Home in Aspen: NBA playoffs and unhealthy food
When my wife informed me that she and our 7-year-old daughter would be spending a week in Mexico – without me – the possibilities for a vacation-at-home flooded my mind. I saw myself throwing elaborate dinner parties for friends I never see; cramming restaurants, movies, music and bars into single, thrill-packed nights. Driving to the Front Range for a concert was a given, but hey … why not go full-bore and fly to Mexico (the other side of Mexico) for a few days of my own fun in the sun.In reality, I spent the largest part of my family-free week watching TV. And thank God for the NBA playoffs, which gave my week structure and meaning. I would even have gone so far as to add “pleasure” to that list, but the Nuggets’ inglorious flameout dashed any joy I might have derived from aiming my head at a small screen for hours on end.I don’t think I made it past the roundabout. Still, my home-alone week provided endless opportunities to branch into territories practically forgotten over nearly eight years of parenthood. I had friends over for a particularly pathetic Nuggets’ showing in Game 4; we cursed the TV and A.I. with zero regard for propriety. For the sickening Game 5, we doused our heartache with the spectacular offseason ribs deal at Hickory House. When I got home, I felt no guilt – not from my wife, who reminded me about the health detriments of my meal, nor from my daughter, who, had she been home, would have ecstatically joined me in clogging our arteries.I watched games back to back to back. I watched games till midnight. I turned the volume way up.And for one brilliant game, a friend joined me at Blue Maize as we watched Golden State continue their improbable dismantling of No. 1 seed Dallas. We watched from beginning to end, until there was nobody but bar staff left, and the only drama was whether the game would end before we were tossed out.It occurred to me that, for a family guy like myself, there was nothing more exotic than spending a night in a bar until the wee hours, not worrying about the time. Even if that bar was essentially around the corner from my bed.Stewart Oksenhorn’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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