The other night Jim picked me up from work. On the way home I received a text from my sister, Lorri, saying she was taking my daughter and her’s to my sister Kelly’s house for a sleepover. Kelly lives in the country about 45 minutes from our house. I told Jim about the sleepover and that we could have a nice, quiet evening to ourselves. I expected his response would be something like, “Great” or “That’s nice“. Instead, I got “Why?“.
“Why what?” I countered.
“Why are they sleeping over? It’s only a 45 minute drive home.”
I looked at him puzzled. What did the distance have to do with it? What about this was confusing to him? I thought I had been perfectly clear in my explanation. Then it occurred to me, men don’t do sleepovers. A man will occasionally ‘crash’ at another guys house if he drinks too much but it’s a spontaneous event. It’s not something they plan.
“Hey Garth, how about you come over Friday night and watch the game. We can have some beers, I’ll make popcorn, then we can stay up late, watch the Dirty Dozen and you can sleepover.”
“Sounds great Chuck, I’ll bring the nacho dip.”
No wonder Jim was a little confused about the concept of sleepovers for grown-ups. In his mind it was something 12 year-old girls do at birthday parties. Apparently even Wikipedia thinks that: Slumber Party. A sleepover, also known as a pajama party or a slumber party, is a party most commonly held by children or teenagers, where a guest or guests are invited to stay overnight at the home of a friend, sometimes to celebrate birthdays or other special events. The sleepover is often called a “rite of passage” as a young child, or a teenager, begins to assert independence and to develop social connections outside the immediate family.
They only got it half right. Sleepover’s have no age limits. They are not just for kids or 20-somethings who have just been dumped. I have a writing partner, Diane. Once or twice a month we get together to read each other’s work, edit and discuss the creative and business sides of our craft. It’s not easy to find time as we both have families and full-time jobs. So we decided to give ourselves a little writing retreat. We booked a hotel for one night in a picturesque little town. We will have 24 hours of uninterrupted work time. Since this is a business meeting I can claim the costs on my taxes as a business expense. But who are we kidding, (other than Revenue Canada), this is a sleepover. There will be wine, pizza and later in the evening a chick flick. We will complain about the men in our life, our children, gossip about people we know and celebrities we don’t. All the ingredients are there for an epic sleepover party. So you can call it a writer’s retreat, a hunting weekend with the guys, a motorcycle trip across Canada with your buddies, but no matter how you phrase it, it’s really just a sleepover and we never outgrow those.