You may recall that I’m always trying to escape from here to get Somewhere Else and not just Anywhere Else. The major compulsion in the strain to escape is that time is the only priceless commodity I have. It is not a commodity that can be replenished. It is a fact I am chronically aware of, and one that others must recognize as well because they are forever trying to steal mine to supplement their own, which is apparently too valuable for them to spend on the mundane.
You know that I love my husband more than air. Sadly, but predictably, he is the villain in this scenario. Oh yes, we have had more than one bout of marital disharmony due to the value of time and whose is worth more. That’s the way it is around here. I’m certain you understand whose moments are more precious. Worth is evidenced by productivity, precision, and proficiency with a minor amount of bitching thrown in. Remember that, no matter how much you might sympathize with my husband, you were my imaginary friends first.
I can’t tell you how many months have gone by since the original promise was made that we would go Somewhere Else together. It would
enrage depress me to calculate the actual time that has elapsed. Last week, after the conclusion of an interminable tax season, a business merger, the creation of two new websites, countless loads of laundry and trips to the grocery store, I made reservations. I invited my husband. When I mentioned to him the fun we could have at the Art Walk- “An Evening of Art, Food and Debauchery” he rolled his eyes and said, “I’d rather be tortured.” He would too. I went further to describe the fun we could have taking the ferry to the island. He refuses to be trapped out there. I understand completely. I’d hate to be trapped anywhere for an entire hour just waiting to be rescued by the next ferry, HORRORS. Let us not revisit the fact that I have been here in the Hinterlands for fourteen loooooong years.
The day before yesterday, the subtle psychological manipulations began. “We could go fishing this weekend” he offered. “An Evening of Art, Food and Debauchery” cannot begin to compare to the total hedonism involved in fishing in a boat, that goes way too fast, on lakes that are still frigid, bundled up in gear made for an Arctic expedition, while being held hostage for hours on end, with only a coffee can to pee in. Be still my heart.
Yesterday, the temptation in his alternate plan was almost too much to resist. I could stay home and we could get some clams and invite the kids (descendants, niece, assorted dogs and hangers on) and have steamers outside, on paper plates (the hasty concession was made after The Look was given). The anticipation of having two dogs, one very excitable and prone to pee without notice, the other naughty and prone to pee on the couch while he looks at me defiantly, and who knows how many messy, unhelpful, younger people was nearly too much to forego. I don’t know that I could absorb the ecstatic joy of such a
huge mess good time.
The decision has been a weighty one, a burden of intolerable proportion. I’ll be calling my husband frequently to deliver reports on “An Evening of Art, Food and Debauchery”. I won’t call from the ferry, no cell signal, but I will call from the island. In the meantime, I’ll work at a fiendish pace so everything is done and my absence has no negative impact.