Out of town is hard on a house, spouse


I don’t know how or why and it hardly seems possible, yet I have undeniable proof that it is. My entire life just goes right ahead and falls apart if my husband leaves the state.
Gone. There is something about Mr. Wonderful crossing state lines that causes the universe to go off its meds and put a target right on my head.
I try, I really do, to be one of those intrepid “I am woman, hear me roar” types, but the truth is, I’m really not.
I love my husband dearly and married him for a myriad of reasons including but not limited to his devastating smile, personal chemistry, all-around good looks, fantastic personality and ability to do all the “boy things” I don’t want to do.
He’s really handy at doing sexy things like picking up dead mice, changing the oil, loading the wood burner and being responsible for all manner of things that drip, drop, heat, cool, start, stop or bite.
On a practical level, he is the ultimate mediator in insuring that my house and I generally get along.
I live in an old house and, as such, must keep an eye on it at ALL times lest it turn on me in a heartbeat. Much like dealing with cornered wild animals, you don’t ever want an old house to sense your fear.
In the past, the house has taken Mr. Wonderful’s absence as a sign to begin leaking carbon monoxide. Thus setting off a wailing alarm in the wee hours.
It is due only to the gracious sense of heroism possessed by our furnace repairman that I didn’t have to take our then 6-month old baby and sleep in my car.
Busted. Other situations that seem to arise almost the instant his plane leaves the tarmac include, but are not limited to: water that won’t heat, washers that won’t drain (or a dishwasher that does – all over the kitchen floor) and, of course, bats that break in and try to kill me from fright. (Although to be fair, that last one happens fairly often enough whether he’s out of town on business or not).
Sometimes the house gets in cahoots with the vehicles. In those instances, I have enjoyed such challenges as the driver’s side window that fell down and refused to rise again and a fairly important belt-type-thing that is clearly necessary for the vehicle to operate and that flew off incessantly over a three-day period just out of spite.
Even if the physical objects in my life don’t decide to get cute in his absence, I am far from home free. The universe will conspire to remind me why I do not have what it takes to be a solo parent and hope never, ever to have to be solely responsible for these children for more than three days in a row.
Sick. On the first day that Mr. Wonderful flew out of town this week, both my son and I came down with the flu simultaneously. Now, I am a mom and as such, I learned long ago that mommies don’t get sick days.
Nonetheless, there is a lot to be said for that blissful, blessed moment when a healthy spouse sweeps in the door from work and frees you to go lie on the couch and be pitiful.
When your spouse is out of town, this reprieve never comes.
Thus, no matter how nauseating the idea of ever ingesting, seeing, smelling or even thinking about food ever again might be, you risk finding yourself heating up Beanie Weenies or flipping grilled cheese for the children’s dinner while trying valiantly (and with little success) not to hurl.
Sure, it’s not quite as dramatic as severing-your-own-trapped-limb-from-the-rockslide-with-a-penknife-to-free-yourself, but it’s a hardship nonetheless.
This also leads to many promises you probably can’t keep, including but not limited to, “Look, Mommy will buy you a pony AND a Porsche if you just let her lie her with her eyes closed for 10 little minutes,” and “Yeah, I’ll give you ‘Guess what?’ if you wake me up one more time to tell me a knock-knock joke I swear to you with God as my witness I’m Fed Exing you to Grandma’s house.”
Clearly, I miss my husband dearly, can’t live without him and hope he comes home safe and SOON. His work-related travel is giving ME the business.
(Kymberly Foster Seabolt misses her husband very much. She welcomes comments c/o lifeoutloud@comcast.net; P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460; or http://kymberlyfosterseabolt.com.)


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Kymberly Foster Seabolt lives in rural Appalachia with the always popular Mr. Wonderful, two small dogs, one large cat, two wandering goats, and a growing extended family.