Carol Baskins

Natural state

My father’s family, the MacNamaras, had a great saying: “Never stand when you can sit. Never sit when you can lay down.”

It’s led to generations of men (mostly) who truly appreciate the qualities of a good couch or a fine bit of rug.

Of all the men in my generation, I’m the GOAT of couch time. My records will never be equaled. If I’m lucky, I’ve got decades more to build on the lead.

Years ago, when 3 of us lived at home, before the Boy finally went away, the wife bought leather furniture. It all reclines. The chair, both sides of the love seat, and 2 out of 3 sections of the couch are the leather versions of business class — lay flat. The two of us have 5 options to recline — not counting justing lying on the couch (as a couch) or stretching out on one of the three beds in the house.

It’s MacNamara paradise.

The wife has fluctuated between “enabler” and hater. She bought the damn couches. But she insists I stay employed. She makes lists of chores. Just when I get comfortable, she starts talking or asking that I take out the garbage, or pick up the plates and cups that build up around me like sedimentary layers of soil… blah, blah, blah.

Make up your mind, woman. Do you want me to be a happy little MacNamara or not?

We will probably never know the answer to that question. It depends on the day, the hour, the moon, the hormone levels in her blood, the demeanor of the critters in her gut, the fates, the spirits of our ancestors, or the randomness of the universe… It will always be a fucking mystery to me. (I suspect it is to her as well).

But the pandemic has brought on my one true enabler: Carol Baskins.

The tiger-striped, Chiweenie (or your imaginary-God forbid, Chug) has her own saying: Never stand when you can sit. Never lay down when you could be napping in your daddy’s lap.

The wife has mixed feelings about that too.

When company is around: “That dog really loves Kieran. She will spend all day in his lap.”

When it’s just us: “You know that’s a sign of dominance. She’s just trying to control you.”

I give in to a lot of things, but a 10-pound ball warmer is emancipation not domination. I’m finally free to do what I really want. Never sit when you can lay down.

This past holiday, the wife’s enabling returned.

Left sock says:  I can't get up now.  Right sock says: The dog is on my lap.  Small dog's face appears between the socks.

She bought me several pairs of these socks. “I can’t get up now. The dog is on my lap.”

That could be the new family motto. Now I can lay in my natural state, and the world will know the truth. There’s no arguing with the socks, honey.

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