...for a different kind of girl

silent surburban girl releasing her voice, not yet knowing what all she wants to say about her life and the things that make it spin. do you have to be 18 to be here? you'll know when i know.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

'...that is what I do, hey, baby'

“Really?” my friend asked, her voice incredulous. “You really miss him when he’s not home?”

“Of course I miss my husband when he’s not home,” I responded. “I don’t understand why you’d think I wouldn’t.”

My friend paused, and it was during that brief moment that I was reminded why she’d be skeptical of my admission. “I’d be willing to bet that the man you sleep with and have tagged as ‘your poor, misunderstood boyfriend’ has a wife at home who misses him when he’s not with her, too,” I said.

“That’s different,” she responded, as expected, interrupting me as I tried to say, once again, that it’s not at all different before filing my opinions on the above-mentioned matter away for another time. “You’ve been with your husband for so long now. What could there possibly be to miss when you’re not together.”

Perhaps it will come off as sappy or far too perfect to admit I was able to tick off a list of things about my Tool Man that I miss when he’s away – and believe me, he’s away a lot. However, I was able to do just that. The role he plays in this long-running show we have going on goes a bit dark when we’re not together. The man is my partner in crime, so to speak. If I’m the one casing the joint and fine-tuning the heist, he’s the one making sure the get-away car is fully operational. They may be separate jobs, but they bring about one shared payday, and requires the two of us to be in synch. After fourteen years of marriage, I think we’re pretty much in synch. We certainly don’t have a perfect marriage, and personally, I don’t want one that is, and while we’re completely capable of functioning alone, things seem to work better when we work together.

Especially when it comes to pretend bank heists, but, you know, whatever. It applies to other areas, too.

Remember when I said that each night we go to bed together, we fall asleep holding hands? That’s totally the truth. Sure, when he’s gone, I always feel like an explorer who’s charted new land when I jump into bed, land in the middle, and then spread each limb to the four corners, effectively staking my claim to territory I feel is rightfully mine. But it never fails to feel a bit 'off,' so when he's home, I allow Tool Man to annex his bit of pillow-topped property. Sure, I might complain and dip a leg over his property line, but damn if he’s not typically a good neighbor. The kind you want to hold hands with, which, if that’s the kind of neighborhood you live in, wow, I want to move there.

Granted, his snoring can be so loud and annoying sometimes that, were the bed an actual neighborhood and not just a metaphor for our relationship, I’d call the cops every night to complain about the ruckus going on next door, but I digress...

When he’s gone, I miss the person who can help me with our boys, whether that means with an especially taxing math assignment as part of our eldest’s homework, or because he can take over marveling at our youngest’s latest magic trick when, after spending 40 minutes gasping in shock and delight at each “Abracadabra!!” , I’ve still not seen my chosen card emerge from the deck as promised and I now have to turn my attention elsewhere to keep our household moving along smoothly. I miss the person who I willingly sacrifice space on the DVR to record “House” so he can record a show he prefers to watch (btw, thank you, TV Network Gods, for putting shows online, seriously). I miss the person I know will protect me if necessary. He’s the same person who will bring home a coffee for me without asking if I wanted one, just because he wanted to do that for me. I miss watching him interact with our sons, and, heaven help him (or me), I miss watching this 40-year-old man try to figure out how to do different loads of laundry without asking me a million questions, yet still be the Jedi Master when it comes to getting the stains out of my shirts after I’ve spilled a bite of whatever we’ve had for dinner that night upon them (which, it should be noted, happens damn near every night, so this fact alone should really be at the top of my list).

In case you were wondering, I just asked Tool Man what he misses about me when we’re apart. At the top of his list? “Having you around so I spell words correctly,” he said. First thing. Seriously. I’ll give him that. The dude is a horrific speller who probably married me more for my sexy journalism degree than that thing I can do with my ::edited:: (thanks to my sexy journalism degree!). Now, raise your hand if you can tell me who the more romantic one in this relationship is. You. In the back row. Care to take a guess? That’s right. Me. I am. Oh, but wait! Tool Man’s not done yet! “I also miss how you always want to kiss me.” Well, well, well. Interesting. This is totally true, btw, and, for the record, I just got up and gave him a giant kiss square on the mouth for that response. So, to all of you who were waiting for the option of “You AND Tool Man” before raising your hand, I’ll give you credit also. Oh, just a second. Tool Man’s not done yet! I bet this one is going to be fantastic! Let’s listen, shall we? “I also miss all the chances I have to aggravate you. I can’t help it. I LIVE to aggravate you!” OK, well, looks like I’m back to just giving those of you who answered “You” that point. The rest of you, please get out your notebooks and write a two page essay titled “Ways Tool Man Can Bring the Thunder” and leave them on my desk by tomorrow.

To be fair to my friend, she’s never had the kind of solid marital relationship that I and our other friends enjoy. Her former husband cheated on her their entire marriage, and now, after years of lamenting how she fears being alone forever, she’s convinced herself that it’s OK to be the ‘other woman’ in a situation (because no matter how she decorates it, it’s not a relationship) that, I won’t lie, I pray to fail. She grew up with an aunt and uncle who served as her mother and father because her own mother couldn’t care to miss her, and her father was never known. She has two daughters she does miss when they’re gone, and I suppose that’s sort of the same as missing a spouse, but not really, for they serve a far, far different role. I wish she could feel what it’s like to be part of a relationship where the other person truly is your equal and who has your back. Aggravating as he can be (and believe me, I don’t doubt for one minute that he truly does live to make me crazy), I miss my Tool Man when he’s not around, even after all the time we've spent together.

Also, I’d totally let him be the one to pull off the heist while I drove the getaway car. Why? I’m a faster (albeit safer) driver who doesn’t floor the breaks at every red light like some kissable aggravating man I know. And Tool Man? Tool Man is nothing if not a stickler for details, which is just another thing about him that I miss when he’s not around.

So is that really so odd?



Blogger April said...

I too have been married 14 years, almost 15. And I too miss my husband when he is gone. I get what you are saying completely. I totally enjoy my alone time, but I don't sleep as well if he isn't here and my day is off if I don't get a smooch before he leaves the house. He's my best friend. We are lucky, FADKOG. There are a lot of people out there who have been married half the time and don't have what we have. I wouldn't trade his snores or various other noises for the world. :)

Sunday, October 26, 2008 10:33:00 PM  
Blogger The Stiletto Mom said...

I'm the one who travels in our relationship so I think I'm going to have to ask these questions. I'm sort of a pain, so I'm not sure I'll like the answers. :)
We've been married almost 15 years and I agree with April above...we are so very lucky. And I'll stick with that even if I don't like the answers I get back!
Very very sweet post...I may need to kiss my husband right now.

Sunday, October 26, 2008 10:42:00 PM  
Blogger Seriously Mama said...

Aww, I loved this post. And this was my favorite... "We certainly don’t have a perfect marriage, and personally, I don’t want one that is, and while we’re completely capable of functioning alone, things seem to work better when we work together." Awesome. That's how I feel too. I have always been painfully independant but when my husband is gone (and he too travels way too much) I miss him terribly. Besides, our house is haunted and the ghost only comes when hubs leaves. Seriously.

Sunday, October 26, 2008 10:47:00 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

It is the very things that are so aggravating that are also the things that I miss when he's not around. We're going to be one of those old couples that irritate one another all the time but would be miserable alone.

Sunday, October 26, 2008 10:53:00 PM  
Blogger Kat said...

As a military wife I have come to realize that I don't "need" my husband around but I prefer it when he is here. I miss him all the time when he is gone. Even though I can do all the things around the house by myself, I really like to be able to defer to him when possible. Great post FADKOG.

Sunday, October 26, 2008 10:55:00 PM  
Blogger Bee said...

I miss my man too but don't let him know because he'll never leave! Jsut kidding.
When he works on Saturdays, I always think, "great! a day all to myself!" but by the time he comes home I'm over it and glad to see him. :o)

We have only slept apart twice since we got married. I really don't know what I'd do with more than 1/4 of the bed...

Sunday, October 26, 2008 11:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should not have to justify why you miss your husband when he's not home. That's the way it should be.

As much as my husband drives me nutty, after 9 years of marriage and 15 years of togetherness, I miss him when he's away.

It's good to be sappy and sentimental sometimes.

Senti - Mental. That just made me laugh after I typed it.

Sunday, October 26, 2008 11:27:00 PM  
Blogger miko564 said...

Nope, not odd at all.

The wife and I talk about this all the time. My father left the family when I was a teenager, and now that I have a family of my own, I understand him even less.
I'm in hotels 6-10 nights a month and, though my wife doesn't always believe me, I'd rather be at home wrestling little wet, naked behinds into towels, than alone in a "too quiet" hotel room.

Your post was beautiful, and I think you nailed what may be the secret to marriage. We don't "need" one another, but it just doesn't feel right when we're apart.

Monday, October 27, 2008 12:05:00 AM  
Blogger Zip n Tizzy said...

Sneaking up on 8 years of marriage, and 13 years together, I have to agree with you hands down.
I feel SO lucky to have married my best friend.
The kids and I just pulled through marvelously with his being gone for a week, but we were all so happy to get him home. And honestly, I agree with Miko564, I think it was a lot harder on him than on us. He very much appreciated his homecoming.

Monday, October 27, 2008 12:19:00 AM  
Blogger Brian o vretanos said...

It doesn't seem odd at all...

Monday, October 27, 2008 3:05:00 AM  
Blogger Middle Aged Woman said...

23 years here, and I miss Husband when he's away. But, I LOVE having the bed to myself, and having way less cleaning and laundry and cooking to do!

Monday, October 27, 2008 6:44:00 AM  
Blogger Cocotte said...

It's just refeshing to read a post where someone isn't complaining about their spouse. Great post to read on a Monday morning, FADKOG!

Monday, October 27, 2008 6:52:00 AM  
Blogger DCD said...

What a great post, FADKOG!

We are on year 12. After going through seven months of being pretty much a single Mom when he was working nights, I know what you mean about missing him. Not just for the help he provides with the kids, but for the presence of someone who knows me inside and out - and loves me anyway!

Monday, October 27, 2008 7:38:00 AM  
Blogger Chas said...

Great post. I've known my husband for 19 years,(married for 14 too) and he's been picking on me for all of that time. I love that he gives my life humor and occasionally chaos, and I most definately like falling asleep holding hands. And for the record, I miss him when he's gone too.

Monday, October 27, 2008 7:58:00 AM  
Blogger MereCat said...

I like that you miss him. I think it's sweet. Mine's out of town too right now, and I definitely miss him, but I do enjoy some alone time. But then again, mine works out of the home.

Monday, October 27, 2008 8:01:00 AM  
Blogger Heinous said...

Nope, not odd at all. We'll be married 15 years in March and we still miss each other when we're apart. Even though that ends up being almost never. We both work at the same university and drive to work together and then we take lunch together most days. You would think we would welcome a little alone time, but we don't.

Monday, October 27, 2008 8:26:00 AM  
Blogger Biscuit said...

*saunters up to give her reply...stops to hear the others' replies...quietly backs away*

Monday, October 27, 2008 8:31:00 AM  
Blogger Chantal said...

Hi, popped over from Ali's site. I am surrounded by friends who's marriages are falling apart. My hubby and I actually like to be together and I am glad to see that the same is true for others. I was starting to worry.

Monday, October 27, 2008 9:00:00 AM  
Blogger Wonderful World of Weiners said...

You are so damn sweet. I love that about you...

Hallie :)

Monday, October 27, 2008 9:15:00 AM  
Anonymous TwoBusy said...

That was, honestly, one of the sweeter things I've read. And I'm sorry that your friend doesn't seem in any imminent danger of figuring out what she's missing.

Monday, October 27, 2008 9:21:00 AM  
Anonymous DC Urban Dad said...

You guys are a great freakn' couple and I hope that we are even half as lucky to have what you have after 14 years. We have been married for 8 and counting. I cannot imagine my life without her. When she's gone I am all fucked up. She is my best friend - period.

Monday, October 27, 2008 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger Eternal Sunshine said...

ALl that sweet and mushy, and all I can come up with is that I can't eat without spilling food, either, Budman calls it "feeding the girls".

And I miss him when he's gone, which thank goodness isn't often.

word ver: bitte

Monday, October 27, 2008 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger kaila said...

Very sweet. I feel the same about my guy as well. We go to sleep holding 'feet'. I don't need him in my life, but I sure do want him there.

Monday, October 27, 2008 10:31:00 AM  
Blogger Desmond Jones said...

Recalling what I said a couple posts back about how every good marriage strengthens every other marriage, I thank you once again, my friend. Molly and I hardly ever spend nights apart these days, but I promise I miss her on the rare occasions when we do.

And, here's hoping that, in the fullness of time, you and your Tool Man won't be apart quite so often. . .

(And, can I say, parenthetically and all, that I am sorry for your friend, that she sells herself so very, very short. . .)

Monday, October 27, 2008 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger Aunt Becky said...

95% of the fights The Daver and I have when we're, well, fighting, occur for one reason only: I miss him. He works a bazillion hours a week and when he's gone, I miss him dearly.

So no. I don't think it's odd at all.

Monday, October 27, 2008 11:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I miss my husband of 7 years (on the 17th of November) when he i gone. I hope to always miss him. That being said when he is on vacation and we are together the entire week every waking moment I want his to go back to work. But hey, nobody's perfect! LOL!

Monday, October 27, 2008 11:16:00 AM  
Blogger Ali said...

there are certainly LOTS of positives when the husband is gone. i can eat what i want (cookie dough) where i want (in bed!) and i have power over the remote. i can even twitter all the livelong day without him being a total asshole.

but i totally miss that end of the day catch-up that we do. i love that.

Monday, October 27, 2008 12:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Sammanthia said...

It never fails to amaze me that people have asked if I regret marrying Mark... sure, the circumstances weren't ideal (I got pregnant pretty young) but I know for a fact we have a better marriage than a lot of my friends who didn't "have" to get married. We're friends first and foremost and I think that makes a big difference... sounds like you and Tool Man have the same thing going on. Kudos to the two of you.
Great post!

Monday, October 27, 2008 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger Christina Lee said...

I even missed my husband this past weekend when he was down and out with the flu. Even though he was home, sick in bed, I didnt have my partner to come with my son and I to pick out pumpkins to carve etc. I'm totally there with you sister.....

Monday, October 27, 2008 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger Laggin said...

"We certainly don’t have a perfect marriage, and personally, I don’t want one that is, and while we’re completely capable of functioning alone, things seem to work better when we work together."

Yup...that's it, right there. The key to longevity in a marriage. It's more better together than it ever could be apart. (Yes, I said "more better" intentionally, just for your journalistic editor soul.)

Monday, October 27, 2008 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger Chris Wood said...

It sounds like he's a whiz at laundry too.

Only a million questions? Damn, he's a prodigy!

Monday, October 27, 2008 1:33:00 PM  
Anonymous goodfather said...

Sounds like you guys have a great relationship. My beautfiful wife loves it when I run interference with our kids, heh.

Monday, October 27, 2008 2:23:00 PM  
Blogger Wethyb said...

Like some of the others, I miss Hubby when he's gone, but I love having the bed to myself :)

Monday, October 27, 2008 2:29:00 PM  
Blogger Kori said...

I don't know, I am not married but I kind of wonder what the point of being married is if you DON'T miss them when they are gone? Puh-leeze! I still miss Owen's dad when I am out of town for the weekend and we don't and nver have even lived together! I think it is really neat, too, that he said that about the spelling; that is what it is supposed to be about, isn't it?

Monday, October 27, 2008 2:54:00 PM  
Blogger creative kerfuffle said...

found you via sherendipity and this is the first post of your's i've read. i could have written just about every word of it. we just celebrated 16 yrs of wedded...uh...bliss : ) and ditto everything you said!

Monday, October 27, 2008 2:56:00 PM  
Blogger Chuck said...

Wow, what I would give to have a woman say, or at least think, the things you've said here today. Tool Man is a lucky SOB.

Monday, October 27, 2008 4:42:00 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

I need to read this today. We have a great relationship too, and I don't write nice things about him nearly enough. We only get to see each other for a few hours a day, so on the rare occasion that we're not together, I miss him terribly!

I really thought being in love with your husband was rare these days, but I'm beginning to see so many other bloggers talking about it. We all should do it even more. Especially me. lol

Monday, October 27, 2008 5:04:00 PM  
Blogger Ms Picket To You said...

fall asleep holding hands? wow. impressed and even jealous. last night, I feel asleep while he was reading. he woke me up by shouting (well, it felt like shouting) some point about his book. I said, "i'm asleep" and he said "asleep people don't talk." i was too tired to smack him with the pillow and remind him that he WOKE ME UP. still, he travels A LOT so I get the chance to miss him waking me up sometimes.

Monday, October 27, 2008 5:52:00 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I've known my husband since we were 16. That's 19 years. We've been "together" since 1999, and I never get tired of him. He never fails to make me laugh, or make me feel better. I understand completely.

Monday, October 27, 2008 6:25:00 PM  
Blogger steenky bee said...

Oh, this is the softer side of my girl? I like it. Um, I got a little teary reading about you two falling asleep holding hands. SO SWEET. I miss my hubby when he's gone. We're together so much. I've never, never been that way with anyone else.I feel so lucky to have him. No one ever says to him, "Wow, where did you get a catch like Jen". I always hear it about him. Aw...you and hubby are so sweet! I can't bear to be snarky here. I'm just in a warm place.

(But I will say, your word verification word for my comment is "FROUSNET" it sounds like a German internet provider, no?

Monday, October 27, 2008 10:30:00 PM  
Blogger Manager Mom said...

I love it when you write about the Tool Man. You make a PERFECT Beyonce to his Jay-Z. And if he needs emergency spelling assistance when you're away, he can contact my know-it-all 7 year old.

She's been studying for a spelling bee in 3 weeks so according to her, she knows how to spell every word in the world.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 7:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a beautiful love letter to your Tool Man. I'm sure you'll be saying the same things in fourteen more years.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 8:59:00 AM  
Blogger Phyllis Renée said...

I jump into bed, land in the middle, and then spread each limb to the four corners, effectively staking my claim to territory I feel is rightfully mine.

I could never do that. When RL would go out of town ("when" because, I haven't told you, he doesn't go out of town anymore. WooHoo!!) I would curl up in a ball in the middle of the bed, snuggling his pillow.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 12:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too sleep right smack in the center of the bed when D is gone. But I miss him too. I used to miss him in a "what's he doing, who's he with" way back when I was an annoying new wife, but now I miss him in a completely and totally secure and mature way. I text him a picture of my boobies.

anyone who has to ask why you would miss your husband would never "get" the reason why.

I'm with Steenky hooker...what's a firde?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger motherbumper said...

No, not so odd at all. SB is my partner in crime too. BTW, I'm finding you a severed hand right now so I can send it to you so you will never be lonely in bed again. That's sounds so wrong but if that's wrong, I don't want to know what a right comment looks like.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 2:48:00 PM  
Blogger Immoral Matriarch said...

I'll miss mine when he's dead.

No, I'm kidding. I just really enjoy my alone time. Which may be why the marriage in two separate households works well for us.

I think it's amazing, and really inspiring that you two share what you do. I feel like it's lacking nowadays, or maybe it's not easily noticed. But it's good to know that it exists.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 3:21:00 PM  
Blogger Delusional Girl Ruby Soho said...

This is a great post. I hope to find someone like Tool Man (in that whole, I'll miss them when they're gone way) someday.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 3:23:00 PM  
Blogger Prefers Her Fantasy Life said...

I think division of labor is a good thing. And the fact you both come together at night is even better.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 4:52:00 PM  
Blogger Chibi said...

“I also miss all the chances I have to aggravate you. I can’t help it. I LIVE to aggravate you!”

Tool Man and my other half must be related: I swear the singular thing he was most excited by after his business trip was making up for a week of not "bugging" me. *shakes head*

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 6:05:00 PM  
Blogger Chat Blanc said...

waaaaay cool! :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 7:05:00 PM  
Blogger FTN said...

I just want you to know that, because you complained about my lack of commentiness, I am here, writing a comment...

from HOME.

That's love, baby.

So, uh, having just said "That's love, baby," to a married woman on the Internet, as a comment on a post about marital fidelity... I guess my work here is done.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 7:30:00 PM  
Blogger San Diego Momma said...

OK. So your writing usually makes me laugh or cry, but not in the SAME post. What the hell? I'm emotionally fragile enough as it is, dammit.

It's a good thing to miss our partners, and it's way underrated.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 11:14:00 PM  
Blogger Swirl Girl said...

I just celebrated my 13th of marriage and my 16 of knowing my Hubby. Mine is like yours - a true gem. I have trained him well.

I have seen you around and came out of lurky-dom to leave this comment.

I've poked around and now I know I'll be back!

come visit me at www.swirlgirlspearls.blogspot.com

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 11:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My almost-18-yr-old daughter sent your link to me because you remind her so much of me.

Good God, we're twins separated at birth. Or something. Can't ask Mom, she has dementia.

I adore my husband, and (regarding the earlier post) used a glue gun once, about 10 years ago. (Although I do knit and crochet, but those are sort of meditation with yarn.)

I just added you to my Google Reader & sent out a tweet on Twitter, and I hope you pick up lots more readers. You deserve them.

Now I have to go read the rest of your posts, unless the laughing starts to wake people.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008 12:20:00 AM  
Anonymous anita doberman said...

As a military wife I miss my husband way too often. But it does remind me of how much he means to me and there is nothing better than that first hug when I haven't seen him for months!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008 8:16:00 AM  
Blogger Kat said...

I tagged you for an award at my place!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008 9:05:00 AM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

I planned to respond to each of you here because you all left such great, kind comments about the state of your own relationships, but I was afraid my comments would all be the same...so...thank you, all of you, for the comments. I loved reading how so many of you have such great marriages and relationships. It's inspiring, and I appreciate you sharing.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger justlori2day said...

I miss my husband when he is gone. Sometimes I wish he were gone more, (I jest, really), so I could work on my missing him (ok, not totally in jest), on the days when he is passive and I am agressive (but only those days).

I hear you on the "situation". I was in one of those once. Luckily my knight in shining armor, aka, my husband, met me and said "really? You think he is going to leave her? Do you really want to pass an opportunity to be with me up?" I fell for it... hook, line and sinker.

Today I wish he wouldn't go away. In fact I wish he would get home before the kids if you catch my drift...

We used to hld hands, touch feet, something, everynight, but then we got a king sized bed and it all changed. Just recently it has started again. I agree, if you dont try it you dont know what you are missing. Sometimes that little bit of affection goes a long way!

Friday, October 31, 2008 9:05:00 AM  
Blogger That girl from Shallotte said...

I almost didn't comment because everything I thought has already been said (sorry I'm late to the party). But you, my friend, are living out every little girl's dream of finding your Prince Charming. I can't think of anyone more deserving and I've never known anyone with the gift of expressing it like you have. Much love to you -- and your Tool Man.

Friday, October 31, 2008 7:39:00 PM  
Blogger Tulipsanticipation said...

My husband is gone for a week and a half, which is the longest we've ever been apart. It's fine during the day when I'm busy doing stuff, but I certainly miss him a lot at night. I can never sleep as well without him.

Saturday, November 01, 2008 9:08:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home