This morning, I’m feeling a bit embarrassed. Although I am a grown man of reasonable intelligence and a passable resume of accomplishment, I have been reduced to bumbling incompetence because of the temporary absence of two women from my life.
My Administrative Assistant, Kristin Reihl, had the temerity to request time off for a vacation with her family at some lake estate in Minnesota. This has left me alone and vulnerable at my office. Since her departure, I have presented and closed five cases, all of which sit in a towering, forlorn pile on my credenza awaiting the completion of paperwork that must be done before they can be submitted. I can do it…I really can. However, words cannot possibly convey just how much I loathe each and every piece of paperwork involved in my chosen profession. Because of this unhealthy hatred, I hired Kristen, and upon completion of a case, I hand the entire mess to her and force her to endure it for money. It’s a great system…I give her what I hate and she takes my money. But this week, she’s up there in the Land of Lakes frolicking in the low eighties with no humidity, taking naps in hammocks and drinking wine all day while I sit staring at this pile of files.
To make matters much worse, this morning my wife left for three days in Columbia, South Carolina to visit my daughter and help her set up her new classroom. This means I will be alone until Saturday afternoon. When your children grow up and leave the house, it’s called the empty nest. When your wife leaves for three days after the kids have left, it’s more like large, empty, abandoned medieval castle.
Not that there aren’t some advantages to being alone in your home. I can walk around in my underwear while drinking cranberry juice directly out of the bottle. That’s always a good time. I can go out on the deck and fire up a fine cigar any time I want and not have to hear about how bad I smell when I come back inside. But, if a man smokes a cigar on his deck while his wife is away and she isn’t there to smell him, did it really even happen?
When Pam is gone, I am essentially a lost puppy. When you finish up the last thing at work, it hits you that she isn’t waiting for you at home. Something inside you deflates a little. When you get home you look around at the place and everything seems stale and boring. How could a home that was warm and inviting just 12 hours ago suddenly look like a dump?
So you head over to Q or Big Al’s for dinner. There will be no made from scratch crab cakes, no bruschetta, no caprese tarts for you for a while. You’ll have to make do with pizza and chicken wings and chicken fingers. You probably won’t shave for a couple of days either. What’s the point? It’s embarrassing to admit that after 30 years of marriage you still attempt to impress your wife by looking as good as possible, partly out of fear that if you let myself go, she would suddenly realize how much better she could do!So, today will be filled with paperwork, and then I will go home and begin planning a welcome home celebration for Saturday night!