It’s that time of year again folks. Labor Day weekend. The official end to another fun summer at the beach. In my house however, the words “Labor Day” could have a much more substantial and literal meaning. In case you haven’t been following, my gorgeous wife is once again deep into her ninth month of pregnancy. Technically, she’s not actually due until September 18th, but no one, our doctor included, is betting on that. So if you happen to be in the bar where I work this weekend and don’t see me, I assure you it’s for a good reason. Despite my best efforts, I have not been fired. If I am at work, and you notice me checking my phone about every 10 minutes, I’m not expecting a message from my bookie or dealer. I promise I have not picked up a drug or gambling habit. I’m far too old to take on any new vices. I’ve thus far spent the majority of my forties in the company of at least one person who is in diapers, and clearly that’s not changing any time soon. That’s about as close to a vice as I have.

Since my affinity for mid-life spawning is becoming a pricey hobby, I suggested to my wife that we skip the diapers on this new one and just choose a designated room in the house and spread newspaper on the floor. She wouldn’t go for it though. She also reminded me that Shorebilly’s Swill is online only and not in print so we wouldn’t have any suitable literature to use for the project. Yup, at’s my wife, at’s my life.

I’m also thinking down the road financially. It appears that I used up all of my Y-chromosomes in my twenties, so I now have a house full of beautiful little girls. At least that’s what other people see when they look at my girls. Personally I see 3 weddings and 3 tuitions. I remember as a teenage boy, I used to imagine how great it would be to one day live in a house full of beautiful females. I saw it going very differently in my mind though. I now find myself chin deep in my own “careful what you wish for” world.

I don’t mean to imply that we already know the sex of baby-to-be. We won’t know until we’re holding him/her. I am however a firm believer in Karma. That’s right, we’re the last of those weirdos who actually wait until we’re holding our baby to find out the gender. I’m 45-years-old. This is more than likely the last present I’m ever going to open that I don’t already know what it is.This is the last bastion of fun and surprise I have left. The greatest moments of my life have been holding my children for the very first time. I’m not saying those moments wouldn’t be beautiful and wonderful, I just think that knowing in advance would have diminished them slightly. You can wrap my gift and put it under the tree on Christmas morning, but if I was with you when you picked it out, it kind of loses a little something. Hopefully that puts it in perspective for you.

I’m also not by any means the type of guy who is going to run in the other room and paint it blue or pink. In fact, this will be our third child in the same neutral colored room. We painted it beige and light green with monkey stickers three babies ago and so far it’s been just fine. We just keep rotating kids in and out of the room. And who doesn’t like monkeys.

I guess this is the point where I jump the rails a bit and start telling you about my favorite local restaurant and it’s sentimental significance to my family. This may have to spill over into next week’s column, so please bare with me. The name of the place is Adolfo’s. If you are a fan of great food, great atmosphere, and even greater people, you owe it to yourself to dine there. Since this is one of my rare, strictly positive articles, I’m reasonably certain that my friends who own the place and those who work there won’t object to my mentioning it by name. And most of you who know me, either personally, or by following this column know that one of the very few things in life that I take seriously is food. In fact, at the moment, other than the health of my children I can’t think of anything else I take seriously.

Not only do my wife and I love this place and all the folks affiliated with it, but it has very deep significant sentimental value to us. I’ll elaborate and try to fit as much as I can into this week’s post. Just about 7 years ago, I was meeting a buddy of mine from out of town at Adolfo’s for dinner. It was supposed to be just the two of us, but after he was about 45 minutes late, and after I was already a pair of Ketel One on the rocks into my evening sitting alone, he sent me a message. He explained that he had been sitting at another local bar (we’ll call it B.J.’s for the sake of the story) and the two day shift bartenders were just getting off. He explained that they were both of the female persuasion and asked if he could bring them along. Given the option of two salt and pepper haired, lonely, miserable straight guys having a cozy, candle lit dinner and wine together, or him showing up with a pair of young hotties (hence exponentially boosting our hetero street creds) I thought it was a pretty stupid question. So he brought them along. I’m not going to belabor you with all of the details of this night because I wrote an entire two-part article about it before. So this week’s assignment for all of you is to go into the Swill archives and find a piece entitled “How We First Met”. Personally, I think it’s one of the best pieces I’ve ever written, and certainly one of the most meaningful.

Anyway, one of these young ladies I was already friends with (and her now husband) and still am to this day. The other was a blue-eyed blonde whose beauty and overall persona can best be described as ethereal. I’ve seen movies about love at first sight, but I always called B.S. I had never been so immediately enamored by another human being since the birth of my son. Anyway, the point being is that she is now my bride and reason for living and that was the night and place where we first met. (Read the old piece) I don’t know how to type a subliminal voice.

Almost exactly two years later, we had a phenomenal date night. They were few and far between, so of course we went to Adolfo’s. My son stayed home and watched her daughter. Those monikers have since become obsolete. OUR son and daughter hung out at home that night while I took their Mom to Adolfo’s for an amazing dinner after which I asked her to marry me in the same room where it all started. I knelt next to a table which will come into play later in the story, (having already consulted her parents), and put a ring on her finger which much to my delight, she still wears today.

Well Friends, I hate to do this to you, but I’ve run out of space and have to pick this up next week. Have a safe, happy, and wonderful Labor Day weekend. Wish us luck.

Thanks for playing along. Until next week, (and I promise, it’s going to be worth coming back for), Syd Nichols

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