A man in a suit carrying a blue folder under his arm at 11am is a pretty banal sight in Corporate New York. When the man in a suit carrying a blue folder at 11am is not at work but is standing in your living room and is your red-faced DH, you know that your life may have just been turned upside down.
Note: a post I was supposed to write and share 2 weeks ago but only found the right words now.
Things were starting to settle down nicely. My MIL (mother in law) was packing to go home after having spent almost 3 weeks slaving for us and allowing me to make a much needed push in my entrepreneurial adventure. I was on a kick ass routine:morning laundry/work/caring for L in the afternoon/grocery shopping/diner/kids’ bed routine/work.
G and P are to start pre-K3 in September and are actually excited about it. L…is still an irrational vampire wrestler baby who still refuses to say words but he he IS cute so I just let it fly. I think I even muttered last Sunday: ‘I got this, things are going to roll from now on.’ Stupid Mama!! I really should have known better.
I don’t even know how to say this so I am going to say it as quickly as a damn dirty rap chorus: ‘DH, my man, freaking lost his job. Yo! Job, job, no no more. Yo! Peace Off’
Shit happens but usually not to him. He is almost 40 and has all his hair, eats like a pig but still is in some kind of shape. Yep, shit does not happen to him. I am usually the one that gets shit all over, all the time. Anyway, In 20 years, he never has been laid off. Since 2008, he probably survived 10 or more RIFs (Reduction In Force or Rest In Filth). Many, many times we laughed about the day when he would be summoned into a room to listen to the Whys and the Sorrys and would not be allowed to go back to his desk before taking the exit door.
Turns out he was allowed to go back to his desk to (briefly) say his Adieu! but he refused to. Strangely.
Turns out I did not laugh either when I saw him. I did smile a bit because I do smile in most random situations. For example, I do not smile on pictures but I smile when looking at vegetables like Fenugreek. I am like ‘what a weird looking veggie. All vegetables must make fun of it, poor Fenugreek’. Yeah I do have random smiles so of course I would smile on the day we find ourselves raising 3 tots with no salary in Harlem, New York. So I smiled but then a few hours later at our local supermarket, I looked at green beans and my eyes started to get wet. Fuck. I used to love shopping for vegetables. And now it was like:
‘Oh an avocado – but what are we going to do?
Oh a tomato- I am going to have to let our beloved nanny go!’ Bla bla bla and Fuck.
It is the weirdest situation ever because what is really hard at the moment is not the threat of having to soon live on ramen noodles (which for my kids would be interpreted as ‘yeah our old folks must have won the lottery because it is party time every day!!! No more fucking organic red meat’). The most difficult thing so far has been to figure out who does what in the house. DH is now helping to look after L so every day is like a negotiation:
Him: ‘What are your plans tomorrow?
Me: Can you watch him from 1pm til 3pm and then I’ll take over? No, Ok until 2.45pm?
Me: What do you mean you need 1 hour on your mini I-Pad?
Him: Oh, that’s where you usually work?
Him: Is that really how much we spend in childcare?
Me: Are we having lunch together or not?
Me: Why the fuck were you late for our lunch?
Him: You said you would be back at 5.30pm…it s like 6pm!!!!
Me: I don’t think we should have lunch together anymore. Like ever.’
We’ll figure it out eventually. We always do, I suppose. Until then we’ll text each other shit like this: ‘What do you mean you are not with L? I thought that was your day? Oopsie…’
Meanwhile, the kids are ecstatic to have their dad home. They just can’t believe their luck and want to spend every second of their lives with him leaving the nanny and I watching the ‘massacre’ from the sidelines. So before I start stocking instant noodles from Chinatown in my kitchen or research how much the average rent in Washington Heights is, I am going to try and enjoy the following blessings:
– the kids having a blast because Daddy is home and he has always been the coolest ‘service staff member’
– DH seemingly increasingly blown away by Yours Truly and asking every hour ‘Ma Cherie, how do you do it? How do you actually achieve stuff’
So yeah DH has no paid job for now but I’ll take a smitten man any day mouaaaa
Below some great pics from the talented Helene McGuire who unbeknownst to her made my tough week much lighter
‘Things have come to a pretty pass
Our romance is growing flat,
For you like this and the other
While I go for this and that,
Goodness knows what the end will be
Oh I don’t know where I’m at
It looks as if we two will never be one
Something must be done’
Louis Armstrong & Ella Fitzgerald
A lot of people would be surprised if they knew that DH and I called it off a record 40 times or so. It became such a joke between us that we chose ‘Let’s call the whole thing off’ as the opening dance for our wedding 9 years ago. A total disaster. No one should attempt to learn a dance routine in 4 days by watching clips of Ginger Kelly and Fred Astaire. Plus it was the hottest day of the year so it was more like Ginger Sweaty and Fred Burning Red…
I am a little freaked out by this year’s anniversary. I am weirded out by the fact that we have been ‘together’ for 18 years. In other words, when we first kissed some babies were born and now these babies are reaching the age of majority: they may marry, enter contracts, own property, vote in elections, serve in the military, drive automobiles, purchase tobacco products and consume alcohol (at least in Europe). We are soooo old. In 2 years, we will be 40 and we will have spent more years together than apart. Wow.
Despite all this, I still don’t know DH’s favorite color or his ‘Top 3 songs of all time’. It is one of those weird things about people you grow up with, they are like inside you with their roots and branches. You feel them rather than learn about them like you would learn a book, I suppose. Something weird happens over time though. DH and I always think of each other just seconds before one calls or emails the other. It happens every day. We tried to rationalize this: perhaps unbeknowst to us we have developed an obscure algorithm that triggers routine ‘What’s up, babe?’ checks… It must be indeed mathematical because I don’t believe in soul mates. Yep, I don’t believe in L-O-V-E destiny despite the fact that DH and I were born on the exact same day in the same year. Creepy, right? It’s all about work, hard work. Worthwhile work if you are a little lucky. So for next year, I promise I will know DH’s favorite movie…or at the very least whether he prefers white peaches or green figs.
Happy Anniversary, DH!
Pic from our infamous dance. Dress by my fashion designer cousin.