Wednesday, October 21, 2009


When we were kids, sleeping overnight at a friend's house was simply the best.

It was staying up as late as you possibly could, eating as much junk as you could, watching late-night television (this was before VCRs, DVRs and NetFlix), sharing secrets and observations, and getting the giggles over the silliest things possible, and finally falling asleep without really meaning to.

At several friends' homes, it also became a major competition to keep the younger brother/sister(s)...

1) out of the bedroom we were in,

2) away from the television, and

3) away from all of our treats.

However, all three of this must take place without...

1) alerting and/or alarming the parent(s),

2) causing any NOTICEABLE physical harm to the younger siblings, and

3) allowing them to tattle on you/us in the near future.

Sometimes it was difficult.

In particular, I loved staying over at my friend Annette's house - maybe because we never were bored enough to do anything illegal - maybe because her parents were the sweetest people I'd ever known - but I think mostly it was because it was the first family I had known who liked being together, enjoyed each other's company, had FUN as a FAMILY.

A novel experience for me.

And it was always fun.

However, at age 54, staying overnight with an invalid friend usually isn't as much fun. (And why are invalid and invalid spelled exactly the same? They are kinda related in meaning... but why are they pronounced so differently?)

Unless, of course, you are me and the friend is Margie.

Margie and I talked story for a while before she went to sleep - she proudly showed me her hugely enlarged lymph nodes, and I murmured appreciatively at the size. We talked about being perpetual students (she has a masters in special education), horses we had had, and her two dogs waiting patiently at the end of the bed.

We agreed that the oxygen-disbursing machine made a cyclical hissing noise that was rather comforting - sort of like a white noise machine.

We didn't watch any television because Margie can't sit up enough in bed to see a regular screen. I wish I'd had enough money right then to run out and get her one of those little 3" LCD deal; being in bed for weeks gets pretty boring.

She fell asleep around 11:30 p.m.

Then I took the dogs out, opened up my bag of goodies (left-over bread sticks from Pizza Hut - one of those things, like Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, that is ALWAYS better the day after), and curled up on the couch under my favorite green blankee with a murder mystery I was re-reading to highlight and future research all the obscure Scottish phrases used (I mean, what is a stookie? What the heck does reives the kirk ti theik the quire mean?)

So in keeping tradition with sleepovers, I fell asleep without meaning to.

However, I falsely assumed since the were no younger brothers/sisters and/or parents in the house, that it would then be a quiet night.

I forgot about the dogs.

They chewed open the bag holding the bread sticks and ate them.

Oh, well, something have to stay the same.