Thursday, August 16, 2007

Adventures in Unemployment

Day 38...

New Jersey Transit Train to Hamiliton, NJ
...Meredith, my oldest sister, knowing I have nothing to do and nowhere to be, invited me down to her house in Hamilton, NJ to spend time with her and my 7 month old nephew, Max. She said my company would be appreciated as her husband (my much loved brother-in-law Jeff) is out of town on business. Having a desire to be the fiercest Uncle this side of the Mississippi I gladly accepted her invite.
I hopped the 12PM express train to Trenton, NJ out of Penn Station and was in Hamiliton, NJ by 1:15PM.
Meredith (Mer) picked me up at the train station and took me home to change into my bathing suit as Max loves the local town pool. It's been an awful while since I have been to a "town pool" and I was excited to go and spend time with her and my nephew.
I know people must say this about their newborn relatives all the time but Max truly is the cutest and most well behaved baby I've ever met. He doesn't cry all the time, nor act grumpy, or displays an unreadable manner. I swear, at all times this baby is smiling, playing, and making happy sounding noises every time I see him. (I've already gone ahead and taken care of buying him the cutest baby shirts possible: see pic to the right.)
I ventured with Mer to the town pool and took Max for a swim. The whole place was so white and suburban I couldn't help but feel guilty when I asked Mer if smoking was allowed. Mer didn't know if it was or wasn't so I decided to stave off my addiction and spent the time with Max. He and I played on the grass for awhile and then worked on our dance routine until it was time to go into the pool when I mentioned to him that (like a handsome Patrick Swayze to a young Jennifer Grey that,) "The best place to do this is in the water!"
Mer said Max and I should go for a swim and I nervously but gladly obliged. Max and I went for a swim and the whole event was completely nerve-racking (but entirely enjoyable.) I've just become comfortable with holding Max without feeling as though I'd drop or break him at any given moment. But, Mer is a fantastic, roll-of-the-eyes "you got it" type of coach and had me swimming with him in no time. Mer gave me one note- to hold his face above the water, which no matter how much she reassured me I'd be fine, still scared the living shit out of me. Max and I enjoyed our time together as we played "Jaws" and "Shark week" and she finally took him from my arms to dry him off and watch me jump and flip off the kiddie diving board.
It's been a long time, maybe since the 6th grade, since I've attempted to run and jump off a fully loaded spring diving board. None-the-less, I put my fears aside and attempted my best efforts. Fortunately I neither belly-flopped or set a bad example for the youths around me while doing so. Mer, the Super-Mom that she is, was able to dry off Max (in his Elmo robe) and document me at the same time.
Soon enough both Mer and I grew tired of our ultra-white suburban sun bathing and headed back home for dinner and rest. (Yes, don't worry- when Max was eating I asked, as John Bender and "Breakfast Club" as possible, if he "was a messy baby and did not like his strained peas and carrots.") After dinner I ducked out to the backyard to suckle from the teet of my nicotine-filled smokey friend and realized the beauty and quiet of the picture-perfect NJ suburbs. In that moment, as I sat outside, I realized that once my career is stabilized and I find "him," I'd like to leave the city and find a place just like this, in the tranquil suburbs, with the barbecue, lawn chairs, and chirping crickets, making a life for ourselves and leaving The City behind in an idea of "those were the days..."
Mer and I spent the rest of the night playing with Max, catching up on the Top Chef marathon and enjoying the benefits of saved Tivo programming. Ahh, what a vacation from a vacation this all was...

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