Pet Peeves


Party Hardy

By Mark D. Crantz
By Mark D. Crantz

I was surprised to find a note sticking out from the edge of my front doormat. For one, I’ve never gotten a note. And two, my front door is in the back of the house. Even I have trouble finding it. And then I thought did I leave this note? I couldn’t remember, so I opened it. It was from new neighbors across the street. It’s the street on our side door, if we had a side door, but we don’t. The note read;

“Hello Neighbors!

“Hope this note finds you well. We wanted to let you know we will be having a party at our place on Thursday, March 31, from 5PM-9PM. Music will stop promptly at 9PM and guests will be leaving. Please let us know if you have any questions. Thank you.”

I raced into the house to tell my wife the good news. “Honey, we’ve been invited to a party.” My wife didn’t look up or respond. “Did you hear me? Put your party hat on. The neighbors on the corner are having an open house this Thursday.” She didn’t say anything. My wife was engrossed in a 1,000 pieces puzzle that she got at the Laguna Library Used Book Store. “Hey. I think I know where this puzzle piece goes.” That got her attention. “Don’t tell me. I’m going for the fastest online record. Your presence is not needed.” I’ve heard that plenty of times before. “About the party?” I asked. “Sure. Sure. I’ll be done with the puzzle before then. I’ve always wanted to see what they’ve done to the house inside.” Well, at least I got through. So, I put back the other puzzle piece that I had palmed when she was so ignoring me. That’s what good husbands do.

Thursday arrived. It was looking to be a good day. My wife beat the puzzle online record by 3 hours and 43 minutes. My library book took a lot more time to read, but I got it back before its due date. We were both winners in my book. My wife’s puzzled look said not me so much.

“When’s that party?” she asked me. “5 p.m.,” I said and accentuated it with a high five salute she ignored with an eye roll. “We’ll go over at 6. Fashionably late.” Whatever, I thought. I already had my outfit on, t-shirt, board shorts and flip-flops. It’s standard party gear. Oops, I almost forgot the ping pong balls. It so rounds out the ensemble.

6 p.m. came and we were off. “Hey, you must be happy. You don’t even have to be my designated driver. We just walk over.” She scrunched her nose. “Don’t drink too much. Or I designate that I go back to get the car and run you over.” I gave her the chastised look, perfected since eighth grade and said, “Good as gold,” I swore. “Yeah right. Fool’s gold,” she sighed.

We met the mother of the owner. Chit chatted about Chicago. Explained how I met her daughter when my dog tried to steal and eat her pizza. The mother said, “Who are you, again?” We answered, “Neighbors,” and pointed across the street. Then she said, “Well since you’re here. Welcome to my other daughter’s pre wedding party. Enjoy.”

My wife went to get the car. I grabbed her and said, “I really didn’t know. I thought it was a neighborhood party. I’m surprised, too,” I pleaded. My wife whispered. “We’re wedding crashers. I’m so embarrassed.” I didn’t know what to say. Then it hit me. “I like what she’s done with house. Don’t you?”


Crantz tells the Indy that his wife is busy apologizing to the neighbors and not talking to him. It doesn’t help that he now calls her Owen and believes he’s Vince Vaughn.




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