My Inklings of Coherence

Meandering to the beat of a different drummer, these are my thoughts. If you are offended or angered by this blog, or feel it is of low-quality, please accept a full refund of your contribution.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

O solo mio

There are times when things go just the way you had them planned, and then there's just about every minute of my life. This week, of course, was no exception.

As I am writing this, I have been alone in my house for about 6 days. Yes, my wife and kids are on a summer vacation of sorts, visiting my sister in Brownsville, TX, for four days, and now crashing at an old friends' in Houston. The plan is for them to be home tomorrow, we'll see.

Now when this trip was planned a few months ago, the prospect of spending a week or so on my own had a certain allure. As hard as it may be to believe, I have never spent this much time alone in my home, in my entire life. Yes, that's right. Sure, Erika has taken a couple of trips since we've been married, but for usually just 2 or 3 days, and often there have been children left behind. And before Erika, I was leaving at the old homestead, and well, mom and dad just really weren't the travelling kind. And with 3 brothers and sisters, even when they did leave, I certainly wasn't alone.

Anyway, I had some ideas of how this week would go. I would pass the bulk of the day at work, then have my evenings to myself. Call up some old friends, go to dinner where I wanted to eat, go to movies that I wanted to see, stay up late watching sports that I wanted to watch, etc. And it seemed like an equal and fair trade-off between me and Erika. Yes, I would child-free, but I would still be working 40 hours a week. And yes, she would have the kids, but she would be at the beach and doing fun stuff with them. I figured that was pretty even, meaning I could enjoy myself here without those nagging pangs of guilt that tend to rule my world whenever I try to have fun.

Well, if it had worked out like that, then it wouldn't really be my life now would it? All of those plans and the rest of my freaking world came crashing down last Monday. Long story short, my job had finally sucked enough that things came to a head (for the extended version, see here.) Well, with a plan in mind, I made the decision to make the leap of faith and make a change. I told LTM that I was no longer able to work in the environment provided, and I would be leaving in 2 weeks. Now, when the vacation plans were made, I certainly didn't think that I would be working my last week at LTM while everyone was gone, but hey, I had a plan and didn't think it would be that big of a deal. Besides this needed to be done.

Well, when things around here crash down, they usually go straight through the floor and into the basement. When I arrived at work on Tuesday, I found a nice letter on my desk that basically said "We don't need two more weeks of you, please do not come back tomorrow" (except without such compassion.) That was a little unexpected. Now, I am unemployed, and my great plan is quickly slowing to a crawl. Oh yeah, and vacation is supposed to start in 3 days. Great.

Erika's immediate reaction was to cancel all travel plans, sell the house, live in the car and start finding foster homes for the kids because we would certainly be starving to death in 2 days, and the man upstairs was probably laughing the whole way. (Well, maybe I'm exaggerating, but she was understandably upset.) Now, I hate upsetting Erika. I am only really happy when I know she is. Sometimes I'm still not, but I am never really happy if she's not. This was not how this was supposed to play out. So, I've become an incredible failure to the love of my life, and my great kids are going to miss out on the great summer vacation they've been planning for months. Could it get worse? More than likely.

I made the decision that, to hell with it all, the show must go on! I told Erika that we would be going through with the trip plans. That in fact, this would work out better because the trip was just about paid for anyway, and being alone at home would allow me time to try to straighten everything out. Another long story short, she agreed and off they went and here I am.

Truth be told, when faced with the prospect of being in this house with my wife and kids stare at me while I flipped through the classifieds trying to find a job that would probably involve cleaning toilets, flipping burgers or digging ditches for about 1/4th of what I was making 2 weeks ago, made me want to crawl into the tiniest of holes and implode. That was just not something I thought I could do.

So here I am. Alone. Fortunately, and I thank the heavens above, Erika has been reporting that they have been having a pretty good time. Me? Not so much. This is definitely not what I had planned. Instead of working like normal folk, I have spent my days, dressed in shirt and tie, riding around in 95 degree heat, dropping off resumes and filling out applications. Dinners out? No, try dinner by way of the Wal-mart samples and a 32-oz Mountain Dew from the corner store that's on sale for 50 cents. Movies? No, at home by myself, flipping channels with no real interest. Friends? Coming to the realization that I don't have any real "hang-out" friends w/out Erika, and besides, do not want to have to explain everything that's going on.

So, how have I been spending my time? Well, now that everyone in Baton Rouge has a copy of my resume, and has received the "follow-up" phone call, I am trying to do as much as I can around the house to make it nice for Erika when she gets back. Trying to be productive and get yard work done, get the house clean, hang doors, etc. I guess its my way to try to redeem myself in her eyes. Doubtful, though.

No, this hasn't exactly been the week that I had in mind. And that in itself really sucks. As much as I love my wife and my 3 kids, every now and then, the loner in me rears its ugly head. Usually I feed that need by staying up late by myself in the living room watching TV after everyone has gone to bed. This week was the chance to live the batchelor life that I never really wanted, but was indeed curious about. Perhaps, someone thought that I couldn't be trusted to have a week to myself without serious trouble and problems. Maybe I would have enjoyed myself too much. Hey, just looking for the silver lining.

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