great insight

  2. I, too, am ba(t)ching it and have been on my own for more than a month now. I am reveling in the freedom to watch whatever I want on TV. I have not turned on the oven or any of the burners on the cooktop. I have not run the dishwasher. I have abandoned the chore of putting out the cans on garbage day as there is no garbage. The reyclcing, on the other hand, is filled to capacity (Starbucks cups and plastic takeout containers). I go to sleep when I want (as long as it’s okay with the dog) and I get up when I want (again, the dog has a little to say here). I don’t care at all that the tiled floors in my house look like they’ve been recently carpeted – I will vacuum up the dog hair when my husband gets home.

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