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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Home alone

The week after Easter is spring break around here, and I'm spending it on my own.

Back during the first week of the school year, my stepdaughter Tall Girl brought home information about a trip to New York City that her drama teacher was organizing over spring break. The group would spend four days in the city, sightseeing, shopping, and seeing two Broadway shows, Wicked (which she's seen once already, but in Los Angeles) and Spamalot. "I really want to go," she said. Her father looked over the tour information and said, "I do too!" To my stepdaughter's surprise, I told him I didn't mind if he did. "You're a really nice wife," she told me. After some negotiations about logistics and finances with Tall Girl's mother, her deposit for the trip was turned in - and so was her father's, since he was going to be a parent chaperone. Meanwhile, plans were made for my stepson to spend spring-break week at a place we like to call "Camp Grandma." Everyone left on Monday and will return on Friday.

The upshot of all this is four days and four nights of just Gypsy and me, and the longest time that Tall Paul and I have been apart since before we moved in together (and even then, we went back and forth between each other's apartments most nights). I start my long weekend off from work in honor of my birthday on Friday, and since The Boy doesn't get back to town till afternoon and the plane from New York is due to arrive in the evening, I'll have at least part of that day on my own too, plus all day next Monday when everyone else is back at work and school.

Single parent to my dog - sounds like old times. But I think a few days of it will be quite enough for me; I am not at all nostalgic for those "old times." We've gone a week or so without seeing the kids during vacations before - and I see my own kid twice a year, if I'm lucky - but it feels very different here without my husband. He's never been to New York, and I'm glad he's going on this trip with his daughter (and 80 other parents and kids, plus one drama teacher), but I'm really not all that excited about having the house to myself for a few days. Having said that, though, it's not like I don't have plans:
  • Housecleaning on Friday morning. Don't laugh - you know it's much easier to get that done when no one else is home, and I want to get it out of the way early.
  • Taking myself out to Starbucks for coffee, and bring my book with me for some quiet reading time.
  • Writing - I try to get ahead on posts for the blog, and this will be a good opportunity.
  • Recreational shopping! I gave up buying books for Lent, and the moratorium has ended, so I see a nice bookstore browse in my future. Chances are pretty good that I'll stop by a few of my favorite clothing stores too. Depending where I end up, there might be some other stops as well...
  • I already have an appointment for a facial that weekend, but I may see if I can schedule my first spring pedicure at the spa too.
  • More reading.
It's possible that I'll toss all those plans out the window, too. If I change my mind about all that running around, I'll just lounge around, read, and maybe take a nap!

The days are mostly fine, especially the ones at work, although we usually do talk one the phone a couple of times a day and I'm missing that. It's the evenings that just don't feel right. Gypsy doesn't talk much.

It's interesting - in my first marriage, even well before things headed downhill, I'll admit that I often looked forward to times when my husband wouldn't be home. It's not that I didn't want him around, but things just felt more relaxed sometimes when he wasn't. (Maybe I should have paid more attention to that...) I don't have that sense now. Thanks to several "single years," I manage practical things just fine and I'm not pining for Tall Paul while he's gone, but I miss him a lot, and eagerly look forward to his coming home. It's more relaxed when we're both here. Things are different this time around, and I really like it.

4 comments:

  1. Enjoy the quiet time. I feel the same way when my wife goes out of town. I like being able to watch my "guy movies" but it gets boring quickly.

    Hope you get all your jobs done. Or, not. Whatever feels best at the time. :)

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  2. Mike - Thanks! It's actually going by pretty quickly, but the house is just so quiet.

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  3. I hope you enjoy the quiet time as well. My mom and I were talking recently about how different life is now that my dad is retired. My mom is still working. She suddenly doesn't have any alone time and my dad wants to go everywhere with her when she's not teaching. She's been offered a golden handshake but is seriously considering turning it down simply because she isn't ready to be home 24/7 yet. My dad had been working the night shift for over 20 years and so my mother sees him a lot more than she used to now. I imagine it's taking some getting used to having someone in bed with her each night too.

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  4. Literary Feline - I just got off the phone with my husband; he's called every night while he's been gone. In some ways it's nice not to answer to anyone for a few days, but it was weird when I left work tonight - there wasn't anyone to call and tell that I was on my way home. :-)

    Retirement can be a big adjustment for a lot of couples. I'm sure it's a big change for your mom. I have a friend whose dad travels a lot for work, and her mom will probably have to get used to his suddenly being around a lot when he retires.

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