I take you back, to this … me … “Summer Me.” Take note of the oversized sun glasses, the relaxed smile, the pool behind me, and the sun, dousing me with a healthy dose of Vitamin D. One might say, wow – her life is idyllic. But then comes THE SEASON. No, I’m not talking about winter, I’m talking about the traveling season, and not a family vacation kind of travel, but my husband’s gone from November to February kind of travel with a few spotted weekends home here and there, (just so I don’t forget I’m married).
I think it is ironically cruel that his job doesn’t make him travel during the summer months when, “Go play outside,” or, “Let’s go to the pool,” are the most common utterances out of my mouth. My current pale-faced, dry-skinned, winter version of me also wears over-large sunglasses, but it is mostly to cover the twitch in my eye from lack of sleep, lack of Vitamin D, and – if I’m being honest – lack of sanity. This is the time of year where we are the most contained. Where things like indoor soccer, piano lessons, and dance lessons, and gymnastics lessons, rule my schedule and determine that I will have no time to devote to anything aside from a thirty-minute work out so I don’t go postal.
Most of the time, I’ve totally got it together; and when I don’t, I fake it pretty well. But this particular season is worse than usual. You see, my husband has been in places for “work” like: The Caribbean, Trinidad, Tobago, Florida, and soon to be Dubai. I’m not mad – it’s part of his job, and my life, but I’d love to give him just a little glimpse into what it’s like when he’s gone. This one’s for you love … yes you, who AGAIN, is not here, and probably deserves to know what goes on without you.
Memoirs of a Wife Whose Husband Travels:
*When you’re gone, we go out to dinner a few more times than usual. And by a few I mean whenever I can’t get my work and their practices coordinated … which is pretty freakin often. I think we are on a first name basis with the staff at Chipotle and Jimmy John’s.
*Idiotically, when you’re gone, I temporarily lose my sense of taste, and drink lots of lemonade. You know I don’t like lemonade, but I know you do … and sometimes (all the time) when you leave me, I order it … suddenly craving the soured-sugary concoction … because, well it’s your favorite.
*Once in awhile when you’re gone, I let the kids watch marathon episodes of Disney Channel shows –sometimes until the Netflix shamefully asks, “Are you still watching?” I want to tell Netflix to stop judging me … it’s only been four episodes (maybe five) and everyone needs a break sometimes, right?
*When you’re gone I wear your clothes, a lot. As soon as I get home, I look at my side of the closet, and then yours, and immediately yours wins. And I choose the softest long sleeve t-shirt I can find, and sleep in your boxer shorts.
*Often when you’re gone I frequent Starbucks to get a decaf Caramel Macchiato with light ice at least twice a week. Okay, fair enough … I do that when you’re here too.
*When you’re gone our pets drive me nuts, and I swear that if I hear another bark or meow I’m going to lose it. But then a wicked little part of me wants to go to the humane society and get another, because you aren’t here to tell me no!
*At times when when you’re gone I get a little self-conscious. I think about the exotic people you must meet, and in my overactivity imaginative mind they are all young, accomplished, beautiful business women. And suddenly I feel very dull by comparison. So I search my phone for the best picture of myself I can find, then I use the most forgiving filter to make it even better, and send it to you. Now you know why.
*When you’re gone, our pets or children inadvertently make a mess somehow. A few years ago it was our dog and her explosive diarrhea episode. This time it was our daughter and her projectile vomit all over our bedroom floor. Why couldn’t either of these things happened when you were here to lug the power wash vacuum cleaner up from the basement? When I said I liked being independent … this wasn’t what I meant.
*When you’re gone I don’t sleep well. And I know when you’re here I complain about your hot, heavy leg resting on mine … but without it, I wrestle the sheets and get annoyed at myself for NOT sleeping while I can. I end up watching romantic comedies or romantic dramas, but sappily skip all but the romantic parts … and then I miss you more.
*When you’re gone I go out for ice cream with the kids … sometimes before dinner, because why not right? I know you’d do the same if I ever went anywhere … which I don’t, but if I did – I’ll bet you would.
*Usually when you’re gone I end up accidentally hurting myself somehow, I whack my arm on the cabinet and get a monster bruise, or I sleep wrong and get a stiff neck. This time, our son spilled water and didn’t tell me so I slid right into the wall and crunched all my toes! And it’s no fun complaining to myself how much it hurts.
*When you’re gone I implement mandatory nap times … though our kids are well beyond the age where they need one. I need one, and they seem to agree, shutting their doors with a sort of, “Yeah, let’s have mom take twenty.” What smart kids we have!
*When you’re gone I don’t really make dinner. We eat, but it’s more like a … “Hmmm, that looks like something that I could put together and call a meal.” Oh, wait! That’s what I do every day no matter what. Sorry.
*Sometimes when you’re gone I get a little spiteful, and I might buy a new pair of boots, or an outfit, or a darker shade of lipstick just because.
*But mostly, when you’re gone, I miss you. Plain and simple. And I think about all the parts of you I love best … especially the part that I know you’ll always come back. That might be the thing I do the most – wait for your return.
Here’s to all who can relate, and to those of you who can’t, I hope you never take your local worker for granted.
“Our journey isn’t perfect, but it’s ours, and I’ll stick with you ’til the end.” – Unknown