Last night, I sent an e-mail to work saying I would not be in today (Monday) or Tuesday. I had 3 meetings, so I said I would attend those via conference call. No problem, they said, whatever you need.
After I was done with the conference calls, I took off my normal clothes and put on my Mr. Tech outfit. (Before you squeeze your eyes shut at this thought, this meant I went downstairs and picked up my Telephone/Data toolbox. Without taking off any clothes)
The apartment my wife is moving into has a high-speed Internet, TV and phone connection…to a closet near the entrance, but it doesn’t go anywhere. The owner’s friend said if I would meet him there, he would run the cables and I could set up the outlet in a more sensible location. So we got it organized by running coax and Ethernet cables … is everyone bored yet? Yes? OK, moving on …
The rest of the day was spent lugging things in the minivan to the apartment. Is it actually legal to own that many shoes??
As soon as I finished and showered, I rushed off to a Committee meeting. I even called ahead to say I was running late (and the only reason people care about this is that I’m the Chair and it’s my Committee) and arrived to discover the start time was 8pm, not the usual 7:30pm. Darn, I forgot I changed it for one of the other folks. My ‘favorite’ reporter was there and I was in a pissy mood, so I sat down afterwards and tried to find out why she keeps misrepresenting the finances of the organization in the local press. The real reason is that sensationalizing numbers gets more page views than being rational. I just don’t get how she can pretend to be a reporter and ignore fact-checking and corrections. Naturally, she can’t admit this truth, so I had a little cruel enjoyment poking holes in her inventive reasons for, well, fibbing to the local residents.
After that — my days never end anymore — it was time to pick up Amélie from her friend’s house — and let her chauffeur me around the area (until she gets her Driver License, I have to let her drive to get the experience). I had to drop off some travel bags at my friend’s house.
Finally, and this is getting very close now to the actual topic of the posting, it was off to CVS (for non-locals, a combined pharmacy and mini-supermarket) where I had a coupon for $5.
I’ve not been hungry recently so walked past the candy and food and found myself by chance in the card aisle. I decided I would buy my wife a ‘going away’ card. After all, our marriage adventure started as a penpal relationship so long ago. But she’s not going on vacation, so what kind of card would it be? I looked at the sections and Get Well seemed like it might be appropriate, although she would find it confusing. I thought the Encouragement section seemed a likely one. By the time, I had picked up the second card and read the words, I had tears streaming down my face. I don’t know if anyone was watching or saw me crumple, but I really don’t care.
Sometimes you think you’re prepared for things, but you’re not really. When I was about 22, one of my best friends and my new business partner had a heart attack. What? Right, that’s we all thought, must be some mistake. It wasn’t, it was terminal liver cancer. I was completely shocked when I found out that he had terminal cancer. Over time, I got used to it. He got worse with each month, but we still hung out a lot. Eventually, when he couldn’t walk anymore, I would push his wheelchair around the shopping mall. I knew he was going to die. Still, I wasn’t prepared for it. The message on the answering machine was a blurted “Simon is dead” because his brother wasn’t prepared for the machine. It was at least a year before I really got used to not seeing him (my friend) around the area when I was out and about.
I’m not the kind of super-macho guy who saves tears only for serious situations, like when the beer runs out or the NFL players are locked out by the owners. I’m also not a big baby who blubbers at anything; I’ve seen too much over the years to be that person. But I’ll still drip a tear for the right moment in a movie (although I will never understand why women go on about Cast Away and why that stupid basketball was such a big deal — it’s a ball!). I just didn’t expect to break down in public like that. Oops. I’m sure it will pass, but all the memories of those good and bad times flooded my mind. Discovering each pregnancy (Note: that’s a good time), meeting for the first time at the railway station, and watching her pack her bags after some grumpy fit and wondering if she would really leave this time…
I did find a card (it’s not one of the ones below). It’s nice and conveys the message that I really have no good idea why this happening, but that I will still be her dear friend. It’s been more than 20 years, and we have 3 little buttons together, so nothing else seemed appropriate.
I saw two other cards that I need to share with you.
According to the first card, there is a way out of this and all of the kind people here have been giving me poor advice… 🙂
The second card is different. It probably echoed my feelings a little more accurately, but it’s just a little — I don’t know — upfront? What do you think: