August 21, 2005

So I'm in the Hot Tub

. . . with Mr. Linguistics, Scanmaster, and Mahatma. Mahatma's wife and kids are in the house: his sons keep sneaking out of bed, because they are under the impression that it's their God-given right to stay awake until the party's over. Mahatma isn't impressed, and calls out to them periodically to go to bed and stop trying to spy on us.

The rest of us were convinced as the day began that we'd be kicked out at around 11:00, but it doesn't happen, and instead we keep taking snacks off the table and eating them under the stars. I get water for Scanmaster, "water" (vodka) for Mr. Linguistics, and tonic water for myself that sometimes contains booze and sometimes does not. Ms. Mahatma, the enforcer, pretends not to notice that there's alcohol being consumed by hot tubbers, and even jokes at me about "avoiding dehydration" as I hand Mr. Linguistics a robust shot of Three Olives, served in a child-size plastic cup.

Ms. Mahatma points out Mars in the sky. "It's red," she asserts, but I can't tell: it just looks like a blobby bright bit of light to me. She goes back in and finally carries the last sleepy child off, protesting, to bed. And she herself crashes—probably letting us have some college-days gossip in honor of Mahatma's upcoming birthday at the end of the month.

Suddenly the three guys I'm with are talking about how maybe instead of marrying women, they should all have simply married each other way back when. "Linguistics Guy would cook, and Scanmaster would do the dishes. I'd read Steinbeck, and pitch in with a little light housework, plus childcare duties. It would have worked out great," Mahatma sighs.

I could have pointed out that they would all have been living an unacceptable, zero-booby lifestyle, but it would have been too easy. Instead, I proclaim "I can see the romantic appeal, but which one of you would have produced human eggs?"

"We would have hired a surrogate mother," he explains.

"Okay, then: who would fix your car, without having your engineer wife around?"

That stops him in his tracks. "Oh. That wouldn't work, would it?"

"No, not at all," interjects Scanmaster. "One has to have a wife who can fix cars. I want one too, just like Mahatma's." Suddenly, I'm glad my husband can't hear this conversation and know what he's missing.

"Are you going to divorce your existing wife, or just keep going?" I ask Scanman lazily, bringing my feet up to the surface of the hot tub, where the guys' feet have formed a sort of tangled nest in the middle. I perch mine on top of the pile, which brings my butt up, so I'm halfway floating in the tub, suspended between the rim of the pool and the foot-island in its center.

"Oh, Catlady the Poetess won't mind," he tells me. "She'd be happy if I got another wife."

"Then go for it," I tell him. "But make sure the second wife wants kids, and knows her way around an engine. Then you can have a house full of cats, and a separate one with real children in it. And healthy cars."

How hard could that be to find? I think. Especially in L.A.?

I climb out of the hot tub and go inside, putting my street clothes on and throwing the wet swimsuit into my carryall bag. Then I go back out and tell the guys I've got to head back, so I can be home within an hour or so of when I told my husband I'd arrive here.

"But he's asleep, right?" enquires Mahatma.

"Yup. He's getting up early to work on that project I told you about."

"So he won't know," he presses.

"I'll know. And these days I'm trying to do my best impression of adult behavior. Besides, your boys have piano lessons tomorrow, and I have to put my game plan together for the coming week." Not to mention church, of course—and my latest greatest grilling adventure on the patio (lamb for me and and salmon for the husband; thanks for asking).

Mr. Linguistics, Scanmaster and I head out into the starry, starry valley night, hugging Mahatma on our way out the door.

There's nothing more delightful than gossiping in a hot tub with your high-school friends, and going home to plant a very light kiss on your sleeping husband's hair. Then eating a very ripe peach, and going to bed.

At this moment, things could not be more right in my world.

Posted by Attila at August 21, 2005 03:29 AM | TrackBack

Sounds like a wondeful evening - you're obviously a lady of great common sense and a capacity for enormous amounts of fun.

Me, of course, I'd be sipping the champagne, oops, I mean the sparkling wine!


Hope church is edifying!

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Posted by: Romeocat at August 21, 2005 05:39 AM

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