A friend whom I've known for coming up on 25 years called me bright and early this morning (6:45am -- before my alarm even goes off) and started to leave a message because I didn't hear the phone ring. I called her back because what little info was left made no sense to me. But before I tell you the reason she called, you need a little background. Her husband is a difficult child. Make that G-F-G. Not sure what all his issues are, but hoarding is one of them and socially awkward is another. To give you an idea, he buys up cereal when it's on sale and he has a coupon so that it's essentially free. Which is great, and I try to do that when I can. But he has hundreds of boxes stacked in his house, garage, where ever they can fit. And the majority of it goes bad and cannot be eaten, he keeps it that long. And this is only one of the things he hoards (newspapers, motor oil, bike innertubes, books, old clothing, etc.). The other example I have is that on their WEDDING DAY, he talked his best man into stopping at a quickmart on the way to the church so he could grab a couple of cheap hotdogs because they were having a special on them that day. And was consequently LATE and got ketchup and mustard on his tuxedo shirt. Okay. 'Nuff said. He's a difficult child. Today is his birthday. He traditionally takes the day off work to go skiing, and there's an added bonus at some of the local resorts where you get a free lift ticket on your birthday. Last year he took his 2nd grader son with him and the kid essentially got a private snowboarding lesson because they were there mid-week. They had a lot of fun, so they'd planned to do this again today. But today, his son woke up with a 102 degree temperature. And today was his wife's (my friend's) last training day for her census job so she had to be somewhere (the class happens to be in my town and they live a couple towns over). He had the audacity to ask her to call me to see if I would come pick up their son at the class site at 8:30am and watch him so HE could go skiing. If we completely ignore the fact that the kid is very sick, there's still the issue that I'm still shuttling kids to school at 8:30am, and to complicate things further, I had a meeting at difficult child 2's school today at 10am which I obviously could NOT take the boy to, and I did NOT feel comfortable leaving him alone at my house. He's only in 3rd grade, and HE'S SICK! I gently asked my friend to not be offended if I declined her request and said I felt that this was one of those times when her husband might not be able to do exactly as he wanted. I said I was sorry, and told her she should talk to him again. If push came to shove and she REALLY needed this favor from me, I'd do it, but I really felt her husband should step in and be a parent today. She more or less agreed and said that he had mumbled something about staying home if he absolutely had to. And then she started to recount the times she's had her own birthday plans thwarted because of something unexpected that's come up and she just made the best of things. I guess I'm just shocked that she would even consider for a moment that it would be okay for me to do this while putting my own family's health in jeapordy so her husband could go play. And I also feel sorry for her that she can't find the backbone to tell her husband when he's an asinine fool. Okay, thanks for letting me get that off my chest!