Happy Valentine’s Day from the dining room office.
Lest you think I’m being an inattentive husband, I should tell you that Jenny and I went to a movie and dinner last night. The movie was, fittingly enough, Valentine’s Day. I’d claim that this was a Valentine’s favor to my wife, but after my decision in the Avatar/It’s Complicated showdown in Bartlett, most of you would see right through that.
Also, I’m technically no where near the dining room office right now. Instead, I’m coming to you on location from the Starbucks at Target (at least for the beginning of this post), killing some time while Jenny takes a lap through the clothes and then does some grocery shopping. Even after our date night, I just couldn’t bear to be separated from her today.
As long as I don’t have to take part in the grocery shopping itself, of course.
In a way, this post is my valentine to all of you, the dining room office readers.
Huh. “All of you” makes you sound like quite a large group. I won’t tell if you won’t.
Anyway, since I started writing this blog a week ago, several of you have graciously signed up to be “followers,” looking past this slightly cultish-sounding moniker. Others have started to write comments or send ideas for future posts. So, on this Hallmarkiest of holidays, I wanted to express my appreciation for all of your support. There seems no better way to do so than through something involving a cryptic acronym. Thus, I’d like to unveil:
The D.R.O.P. list.
This is not to be confused with another blogspot blog, “The Drop List” (note the differing capitalization and periods). No, here D.R.O.P. stands for “Dining Room Office Peep,” which will henceforth be the designation for someone at the center of this blog’s community.
I know what you’re thinking, and yes, I’m totally fine with any D.R.O.P. listing that title on his or her resume. Please just indicate it’s a registered trademark.
How does one get on the D.R.O.P. list? The two most surefire ways are by pre-ordering 100,000 copies of my book or sending large amounts of cash. However, if you insist on doing things the easy way, you can:
1) sign up to be an official follower over there on the right (I promise I won’t turn it into an actual cult until I hit at least 50)
2) become a regular contributor in the “Comments” section
3) participate in the blog in some other way*
What exactly that last one entails is hard to nail down definitively, thus making its criteria harder to explain than why every time we have a cell phone conversation that starts to break up, we immediately assume it’s the fault of the other person’s phone and not ours.
I am as guilty of this as anyone, by the way, as my wife and mom can both attest. Further, I am fully aware it makes absolutely no sense and that repeating “Hello?” while building to a crescendo of frustration is incredibly annoying. And yet I do it anyway. Then again, I start each season thinking that this will be the year Notre Dame finally wins a meaningful bowl game again. Old habits die hard, I guess.
Actually, this phone observation is the perfect example of number three, as I didn’t come up with it on my own. My buddy Justin—the one with the Detroit Tigers icon—suggested it to me and, in the process, inspired me to create the D.R.O.P. list even before he became a follower. (Incidentally, he’s also the one who got me started on Notre Dame when I was about five, so feel free to blame him for any of my annoying habits in that regard; I’m still looking for scapegoats for all the others.)
All of this should give you an idea of how you get on—or, if you’re so inclined, stay off—the D.R.O.P. list, whose roster you’ll notice has been added on the right.
What’s in it for you besides my unending gratitude and being referred to as “D.R.O.P. so-and-so” in future posts? Umm … well … yeah, that’s about it.
So, without further adieu, here are the charter members of the D.R.O.P. list, all of whom are also official “followers” of the blog:
1) Jenny (you all know my better half)
2) Rein (my father-in-law, so far the MVP of the “Comments” section)
3) Susan (my sister-in-law and future Cake Boss)
4) Kate (my sister-in-law and legal representation)
5) Ryan (my cousin, who is really Jenny’s cousin, making him my cousin-in-law, but who says that?)
6) Josh (my partner in crime at work)
7) Megan (my former intern at Notre Dame and author of a wickedly funny blog, 100% FUNemployed)
8) Justin (the greatest stickball player in the history of Elderberry Drive)
9) Jill (Justin’s wife and one heck of an entrepreneur)
In addition, I’m bending the rules and making four honorary inductions here at the beginning:
1) My mom (she’s got way too much dirt on me, so I don’t want to piss her off)
2) My dad (ditto)
3) Sheila (my mother-in-law and publicist)
4) Jerry Seinfeld (used to be on TV and could use the exposure)
I wanted to give everyone a little background on everyone else because, like I said, this blog is some sort of cult … I mean community, and you should know who else is here.
So there you have it; the united states of D.R.O.P. starts with 13.
I think that’s a good sign.