Ken left today for a 10-day trip: He’s being the most fucking amazing husband in the world and flying to upstate NY to drive my mother to SC, where she winters, with a detour in GA to visit my sister. It’s rather above and beyond for him to take care of my family, and it’s one of the things that still makes me catch my breath.
Initially we both planned to go; we’d rather be together than apart, and we could share the driving, etc. But finally we took a long, hard look at the cost (it’s not cheap to fly to upstate NY nor from SC), and realized only one of us should go. It makes logical sense that it would be him, since he can drive at night, and knows how to do two years’ worth of my mom’s filing (because he set up her filing system), and I have a lot of work to do whereas he’s in a slow period work-wise. I still feel a bit guilty, but I know it makes sense.
I hate it when he’s away—no matter the reason—and it always takes me a little while to come to terms with the differences. I’m slowly learning to schedule time with friends so I don’t become to hermit-like; I’m learning even more slowly how to schedule my day, with no one else to work around (“When do you want dinner?” and so forth).
Sometimes, I’ll put his pillow in the closet and sleep in the middle of the bed. I do that to make more room for the cats, who want to sleep between me and my side of the bed. But Eostre’s in a stage of not coming onto the bed—she’s loving what I’d planned to be my office chair—so maybe I won’t. But I did roll out of bed this morning on Ken’s side, which for some reason I don’t do when he’s home but has gotten up before me. I don’t know why.
We have a bad habit of eating in front of the TV (our coffee table flips up flat to become the right height for eating or working or whatever), and when we’re eating, we each prop a pillow behind our back because the sofa is a little deep. His pillow’s sitting there on his side, and I can’t bring myself to move it yet. (What is it with me and pillows?)
His napkin’s sitting on the coffee table, too—he won’t use it for another week and a half, and maybe I’ll wash it if I do a load of light laundry—and so is a paper towel, because he drives me nuts by using paper towels instead of plates, scattering crumbs as he goes. Which reminds me, I need to sweep and mop the kitchen; there are bits of brownie bites ground into the linoleum. (Sigh.)
The house ends up cleaner when he’s gone, because he’s not leaving his shoes everywhere or smearing peanut butter on all available surfaces (counter, refrigerator handle, cabinet handle, the kitchen sink faucet for crying out loud). When I tell him it’s like living with a 6-year-old, he says “Nuh-uh! Is not!” Then again, he’s been doing most of the dishes lately, and he generally handles the cat boxes and the trash and we share the cooking…. A Catch-22.
I miss him. I feel adrift. The first day, and the first night, are always the hardest.