The Daver works one of those jobs where he’s ALWAYS working. I don’t mean that in the flip sort of oh-my-God-I-have-to-work-until-6-PM-AGAIN kind of way; I mean it in the very real you-better-never-get-attached-to-the-idea-of-a-spouse way. It took quite an adjustment for me, who had been used to the idea that a job came with occasional overtime, but overall, after you clocked out, you were done.
Not so for The Daver’s job. At any moment in time, and I do mean ANY moment, work can send an email and he will have to drop whatever he’s doing and go fight some nerdy fire. Most often this occurs when I am having a meltdown or the kids are driving me insane (perhaps the two are related?) or at the MOST inconvenient time possible. I had to physically pry Dave’s Blackberry from his hand while our babies were born.
I used to be infuriated by this. How DARE they take him from me when I am having A Moment? How could they POSSIBLY know when the worst possible time to require the eyes of ONLY Dave was? Anger gave way to a quiet resignation several years ago and I now merely roll my eyes when work takes up one of my weekend days–the only time I am able to get shit done–and move the hell on with my life.
But the prospect of losing the hour of help each day that I have another human being who is capable of taking care of one of the children left me cold and in dire need of a meaty hug. I often can only get through the day knowing that by 7 or 8, I will have another set of hands to take over for me, should I have to do something as inconsiderate as taking a poo.
I know, how DARE I have to move my bowels?
In a stunning fit of brilliance, Daver asked my sister-in-law to come stay with us while he was away. This meant that now, rather than having to wait until late evening or weekends to Get Stuff Done, it’s now possible for me to go and plant the hydrangea that I couldn’t resist purchasing even though I had no real spot to put it.
(hello run on sentence! How I’ve missed you!)
It’s entirely safe to say that I have gotten more done in the past few days than I have in months. Years, maybe. I’d tell you what I’ve done, but you might die of boredom, so I will merely leave you with this cautionary tale.
The people whom we’d bought our house from three and a half years ago weren’t what I would call House People. They finished my basement and replaced all the doors, but didn’t see fit to trim the 3 lilacs in front or try and tame the Rose Bush of Doom in my back yard. This was made worse by the people whom they had bought the house from who were House People. Specifically, they were Landscaping People.
Bought, I’m sure when the bushes and trees were tiny, every single inch of the front of my house is neatly landscaped with variations of trees and bushes. Aside from a couple of the squat evergreen type-y bushes, I like it all.
Problem is that landscaping like that requires upkeep greater than simply watching as it overtakes the yard. So I inherited quite a mess when I moved in. The rose bush I eventually tamed could likely have been in the Guinness Book of World Records for Least Beautiful Rose On The Planet.
The whole house had taken on a look of being owned by some creepy recluse who was happy to have all of the windows covered by overgrown shrubbery.
Lest the people who drive past think that I am that creepy recluse (shut up), I’ve made a weekly effort to trim that fucker the fuck down. And I’m not sure that you’d notice, but the 12 or 13 bags of lawn refuse would say differently.
On Saturday before Dave left, he gave me the afternoon off so that I could take care of some business in the yard. Including taming this bush-tree thing that was beginning to resemble a koosh ball on speed.
But because I am short, it’s no easy feat. It requires that I essentially get the whole tree into a bear hug and pull down branches to trim several feet of length off so that it stops scraping against the house. As I was in the middle of doing this, I realized that with every lop of my choppers, I was being coated in a fine dust of…something. After I’d done most of it, I realized that the dust-stuff was causing my chest to erupt in a delicious constellation of hives.
And because I am not only stupid but a masochist too, I finished the damn job before I went inside to survey the damage. I lubed up my burning, itchy skin with some topical cream or another (thankfully, I was NOT allergic to that, although this would have made the story funnier) and tried to think non-itchy thoughts.
About 20 minutes later, we had to go across the street to a birthday party for Alex’s friend Zach. Praying that 20 minutes was enough time for me to look less diseased, I prepared for the best and eventually, thanks to the anti-itch cream, forgot about my delicate oozing chest situation.
It wasn’t until we showed up at the party and I began to receive decidedly cold looks as parents shooed their children away from mine did I realize that perhaps something was wrong with me. After I had Daver check for bats in my belfry (none present, sir), I was stumped. Then, sheepishly, Dave pointed out gently that maybe my weeping, red, crusty chest might have something to do with the looks I was getting.
He was right and we left immediately. To prove that I never learn my lesson, upon surveying that I had missed a patch on the bush of crusty, itchy doom, I grabbed my loppers and hugged that bush right up, further intensifying both my sheer stupidity and my histamines.
I’d say something like “you live, you learn” but obviously I do not.
What can you not ever manage to learn, Internet?