When you’re 18 years old, nothing inspires joy quite like getting the house to yourself for the weekend when your parents take a trip. When you’re 53 years old, nothing inspires joy quite like getting the house to yourself for the weekend while your husband and kids head off camping.

The teenager, of course, is looking for a “Risky Business” remake. Me? I’m looking for a chance at privacy; for almost 20 years, it was impossible for me to use the bathroom without a tiny hand groping under the door. So this weekend it’s me and Elmer, The Wonder Basset Hound, who is long on companionship and ears, short on conversation and legs, and whose little paw never wedges in under the bathroom door.

Full of energy and ambition, I have a plan: re-organize the pantry, empty the garage, steam clean the grout, do all the laundry, clean the entire house, and exercise for an hour both days. I’m gonna be productive, dangit!

Saturday, 5:30 a.m. — The car backs out of the driveway. I wave good-bye and head back into the house. Instead of veering to the left to make short work of that messy pantry, I make a right turn back towards the bed. I am on a mission to make it, but I wind up making long work of a four-hour nap.

Saturday 2 p.m. — Normally I won’t try yoga when the guys are home, as my Downward Facing Mom causes hysterics. Elmer is a more sympathetic audience, however, so under his watchful eye I attempt my first plank. Which results in my second nap of the day, this time face down on the carpet.

Saturday, 8 p.m. — Browsing the Internet, I read about the flap over the Kraft Zesty Italian Salad Dressing ad, featuring a presumably-naked man clad on a strategically-arrayed picnic blanket. One Million Moms (the group, and I suspect they’re rounding up generously) is outraged. Another million moms (loosely-organized, certainly, but no less vocal) think that packaging salad dressing that way (or not, depending on how you look at it) is a great idea.

Ever practical, all I can think about is how people eat off that blanket, fercryingoutloud, and who’s gonna want to do that, now that Naked Handsome Man has been rolling on it?

I tell Elmer, “I’m getting old, dude.” He wags.

Saturday, 11:45 p.m. — I lie awake, petrified that the latest noise (later revealed to be the ice maker depositing another load) is surely the start of a home invasion. We have an alarm service, and there’s that whole Elmer-The-Wonder-Basset-as-deterrent (if you’re reading this and planning to rob me, he may have stubby little paws but he’s fierce!), but I am doomed to wakefulness for the next seven hours. The ice maker is very consistent. And loud.

Sunday, 7 a.m. — That attempted plank thingy has had far reaching, painful consequences. The couch looks attractive. 

Sunday, 6:30 p.m. — My scorecard is this: The bed is still not made and no one can find anything in the pantry. I have watched five hours of “Big Bang Theory” and have created a gigantic butt print on the couch. I have spoken all of 10 words to Elmer, who promises to not wag, and not tell about my 13 solo trips to the loo.

• Ahwatukee Foothills resident Elizabeth Evans can be reached at elizabethann40@hotmail.com.

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