Opinion: Home alone – what could possibly go wrong?


My wife Mary Ellen is in Boston with my sister, Linda. Before Mary Ellen left, she gave me precise directions on what to do and what not to do. My wife hopes that when she returns from her trip, she will walk into a house that looks somewhat like the one she left.

Mary Ellen’s plane gets in Saturday at 3:45 am. She should walk in the door at about 4:30. Our housekeeper is scheduled to leave that day at 4:15. After Nettie leaves, I cannot cook anything or open the fridge. I can’t walk out the front door and then come back into the house unless I take off my shoes. And if I go outside barefoot, I’m not allowed to return to the house.

Mary Ellen is particularly concerned with our cat, Angel. This cat hates me. Every time she sees me, she snarls, and her hair stands up on her back. She tries to bite me when I come near Mary Ellen. That’s why I haven’t kissed my wife good night in 14 years.

But Mary Ellen wants me to play with Angel because she doesn’t want Angel to miss her too much, get bored, or wish she had someone to snuggle with. Hey, what about me? Well, that’s in the rules, too. I’m not allowed to have anyone to snuggle with.

After Mary Ellen had been gone about a week, I sent her this note:

Hi Mary Ellen,

I just wanted to update you on what’s going on here at home:

Angel is fine. She got out once, but she seems very content to be on the roof. I’m sure she’ll be okay, even if we have that expected tornado.

I borrowed your Prius one day to save on gas. Bad news: I hit a guy in the rear. Good News: No damage to your car. He was a pedestrian.

I am proud that I ran the dishwasher all by myself. I couldn’t find the dishwasher soap you said to use so I just put in some liquid hand soap. Did you know bubbles can stick to the ceiling? The house is so festive now. We should do this next Christmas.

The lawn has not been cut in two weeks. Not my fault. We have no mower anymore. I left the garage door open one night. All my beer is gone, too. I hope whoever took all my winter coats off the garage rack will donate a few to kids who need them. Spring is here, so I’m sure the crook will find good use for all your gardening tools.

Finally, our son is doing great. He just pulled into the driveway. He’s going up on the roof to chase Angel.

I hope you are having a good time. All is well here. Take care.

Love, Dick