My wife spent most of last week in Hawaii. Note I said, “my wife.” Not “I,” “we,” nor “the family,” just, “my wife.”
That’s OK. She went to visit her aunt and, oh, did I mention it snowed here while she was gone? Yep. The kids and I woke her first morning on the island of Kuai to find snow on our northwest Missouri back deck. I didn’t ask her if it snowed there because she’d sent us pictures of herself on the beach and I didn’t want to bother her.
I’m glad she went. It’s good for a parent to escape the house now and then to preserve their sanity. Trust me, if you’re a parent, your mental health is suspect. So, it’s no coincidence all U.S. presidents have had children. (Even though James Buchanan was a bachelor, he had an adopted daughter. This is called historical context. If President Buchanan had an adopted daughter who was also a circus clown, this would be called hysterical context.)
“Mom, Mom, Dad, Dad, drive me someplace, I want this, I want that, he hit me, she hit me, there’s a sticky spot on the couch,” incessant singing of the most annoying song of the moment, and my personal favorite – sniff, sniff, “I think my pants are on fire.” This can wear a person thin after a while.
For example, if President Bill Clinton would have had to drive his daughter Chelsea to ballet class while she sang “Achy Breaky Heart” (the early 1990s version of “Baby Shark”), he would have no doubt shot missiles at France.
But that has nothing to do with Hawaii.
Hawaii became a state in 1959; my wife visited there 60 years later. I guess she was waiting for that New State Smell to wear off. We’re Offutts; used is good enough for us.
Flying to Hawaii is an interesting lesson in geography. Apparently, people are required to go to Minneapolis first because north is west. Yes, I know the airlines channel people flying to the islands into one place, but Minneapolis? That’s like taking people to Canada on their way to Mexico.
It could have been worse. On the way home, her airplane landed in Detroit. I suppose this is the airline’s way of punishing average Americans who had the audacity to spend time on a tropical island in December.
“What did you do in Hawaii?” I asked on the way home from the airport.
“I visited my aunt.”
“Yes, but you visited your aunt in Hawaii. What else?”
“We went to a restaurant.”
“Yes, but you went to a restaurant in Hawaii.”
“I also went to Walmart. Is that exciting enough for you?”
“Yes. You went to Walmart in Hawaii.”
What she didn’t tell me was she was in Hawaii the same time as President Barack Obama. I’m not one for conspiracy theories (that’s a lie), but I think they were plotting something nefarious, like leaving me home with the kids while they had fun in Hawaii.
Jason Offutt’s newest book, “Chasing American Monsters: 251 Creatures, Cryptids, and Hairy Beasts,” is available at jasonoffutt.com.