The single life is not for us

Wayne MitchellMolly the beagle is sprawled out on Jenny’s side of the bed, her head nestled against the pillow. But she is not happy.

She thinks she is only Jenny’s dog and Jenny is not here. She will be back Friday evening from a week-long trip to visit her parents in the northern Kentucky suburbs of Cincinnati. Jenny goes a couple of times every summer while school is out to help her parents around the house and spend a little extra time with them (She’s an only child.)

Molly thinks the world revolves around her. She bays when Jenny goes out the door with a suitcase, then spends a lot of time looking out the front window. So do our other dogs, the little brown feist, Lizzie, and the Boston terrier, Sophie. None of them are content when someone in the family is missing.

Joe and I aren’t very happy either. We’re batching until she returns and we don’t much like it.

Now, don’t get the wrong idea. I’m not the totally helpless type of husband. I do most of the grocery shopping anyway because Jenny doesn’t like to go to the grocery store and I don’t mind. And I help out with the cooking, or what passes for cooking when I take it from the freezer and put it in the oven or slap something on the grill.

Joe is good at running the vacuum and cleaning the bathrooms. And both of us can do laundry, but we generally are not allowed to because Jenny thinks we mix too many things together in the same load.

While Jenny is gone, we are trying to do all the same things we would do if she were here. Joe is taking a summer class at Ole Miss so he gets up and heads to Oxford during the day. And I get up and go to work.

But it’s not the same. By the time we have done our household chores and looked after the dogs, we are exhausted.

Even on Sunday we were out of the routine. Joe and I got to church and there was no music. Turns out the organist was away leading some state music conference. And the lead priest was on vacation. Bummer. We came home and I struggled through frying eggs. It’s something Jenny does well and I do poorly, but Joe and I ate them anyway.

Every time Jenny goes to spend time with her parents, it reminds me of how everyone else’s lives are different from ours. Some people have a wide circle of friends, do lots of entertaining things and have lots of house guests. They are very social.

We don’t and we aren’t. Our lives tend to revolve around each other. We seldom plan anything that doesn’t involve both of us. And we like to spend evenings home on the couch with our pets.

Friday night will soon be here and the family will be one again. Even self-centered Molly will be moving over, gladly making room on the bed.

T. Wayne Mitchell, Gazette publisher, can be reached at 662-534-6321 or by email at

About Wayne Mitchell

Publisher of the New Albany Gazette