th (3)My wife and kids spent of a couple of days with her family this week, which is always an enlightening experience. Every time they’re gone, I learn stuff about myself.

1. I can only watch so much 24. At first, it seems like a party. You think you’re gonna’ grab some fast food and sit on your couch and watch 24 all night long. But pretty soon the fries run out and you realize that Kiefer Sutherland’s primary acting skill seems to be yelling.

2. I can’t sleep without them. Maybe it’s just the absence of someone going, “TODD, GO TO BED!” but I always stay up way later than normal when my family is gone. If I try to go to bed at a normal hour, I’ll just lay there feeling weird because my house is so quiet and scary.

3. I’m not a good editor. Being alone in the house means that I have lots more songwriting time. The problem is that I think every idea is awesome. Then my wife comes home and I’m all “Listen to this – it’s like a hymn with just one chord, but the chorus just repeats ‘Yahweh’ 17 times as it gets louder and louder!” And that’s when I realize I need people around to keep from being dumb.

4. Animals are in danger of dying. We have two cats and a hamster that need to be fed. Apparently. Even though I know this at a basic, intuitive level, I forget to feed them. And not only that, but when the cats are making weird noises and won’t get away from me, I’m not smart enough to realize they’re on the bring of starvation.

5. I’d be a terrible single person. Without them around me, I’m just a slob with no ambition. Sure, the dishes need cleaning, but they don’t bother me and I’m the only one who’s here. Respect for all you single people out there who manage to be productive, contributing members of society.

How do you handle it when your family is away?


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