My husband Randy went out of town this week and it occurred to me how things change when he’s away. Not super-dramatic, but enough to rock the usual rigorous, Swiss-clock precision of the Stone house (ahem.) And here, in no particular order, are the changes…
Dinners become a joke. Okay, who am I trying to kid? Dinners are usually primitive affairs at best around here — turkey burgers and ravioli — but when Randy’s gone, it’s really “Lord of the Flies.”
My teenage sons and I fight over who has to pick up the Chinese take-out. I’ve been known to eat Fudge Ripple ice cream as the main course. Things that would horrify my husband, like eating goat cheese on Swedish hard bread (which he calls prison food) become a staple.
Our bed becomes a repository for… well, everything. In the old days when Randy travelled, no matter how tucked in everyone started the night, I’d wake up with two little boys, a dog and a cat next to me, all touching my body like spokes on a wheel.
These days instead of kids, there are journals, computers, books, magazines, my kindle, the cat (still), my purse, DVD’s, phones, and empty snack bags. How quickly that real estate gets gobbled up.
I stay up later. Since I don’t have to turn out the light when Randy comes to bed, I watch horrible shows into the wee hours like “Housewives of New York City” or “Celebrity Wife Swap.” Sometimes I’ll watch a marathon of “Modern Family.”
I know women who can view “The Walking Dead” or the local news while alone. I can’t even watch them when not alone, although sometimes I go crazy and check out “River Monsters,” which leads me to #4…
I hear more thumps and bumps. I hate 3:00 a.m., especially when Randy’s gone. It’s that in-between hour, not quite early late night, but not early morning either. Its smack in the middle like that mean girl I had to go around in the school cafeteria.
I lay awake and try not to think of every crime ever committed or that giant crocodile pulled from the Amazon, or how the town newspaper said it’s been a bad year for break-ins.
I start to miss him. It’s usually the three-day mark when I look up from my bed, which by now resembles the last hours of Woodstock and realize something’s missing. Don’t I usually share this space with someone? Someone tall who snores? Someone who leaves his dirty clothes one inch from the hamper?
Something strange is happening.
I’m starting to miss my husband. I miss his solid presence in this house. I miss talking to him. I miss the way he gets things off shelves without a stepstool.
Yes, by the end of the week, I’m ready to give back Randy’s side of the bed (after a good cleaning), cook real meals and say goodbye to late night “Storage Wars.” But it’s a good trade.
When I hear those thumps and bumps at 3:00 a.m., it’s nice to nuzzle into my husband, mumbling, “Honey, what was that?”
Of course, Randy’s too busy snoring to hear, but that’s okay. It’s nice to know he’s there.
How do you fare when left to your own devices? Comments are always welcome and if you like, please share. Thank you!