Somebody Had Better Change My Bed Sheets

Five years ago when my husband decided to leave me, er, I mean, work away from home, I told myself our situation was only temporary and I'd see him soon. I told myself the quantity of time we spent together didn't matter as much as the quality of time we created.

Five years ago I may have been a bit of a raging dumb arse.

Half a decade later and I've decided I want quantity of time over quality. Because, frankly, I'm tired of solo parenting two teens and a disabled boy while being singly responsible for having to change the bed sheets every time my dog decides to barf on them. Which happens about every other night.

The upside to my husband's continual and seemingly perpetual absences is that I'm saving a truckload of money on razor blades. Personal grooming has flown out the window and our heating bills have been reduced. When one grows a yeti-like coat of fur one tends to stay warm. My glass is always half full.

Still, I'd rather have him home, zoned out beside me watching documentaries on insects or war (his two personal favourites) or lost to the cyber world of online gaming than 600 km away, where he has his own personal housekeeper/chef and the luxury of yak-free dog vomit-less sheets.

I'm petty and selfish that way.

I shouldn't complain really. I mean I just saw him a week ago. For three whole hours. 3 hours after not seeing him for 31 days.

Three hours.

You know what we did in those three hours? Nothing fun, I can assure you. He sorted through the rubble of laundry for clean clothes and I yelled at him that his sprained foot wasn't sprained but actually broken. "Why haven't you gone to see the doctor??"

"I did! Three weeks ago when I fell! They said it was sprained!"

"They're morons! You don't have to be a trained medical profession to see your damn ankle bone is practically popping through your skin! Get to the damn hospital!"

So he did. And what do you know? The ankle is broken.

The sad part of this tale, besides the fact my husband now requires orthotic surgery and is hobbling around on crutches on a painful break, is the fact I wasn't even able to lord it over him that I was right. Because he had to go back to work.

His damn job is robbing me of my gloating privileges.

Never mind that it allows us to put food on the table, a roof over our head and a computer for me to whine to the internets.

So when my husband called last night to tell me he'd be home this Tuesday night, I was a little giddy. I started to mentally prepare a honey-do list to hand to him the moment he walked through the door. His presence would mean I wouldn't have to be responsible for getting our daughter to a volleyball tournament half way across the province, the garbage would get taken to the dump, and I could sleep on freshly laundered sheets that I wouldn't have to change.

"Um, don't get too excited there Tanis. I'm only home for 7 hours. And then I am gone again."

Wait. Whaaa?

"Did you forget? I'm going on vacation. I have to leave at 3 in the morning to catch my flight to Vegas. Remember? My annual boys trip?"

Curses. I can begrudge the man a lot of things, like having a housekeeper/chef/ample free time but I can't begrudge the man his annual man's trip. Every person, regardless of his or her sex requires some good old-fashioned friend time.

"Seven hours?"

"Ya, and that's if traffic is good and I can get home quickly."

I mentally tabulated the amount of time I'll have spent with him before I actually get to see him for a whole day again.

"You realize that means in 62 days we'll have seen each other for 10 whole hours?"


"That kinda sucks dude."

"Ya, I know. I'm sorry."

There is no reason for him to apologize, not really. We're lucky he has stable employment and we're even luckier that we have managed to remember that we still like each other through all the absences.

But still.

10 hours does not leave a lot of time to scratch things off the old honey-do list or allow for me to comfortably gloat that I am always right.

"I'll make it up to you. I'll bring you an awesome souvenir."

"Oh goody. I like things that sparkle. Or that are named Siri."

"Oh. Well then I guess I won't bother with that key chain I was planning on."

Good idea Boo.

Aim higher. Or at least spring for a matching tee shirt.

Either way, I'm totally not going to bother shaving my legs.

See? My glass? Still half full.