Bob had to work over the weekend, so he was home today, which meant I had to share my office with him. He was busy writing an essay. At the end of this week, he will be done with his chaplaincy and will be working on writing more essays he needs to compose in order to be ordained (word of warning here: if you’re considering going into the ministry, choose something other than the Presbyterian denomination.You practically have to earn a special Ph.D. in order to be ordained as a Presbyterian), and then he’ll be setting up shop for all his environmental interests, as well as looking for a job that pays money.
After today, I’m suddenly discovering I’ve become very stingy when it comes to sharing my office. I used to have all these lovely visions (back in my office days/his pre-school days when this was nothing but a mere fantasy) of the two of us both figuring out ways to work from home together. We’d work, take mid-morning coffee breaks, walk Lady at lunch. I’d throw ideas off him, ask him "Is it just me, or is this particular paragraph in these sample pages impossible to understand?" I’d help him edit what he had to write for work. We’d knock off work just before 6:00, when he’d prepare one of his delicious margaritas for each of us, and we’d sit out on the back deck on swelteringly hot days like today and talk about how wonderful our lives were.
Well, I’m sure you can see where this is going. I still don’t know why I let this runaway imagination have so much power. Doesn’t that fantasy remind you of some fourteen-year-old-who’s-just-seen-An-Officer-and-a-Gentleman-for-the-first-time’s vision of love and romance? You’d think I’d have long-ago learned how to squash these ridiculous little hallucinations of mine.
First of all, let’s translate “my office” as “my whole house.” My telecommuting habits are still such that I move around the house all day. We happen to live in New England, which means we own the requisite colonial-style home. It should take days for two people to be able to find each other in all this space. So why is it that this intruder is everywhere in my work space? When I want to be upstairs, he’s up there. When I reluctantly leave him sitting in the study to go downstairs, I suddenly find either he’s grown to huge proportions or the house has shrunk to tiny ones, because he’s crowding out every last corner of all the first-floor rooms. I’m ready to pick up the phone and call Alice and the White Rabbit for advice on what to do.
Meanwhile, my back turned as I search for the phone number, he’s become Goldilocks, eating things in my kitchen I didn’t say he could have. And he’s sitting in my chair and adjusting it to levels that don’t work for me. He suggests we take a coffee break together, and I growl at him, in true Mama Bear fashion. I certainly don’t have time for a coffee break. He’s screwed up my whole morning schedule. What does he think? That I’m just living a life of leisure here and have absolutely no work that I have to get done? And he’s got another think coming if he thinks I’m going to edit that essay for him, unless he’s willing to pay me what I get paid to do such things.
This is never going to work. He’s got to get a job immediately, one with a two-hour-long-one-way commute. Either that, or I’m going to have to quit this dream job of mine and go become a dentist's receptionist, which is probably the only other job within the vicinity of where we live for which I'd be qualified. Wait a minute. What’s that I hear? The sound of the blender making margaritas? Ahhh, my husband’s home. I think I’ll go join him on the back deck to talk about how wonderful our lives are.