Thursday 29 Sep 2016

Sleepovers
Matt Seinberg

When we were kids, there was nothing more exciting than the school week ending, and having two days off to do stuff with our friends. It was even better if we could get out of our own homes and have a sleepover with one of them.

I lived in Poughkeepsie, New York, from age six to fourteen and one of my best friends was Jack Greenblatt. He and his family lived right down the road from me. I probably spent as much time at his house as I did my own.

They had an indoor pool, which was the only one in the neighborhood and a big backyard. Jack also had to brothers, Gary and Harold, and an older sister, Diane. He also had a collie, Tammy, who had some sort of kidney problem; and she always had a urine odor coming off her.

The three boys shared a room with two bunk beds in it, so any of their friends that stayed over always had a place to sleep. Somehow, I always ended up on the top bunk and I’ve always had a thing about heights.

No, I’m not crazy. I have this fear of falling and breaking every bone in my body. That’s another reason I never learned how to ski. 

Imagine trying to sleep in a room with three other boys and two of them are younger than are we. Gary and Harold were the typical younger brothers, always wanting to hang around and be included in whatever we were doing.

Thinking back, I was usually more interested in what Diane was doing. She was only a couple of years older than Jack and I, so as we got older, she became more interesting to me. I don’t think Jack ever realized that, but I think his mother Marsha did. She always kept an eye on me whenever Diane was around.

Even after my family moved, Jack and I stayed in touch for a while, but like everything else when time moves forward, the friendship faded away. I remember visiting Poughkeepsie a couple of times after that, and surprising Jack.

Imagine my surprise when he introduced me to his girlfriend, Vallie, who was so hot it was lust at first site. Again, time moved forward and we lost touch. It’s been at least 35 years since I saw Jack and his family.

I think the next sleepover I had was when Marcy and I started going out, and she stayed at my place for the first time. Being a bachelor, I was not especially neat, but, hey, that’s part of being single. When I stayed at her place for the first time, I realized she wasn’t exactly a neat freak either.

I wrote on her dusty TV screen, “clean me,” and the next time I was over there, it still had that, with more dust covering it. I still remind her of that little fact, and she reminds me of the spaghetti sauce stains above my stove.

When my kids were younger, they enjoyed having a sleepover at their grandparent’s house. I think they just wanted to get out of the house, just as I did. Neither of them stayed at other kids homes to often. I think that’s because nobody wants to take responsibility for someone else’s kid today.

Michelle will stay over one of her high school friend’s house every now and then and that’s just to get away from Melissa, who I think enjoys having Michelle out of the house. That’s fine by me, because no yelling and fighting will happen.

My friend Mike, the serial dater, enjoys a good sleepover as well. He’s at the stage where he is looking for a serious relationship, and won’t rush into anything with a woman, as he used to. He’s being a gentleman and letting the woman tell him when she’s ready for a sleepover.

He’s seeing a woman now, and after several dates, she feels comfortable enough for a sleepover. He actually asked her, “... are you sure? Are you ready? Do you want to think about it a little more and get back to me?”

I truly believe that he wanted to say this instead; “... OK! Let’s do it!” He wanted to be cautious, and not rush her into anything. Well, she said she would think about it for a while. About a minute later, the answer was the same, so sleepover time it is!

Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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