Scene: Morning, at home in the kitchen.
The Mrs: (walking over and kissing the boys and then me) Okay guys, I gotta go to work. I love you.
The Big Guy: Bye-bye Mama. See you later.
The Little Man: ....
The Mrs.: It'd be nice if you just said: "I love you too." It's like you don't miss me.
Me: (smirking) Adios.
And...cue the hating.
I am well aware of how bad this sounds, I really am. While I am not quite Kony, I am no where near Jesus either. Some women, upon hearing these stories, have even remarked about how they could never be married to me; clearly their loss. So am I in the middle? Maybe. I'd honestly like to think that I am a pretty good guy, a decent husband and a great dad. But much like what the weather man says, you should probably take that with a grain of salt.
See, I grew up as a flight attendant's son (my mom, not my dad), my parents were divorced when I was 3 and I lived most of the year with my mom. I'm not entirely sure how things worked early on, but I know when we left Connecticut after the divorce and moved to Massachusetts that I usually stayed with local neighborhood friends when my mom was away. This was back in the day when being a flight attendant was still a pretty cool way to make a living. When if you had seniority you got the interesting international flights while the more junior folks were stuck working the domestic routes. So my mom would be away for several days at a time a few times a month. This was before the days of iPhones, FaceTime and Skype so when she was away, she was really away.
No matter where we moved to this was always the way it was. I got used to my mom being away a lot. It was no big deal, I'd see her in a few days and usually she'd bring me back a cool t-shirt from Turkey, Greece, Israel or sometimes even an autographed picture from a celebrity who had been on her flight that week (the two that stand out to me are Speech from Arrested Development and Mr. T...I think one of the guys from C+C Music Factory was one too, but I can't remember his name or even what songs they did). So hanging out with friends or after school sports was what I did, I really didn't have time to think about her being gone. It was no big deal.
Which brings me to my point. I don't miss my wife when she is at work. I love it when she is around and I sometimes think it would be nice to have some help with the boys, but I don't miss her when she goes to work. Much like my childhood, I am too busy with my day-to-day adventures with the boys to think about what she's up to or when she'll be home. I know that to most of you that sounds like a terrible to thing to say, and when I told my mom about my idea for writing this post, she thought the same thing. I told her that over the years I just got used to the person I lived with not being there all of the time, so missing people that I know will be home that afternoon or even in a few days seems unnatural to me. Her words verbatim were "well, that's sad." I don't think so though. It's not like I had some pathetic childhood or anything. Actually, my childhood was great. It was just different from most people I know.
Most people I know grew up in a two parent home where one or the other was always home for the them. I know that was certainly the situation for the Mrs. So I get it when she thinks I'm being rude or without emotion. But it's like growing up eating a food that not a ton of people eat and when you try to share it with them they look at you like you're crazy or in some cases as if your face is covered in vomit. At the end of the day, I don't expect the Mrs to understand where I am coming from. I don't think she can, and similarly I don't understand why people miss each other when they're separated for a few hours of the day. But to maintain my "decent" husband status I do send her flowers at the office occasionally with little notes from the boys and I. See, I'm not all piss and vinegar.
So do you still hate me?
Don't answer that.