When the Cat’s Away

It can get lonely when your spouse is away.  I miss my husband, and it’s not just because I have to take on his daddy duties while he’s gone.  Most of all, I just miss spending time with him.  So, to fill the void, I have devised a three-step plan to jazz up my days and nights while he is away.

  1. Make the bed each morning.

I have the pleasure of leaving for work before anyone else in my household is even awake.  This gives me the perfect excuse for not making the bed in the morning, and conveniently allows me to place all blame for rumpled sheets on my husband.  I have, however, in my advanced age, come to admit that tidiness does wonders for my tendencies toward low-grade anxiety.  And no tidying task is easier than making the bed.  I can almost picture all of the piles of crap I can now sort on my freshly made sheets.  

  1. Read, Write, and Run

Not only are they alliterative, they’re also the three non-human loves of my life.  Escapism, exhilaration, confidence, and fear are provided by each in healthy doses and in their own unique way.  A big plus – not only do I enjoy doing all of these things, but, unlike my love of guzzling booze* and pretending not to know who Kylie Jenner is, they are actually good for me!   So why do I have to schedule them like they’re a pap smear?  Because kids.  And even though 90% of parenting consists of picking up crumbs and reminding kids to pee in the potty, it’s time consuming.  Once the kids are in bed, you want to, you know, hang with your spouse.  And while reading, writing, and running are good things to talk about,  it’s pretty hard to talk while you’re doing them.  So, while I am fairly successful at fitting one of those activities in most nights, a spouseless house will mean I have time for all three.  Right?  A spouseless house doesn’t mean hours more work, right?  Right??

  1. Most importantly: Watch whatever the hell I want.  

My husband’s been gone for two nights.  Night number one was filled with two straight hours of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.  Night number two introduced me to the wonder that is Michael Fassbender as Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre (which may or may not have been followed up with an exhaustive Internet search of his entire career, childhood, and genealogy – he’s German/Irish by the way).  Tomorrow, shall it be Anna Karenina or Serendipity?  The only thing I know for sure is that the “Romance” category of Netflix is officially my bitch for the next three weeks, and Lockdown: New Mexico is on hiatus.

I don’t know about you, but after reviewing this list, I’m somewhat convinced that I’m going to tell my husband to hit the road again upon his arrival home.  Although, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that, while I have, to date,  been successful in completing all the above goals, I have also been staying up past midnight in order to do so.   So, perhaps it will be my husband who chooses to hit the wrong again once he takes a look at his red-eyed, haggard wife.

*Any and all references to alcohol consumption in this blog are greatly exaggerated, Mom.

Shallow Saints

There is a certain smugness that comes along with your husband leaving for a three-week European music tour.

 The kind of smugness that results from countless “You’re a saint” and “I don’t know how you do its” thrown your way.  You shrug them off demurely with a lot of “Oh, it’s nothings,” but what you really want to say is, “You’re damn right I’m an effing saint.  Especially if a requirement of canonization is drinking half a bottle of wine before your children’s bedtime.”

But you don’t say that.  And not just because saints don’t swear and only drink in moderation (cue St. Francis telling me to “speak for myself”)*.  It’s because you want a piece of the glory.  And as a wife and mother, these days, your only glory comes in the form of feeling superior to those around you (or is that just the form it takes when you’re shallow and superficial?).  

Your husband is living the enviable life of a rock star, so where does that leave you?   When your identity is one of wife and mother, you better be the best damn one in town, and that means slapping on a happy face and “no big dealing” your way through the praise on a rare night out.  

My husband gets to eat, drink, and be merry in various European cities.  Each of his nights will end with a crowd applauding him, buying him drinks, and perhaps asking for autographs.  Simultaneously, I will be cooking, cleaning, and attempting to finish kindergarten homework without tears (mine) in a most assuredly less alluring small U.S. city. Each of my nights will end with a three- and five-year-old disparaging me for picking out the wrong pajamas, and then refusing to go potty so that, perhaps, I may later change those awful pajamas and their sheets when they’re soaked in pee.  So, if I bask a little too long in the “I wish my wife was as cool as yous” a little too long, then so be it.  Consider it my cut of the tour profits.
* Pure creative license.  I’m sure that St. Francis was, by all accounts, a real teetotaler.