When My Husband Goes Away, I Finally Get My Way
Itâ€™s 9 p.m. and Iâ€™m tucked up in bed with a box of cereal, a jar of peanut butter and a laptop maxed full of downloads. The kids are calm, satisfied and breathing audibly in their room. The thermostat is exactly where it should be. Everything I need is just where Iâ€™ve left it. My whiteheads are popped and my hairy bits plucked into submission.
The good news is Iâ€™ve just had eight days of â€œmeâ€ time, give or take several hours with the children, moving at a pace chosen by yours truly.
The bad news is my husband is due home in the morning.
Ah, alone time. I never used to dream of it, pine for it like the boy next door or a bag of Reeseâ€™s Pieces. I was always a people person, evolving into a couple person: reow! But somewhere along the timeline of our marriage my subconscious began airbrushing the other human beings from my fantasy bed. Even as a mom, once desperate for another adult with whom to share the daily grind, Iâ€™ve begun to cherish my freedom. My reactions, hearing news of my husbandâ€™s impending departure, have segued through the years from panic and depression to mild disappointment, neutrality and finally euphoria. Recently, while celebrating our 10th anniversary, my husband and I considered what we could do in future to keep the flame alive. I suggested he go away more often.
Sometimes romance is in the eye of the beholder.
I canâ€™t be alone in feeling this way, however callous it may sound. I couldnâ€™t be the only mom in the sisterhood to relish sofa suppers, basking in the angelic glow of my twitter feed. Am I alone in preferring to graze on nuts and berries rather than cook the meat-and-two-veg thatâ€™s required when there are two of us around?
Call me a saddo in sweatpants and no bra, but sometimes I prefer silence to the pleasantries of married life. â€œHow was your day, dear?â€ [grrr] â€œWhatcha reading?â€ [grits her teeth] â€œRemind me what weâ€™re doing this weekend â€“ every hour from Friday evening through to Sunday night?â€ [gaaaaahh]
â€œLetâ€™s get it on.â€ [feigns sleep]
I guess I just take it all for granted.
Itâ€™s a good problem to have, as they say. If I had real problems, I suppose Iâ€™d welcome the daily banter and civilized mealtimes. Iâ€™d go back to hiding my design magazines inside the Economist and keep my jeans buttoned throughout the day. I can hack it, if it helps keep the flame alive.
I just happen to know what else helps more.