Nonetheless, I expected a nice Friday evening where I could rent a movie that the boys and I would enjoy without worrying about its appeal to feminine tastes. And after weeks of monsoon weather, Saturday looked to be a picture-perfect football day, with cool, sunny weather. And Penn State's opponent looked like a team that would give us an interesting game, as opposed to the patsies we usually schedule at the beginning of the season.
Then everything went terribly wrong when school let out. My youngest son, Patrick, came home on his bike right after school, but older son Paul was not with him. I didn't think much of it, because Paul often likes to talk to his friends after school. But by 4:00 I began to wonder, so I asked Patrick if he knew what might be keeping Paul. To my surprise, he said Paul had come home about 20 minutes ago with a friend, had hung around for a while, and then Paul said he couldn't find me so Patrick should tell me that he went to his friend John's house. I had no idea how I missed him. I was in my home office where I ALWAYS am the whole time. What was worse, I had no idea who John might be.
I made dinner and Paul still hadn't come home. I began to worry, only a little bit about Paul, but more about having to report what had happened to Carolyn when she called to check how things were going. Which could be any time. Not knowing what to do, I went out and rented the movie Basic. Just after we had put in the disc and popped some popcorn, Carolyn called. She wasn't very happy. I felt like the world's worst incompetent parent. She suggested calling some of Paul's other friends to see if they might know where he was. I spent the next two hours doing this and occasionally calling Carolyn with updates which made her more and more unhappy. I have no desire to recount the details of these tortured hours. Finally Paul showed up around 11:15. Turned out he was with his friend Joe, not John. At least I knew Joe existed, even if I had no idea where they were all night (Playland, some other places in downtown State College, part of the high school football game, and Freddie vs. Jason, it turned out). What a wonderful evening it had been. For them, that is.
Saturday morning I was still not in a very good mood, feeling stupid and incompetent and knowing how much this had upset Carolyn. I hate making other people feel bad. I could just die. I started getting ready to go to the football game anyway, when Patrick told me he wasn't interested in going any more because his cousin wouldn't be at the game. Now, I could not very well go to the game by myself, leaving both Paul and Patrick home alone after last night, could I? So on this absolutely gorgeous sunny day, I watched Penn State get thrashed by Boston College on TV, unable to help them with even the tiniest cheer. Goodbye wonderful bachelor weekend.