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Vivienne Caveney

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Vivienne Caveney

Lost In Translation
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The Home Game
By Vivienne Caveney   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Posted: Tuesday, April 01, 2008

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A humorous peek at my Saturday morning, unless you're my husband, then, it's fiction!

Saturday morning and you hit the ground running. Breakfast is the first obstacle of the day as each member of the family vies for control of the kitchen. A list on the fridge door gives you a timely reminder of what is expected of you. There is always something you have to do before the game.

Today’s mission, should you choose to accept it, miraculously has to be completed on the day of the week that you have been looking forward to since Monday. A trip to the supermarket or the DIY store or, god forbid, shopping for new clothes.

The whole morning is spent chasing your tail, looking at your watch and wondering why you bother. The shopping could be done on the Internet and any DIY (Do It Yourself) project is best tackled on a Sunday. Everybody knows that.

You know the day is going to be a nightmare as soon as sit your backside in the car. The kids think the back seat is a wrestling ring and the adult riding shotgun changes the radio station as soon as the key is in the ignition. After a deep breath and with a forced smile on your face you back out the driveway trying to remember what it was like to be single.

A ten minute journey to the supermarket turns into a bad day at the British Grand Prix as the world and its mother are on the road and not one of them knows what the term “lane discipline” means. Traffic lights feel like the starting grid at Silverstone with people pulling out in front of each other with scant regard for safety, welfare or their no claims bonus.

After several near misses and a severe case of, in-car Tourette’s, you make it to the relative safety of the supermarket car park. Now it’s time to show off your driving skills and you slalom through the abandoned vehicles like Starsky and Hutch in high-speed pursuit. It turns out that getting there was the easy part as you slow to a crawl, scanning the car park for a vacant space looking for all the world like a kerb crawler touting for business.

Hawkeye in the passenger seat spots a space and you race round to grab it only to watch in amazement as a blue haired old biddy in a Micra, sneaks into the only remaining parent and child space.

A red mist descends as the sweet Miss Marple type climbs out of her car. You are faced with a dilemma, roll the window down and hurl abuse at the old bird or be the bigger person and just drive on?

Decision made and she walks away shaking her head pitching back some comment about having no respect for the elderly. A one word, teenage comeback drops like a stone in the now silent car as three people stare at the foul-mouthed stranger in the drivers seat.

Searching for some kind of excuse for your behaviour you notice a car pulling out of its space and take great satisfaction from the fact that you are now 18 feet closer to the store than the Micra driving granny.

Undeterred by the arduous journey, you are treated to a whirlwind tour of the supermarket every aisle looking alike at 100mph. How anyone could be expected to make a reasoned decision at that speed is beyond human comprehension. Then you realise one of the kids is missing!

You hit warp speed as you retrace your steps and try to remember what the hell they were wearing when you last saw them. Your stomach has learned some new twisted yoga position and you are listening to every customer announcement like it’s the lottery numbers. Suddenly you come across a pair of scuffed trainers you recognise sticking out from the middle of a pile of women’s clothes.

Hurling clothes aside like it’s an Olympic sport, the object of your search gazes up, smiling the gap-toothed grin that you can’t be mad at for more than a second. The relief on your face must show because his eyes are saying sorry before his mouth has a chance to catch up.

After thanking your god and whatever other deity protects lost children and checking the kid over for any signs of foul play you give your offspring some choice words, all of which you no doubt learned from your own folks. This inspires some unwelcome thoughts about the type of parent you did/didn’t want to become.

Putting those thoughts aside for later inspection you trail back though the shop with the stray cub in tow. Stupidly, you imagine your better half will be grateful, but after repeating the “all intact” check you get a scowl Simon Cowell would envy. This look is followed by a muttered, “You should have been looking after him.” Typical! The afternoon is looking more and more inviting every second.

After being herded through the check out like cattle at market, the kids are bored and the grown ups are harassed. Time for a spot of lunch! While you are trying to take on enough calories to get you though to dinner you sit and listen to your other half, trying to look interested or at least as if you are paying attention. Inside you are counting the minutes until kick-off. Freedom calls, a siren song stronger than your will to resist, but resist it you do. Surrender is not an option.

So you grin and bear the last hour before kick-off. You try to maintain some kind of calm exterior as you cram in some of that great American invention “quality time” with the family. The drive home is down right calm in comparison to the outward journey.

The kids are sated and quiet in the back and the radio has entertained the significant other enough to give you five minuets of quiet contemplation. Parking the car you smile, safe in the knowledge you have completed your assigned tasks.

With super-human skill and ingenuity you have managed to; cross hostile territory, defend the rights of man, avert an apocalypse and return your family home safe and sound.

It is therefore with gratitude and humility you watch your children go off to their friend’s houses and happily wave your husband away at the door as he leaves for the big match secure in the knowledge that you are the happiest football widow in the country.

Reader Reviews for "The Home Game"

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Reviewed by Glenda Bixler 8/20/2008
Well, you have in one short article explained why I remained single! This is cute, but I detect an underlying tension which is very real... You know what I recommend...put that message that is near your A/D pic on the front of your refrigerator...and teach it to all of your family members! I enjoyed this, but also sympathized with "mother."
Reviewed by Cryssa C 4/9/2008
I long ago learned that one should NEVER shop anywhere on a Saturday! Truthfully, nowadays I heartily try to avoid any shopping with my children in tow! :~)
Loved the write...imaginative and funny...yet sadly it felt somewhat like my life. :~)
Reviewed by Susan Phillips 4/1/2008
This is really brilliant! I laughed all the way through, except when I was gramacing in empathy.
Sue Phillips
Reviewed by Charlie 4/1/2008
What a hoot! Love it, Vivienne. I think writing this in second person allowed the readers to experience the ride with you. So I wave merrily out the window at my 5-yr old, "Hey, Matty"... and enjoy my widowed freedom for an hour or two at AD.
Great write. --Charlie

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