Forgoing Breakfast For Going to Breakfast

Dearest Rachel –

There are mornings when I don’t know what to tell you about. Not for lack of things to talk about, necessarily (although there are some days like that), as much as what to focus on – and in some cases, what not to focus on. There are mornings when I stand in the shower, lathering myself up and rinsing myself off, and pondering what to say to you without raising hackles among those who might be reading our correspondence. With a lead-in like that, you know that this is one of those days.

It’s a Saturday morning, but rather than bemoaning the lack of what a typical Saturday morning back in the day used to contain, I have a guest to contend with in the form of Kevin, and not much time left to do so. And I’m not certain how exactly to deal with it. There are places we have yet to go to, and things we have yet to do, and while I’ve factored in time for them, certain events come in conflict with those plans.

Now, Kevin is aware that I attend the men’s Bible study at 8 o’clock this morning. And while he’s usually up for the debate and discussion involved in such an activity, he remembers how it was last year (when he was here in November, I should point out), and how cold it was (especially for one so accustomed to the weather in the Nashville area), and, having not brought suitable cool-weather apparel this year, either (because it’s September, and things should be in the 70s still, right? Well, not up here, necessarily. Here, you can feel the need for a sweatshirt in the morning, don one, and regret your decision terribly by noon), he has decided to stay home for once, granting me permission to go on my own. It’s not ideal, but as long as he’s okay with it…

And so, this morning, I’m in the shower, working out what I might say to you about the situation, and some of its absurdities. Because, as it turns out, this is the first Saturday of the month, and the tradition has become that the men’s group has breakfast (usually, Steve will bring his grill and prepare stuff to eat, but we will occasionally meet at a local restaurant) rather than actually discussing the previous week’s sermon. At which point, the conflict should be somewhat apparent.

Now, maybe the associated solution to this should have been obvious to me from the start, but I confess to having been a bit torn. It’s probably just a case of having become habituated to the practice, but I was thinking that I ought to attend regardless of the fact that Kevin had decided to stay home. But how ridiculous would it have been for me to join the guys for a hearty breakfast, only to head home and take Kevin and Daniel out for a separate breakfast? And as I was standing under the flow of the warm water, trying to wake up and jar my mind into action, I was growing ever more cognizant of the absurdity of eating two breakfasts (and make no mistake, I would – in spite of any real need to, no matter how one might look at it – eat at both places), and how silly that would be on my part, especially since there would be no study to speak of this week.

Look, I’ll see these guys next week, and nearly every Saturday morning thereafter. Kevin will only be around for today – he’s leaving in the morning to drive home – and I shan’t see him until around Memorial Day next year. It should be plain as to where my priorities ought to be. And while the ‘fish and visitors’ comparison has been around since at least Ben Franklin’s time (which, considering where he lives, is somewhat appropriate), that’s no reason to abandon him to Daniel while I go gallivanting off to this breakfast get-together. It’s a wonder that I even considered doing so, let alone spent all but the last hour or so thinking it was my only alternative.

God, keep me from bad and stupid decisions, especially the ones I think are the right and only courses of action. Amen.

Talk to you later, honey. Until then, keep an eye out for me, and wish me luck. Clearly, I need it more than I know.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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