Jul 18, 2018

10 stages of emotional decline without my family in town for 7 nights



I have a 1-year-old daughter and a 3-year-old son. I’m busy, constantly. So when my wife told me she was going to stay at the beach with our children for a week after July 4th — thus making me home alone for seven full nights — I acted sad, but I secretly celebrated.

What a mistake.

Stage 1: Work until I pass out for no reason.

The Agenda took July 4th week off. But like a psycho, I came into the office at 5:45 a.m. on July 5th. I created mockups for a new version of our site. I did 2019 projections. I worked until late at night.

Nobody likes the guy who works during holidays because he’s such a hardo.

The only break I took was to eat sushi and pizza for lunch at Whole Foods. Yes, it was an odd combination, but I heard (correctly) that the pizza at Whole Foods is sneaky good.

Tasty za from Whole Foods – but slice to box ratio is kinda funny

Stage 2: Pointless grocery shopping.

No clue what made me walk into Harris Teeter since I planned on eating every meal out. Yes, literally every meal.

I guess I felt like I needed snacks between meals? Cinnamon Toast Crunch at night. Yogurt in the afternoon. No clue on the bread. And who the hell buys Chobani greek yogurt shakes? That’s just weird.


Stage 3: Instagram overload.

I give myself a B+ at Instagram. Katie is an A+. But I’m always looking to improve. So I ordered the burger at Foxcroft Wine Co because I’m always taste-testing burgers for potential updates to my definitive best burger list.

I couldn’t get the natural light right, so I opened a bunch of doors at Foxcroft. Then I stacked my burgers as about 7 people watched and judged me as an instagrammer who was trying too hard (correctly).


Stage 4: Believing I’m still 22 years old.

Did I really need a bubble tea vodka slushy at Seoul Food?


Stage 5: Binge viewing.

I normally never watch TV. Just can’t find time.

Over the course of seven days, I watched 22 episodes of Billions. OMG.

Very entertaining, via Facebook

Stage 6: Reflective bourbon drinking.

Maybe it was too many episodes of Billions, but I poured myself a Bulleit bourbon. I sat on my back porch. I started to reflect on my life. Took a sip. Then I coughed because I wasn’t manly enough to handle it.

Why am I drinking bourbon alone? Poured it out in the sink. Went back to watching Billions.


Stage 7: Pilgrimage to Panda.

I love the Panda Express. I tried to throw my 30th birthday party there, but my wife said no.

My order? Orange Chicken and Kung Pao Chicken with fried rice. I ate 85% of it even though I could have eaten it all. Why? Because the only thing better than warm Panda Express for dinner is cold Panda Express for breakfast.

I took a selfie and posted it to Instagram. Maybe it was a cry for help.


Stage 8: Happy hour meetings, without limits.

I don’t normally do happy hour meetings. But I set up a meeting at Suffolk Punch at 4:30 p.m.

About an hour into the meeting I realized, wait, I have no real responsibilities. Why not have just one more beer? Next thing I know, my neighbor is driving me home at 10 p.m. and I had to take a Lyft-of-shame to Suffolk Punch the following morning.


Stage 9: Viewing family photos while playing Counting Crows Spotify channel on my Airpods.

Slightly hungover, I sipped my Chobani Greek yogurt shake and looked at photos of my children on my phone.

Rock bottom.


Stage 10: Family is finally home!!!

My son is tan! My daughter has two more teeth!

My 3-year-old gave me a hug. He then lifted his head up to say “I missed you, Daddy” and gave me a big, sloppy mouth kiss. I loved it. I almost cried. Then my wife says, “Yeah, we kinda practiced that, go get all the stuff out of the car.”

Well honey, when you were away I kinda practiced being an Instagram star.

Shooters shoot. Volume ⬆ #inmyfeelingschallenge 🎥: @lindseylpeterson 1 take, nbd.

A post shared by Ted Williams (@agenda_ted) on


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Charlotte.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Charlotte stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Charlotte.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more