The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

June 23, 2013

Spending week bonding as bachelors


— Vida, my wife and the Chief Summer Tour Operator at the Kellar Estate, returned Friday evening from a week long trip with our 14 year-old daughter Jaylynn and several other older Girl Scouts to South Padre Island.

Our 6.5 year-old son Jason and I, being men of the male gender, did not participate in this particular excursion.

While down there, the ladies got to frolic in the waves, build sand castles, visit Schlitterbahn and go snorkeling. Jaylynn even learned how to surf!

Jason and I ... did not. As was the case during previous Girl Scout-related activities in which we were not included, Jason and I lived the bachelor life for a few days.

As a father of a growing boy, I feel it is important that Jason and I not only get a time of male bonding, but that I help introduce the concept of bachelorhood to the next generation. There are certain things that a young man needs to learn before he spends time living on his own, tasks which must be mastered in order to successfully survive the day to day life of young adulthood.

For example, there are certain food items which must be kept in every young man’s cabinet and/or refrigerator. These include boxes of macaroni and cheese, hot dogs and buns, boxes of unhealthy cereal and juice mix. Not only can a man flourish with these items available, but they don’t cost very much and with them meals can be made quickly.

Next on the list is the television remote control. A young man must learn that under all circumstances, he is to be the absolute master of the remote control at his residence ... unless his wife/girlfriend tells him otherwise. Thankfully, Jason learned the basics of how to operate the television remote a while back, so all I had to do was train him in advanced channel flipping, where the viewer endlessly and relentlessly scrolls through the channels in the hopes that during this round, he will find something to watch. Jason caught on immediately and I so proud.

During one particularly uneventful evening, Jason discovered an old Super Nintendo Entertainment System and a few games we’ve had stashed away. This is the same game system on which — several years ago — Vida, our older son Nick and his friend Jairo learned all of the intricacies of playing “Donkey Kong Country”, for hours and even days on end. I had only recently managed to get that annoying theme music out of my head.

But Jason begged me to hook it up and I, needing a few moments of non-male bonding time, agreed. And now the classic video gaming torch has been passed to another generation. I will consider this Vida’s contribution to Jason’s burgeoning bachelorhood, because every young man must be indoctrinated in the details of playing video games until the wee hours of the morning.

When Vida and Jaylynn finally made it home from their latest adventure, I knew that they had had a wonderful time and was amazed to discover how much fun they were able to have. I was also certain that, in a decade or so, Jason will have learned everything he needs to know in order to be a lazy, channel surfing, video game playing bachelor and that the past week was one of the milestones toward reaching that goal.

That’s what we men get to do, while the women are at the beach ...

Just a thought ...

Kellar is a Herald-Banner staff writer