I don’t know about everyone else, but each Winter John and I live in deep dread of those dark hours between dinner and bedtime. Otherwise known as The Void.
The Void begins when you finish putting the last plate in the dishwasher and realize, belatedly, that there was no reason to be in such a hurry to clean up the kitchen. After all, what’s next?
If it were Spring, Summer, or even early Fall, you might do any number of things, such as: take a walk, plant flowers, go to a park, climb a tree or sit on the porch and catch up with your neighbors.
During The Void, your choices are much more limited. On a cold, dark night, in a house without cable (I know, I know. Damn you Dave Ramsey and your financial peace!), we often find ourselves glancing suspiciously at each other while we count down to what might be a reasonable hour to make ourselves a drink.
Now I realize, some of you are saying (under your breath, so I can’t hear you, of course), “Well, why don’t you clean your house? Or start a charity? Or read? Or do anything at all worthwhile? And those are great questions, to which I have no good answer.
It’s not that we start out The Void season languishing in our arm chairs watching re-runs on PBS. No, that sad state is usually not achieved until it has been cold outside for at least two weeks. Before that, we excitedly discuss any number of “hobbies” that we believe will keep us entertained throughout the long, cold winter. One year I set up a puzzle table…and that was fun until I finished the first puzzle. This year I learned how to knit…and now I have about a third of a scarf up for grabs if anyone needs to warm a small section of their neck.
John is more discerning in his choices. We ran through at least 20 different possibilities the other night before he finally just got up and went to make us a drink.
That’s not to say we don’t do things. I’ve played approximately 500 games of UNO with Henry this month alone. And I’m currently under contract to write a script for Thomas that he will be making into an animated feature, which he promises he can do easily on my Mac. I’m keeping an open mind on that one. Despite all this fun, we get bored being in the house so much.
But try not to worry about us. Thanks to John’s brilliant plan of “A fun night out each week,” this Winter we will not become alcoholics or even be in danger of becoming so bored that we clean our closets or scrub walls. Instead, the plan is to take the kids somewhere fun one evening each week. Preferably something very cheap, but something that entertains all five of us.
I’ll let you know how it goes. We may, in fact, end up preferring The Void. Because, you know, The Void is pajama friendly.