Even when we were dating, we were rarely apart. When I was in school, the Mr. would show up sometimes at lunch time, just because he needed to see me. He never got caught. I wonder if he could still get away with that in today’s security-crazed schools. I doubt it.
When he was at work at Wal-mart, I would go visit him. (You KNOW that’s love if I’m willing to go to Wal-mart.) My best friend, Willow, would go with me. She would stand there and wait as Mr. E and I held hands, rubbed noses and did other equally annoying things. She was a good friend. She still teases me about waiting for us to finish making out by the bike racks.
On date nights (which were just about every night), Mr. E would call me as soon as he got home. Then, we would talk on the phone for hours. Our calls would typically end with something like this:
Mr. E: “Well, I guess I need to go.”
Me: “Okay. Love you! Bye!”
Mr. E: “Love you too. Bye.”
Mr. E: “Are you still there?”
Me: “Yep. You hang up first.”
Mr. E: “No. You hang up first.”
Me: “No, you.”
Mr. E: “No, you.”
Me: “No, really. You hang up first.”
Mr. E: “Okay. I’m hanging up. I love you. Bye.” <Click>
Me: (After dialing his number again) “You hung up on me!”
Mr. E: “Sigh. Okay. You hang up first.”
The best thing that ever happened to us was when Mr. E had his foot crushed at work. Okay. I’m pretty sure he might not agree with that last statement, and it’s not exactly how I meant it. He went through a lot of pain. That part wasn’t good. What was good was the fact that we could be together all the time. It was the summer after I had graduated high school. He was out on workman’s comp. We had so much fun going to the mall and hanging out, and we had nothing to separate us other than my pesky curfew. That actually lasted for over a year, except I did have to start college in the fall. Other than the crutches, pins in his foot and pain meds, it was like vacation! (Again, not sure he would agree…)
Since we’ve been married, there hasn’t been much time that we were separated. When we first got married, Mr. E worked with my father, so I went by his office all the time. I became such a regular fixture that I occasionally got paid to answer the phones when the staff members were in meetings. (Come to think of it, I got paid really well to answer the phones. There was a benefit to being the manager’s daughter and the assistant manager’s wife…)
Then, for about a year, Mr. E worked as a handyman. We had lunch together every day. When he went to work in the corporate world, it was great at first. For the first several years, he worked the evening shift, so we had all day together. Then, when he got promoted to a “regular” schedule, it was so hard. I called him constantly at work, and I talked him into taking a mental health day quite often. He always used all of his personal days before the end of the year. He was always reluctant to call in sick, but my theory was, “Use ‘em or lose ‘em.” I was such a bad influence.
When we opened our business, several people talked to us and asked if we knew what we were doing. They warned us that we would not be able to work together. They said they had seen many divorces caused by couples opening businesses together. We just laughed at them. Maybe that was true for the average married couple, but we've never claimed to be average. We absolutely loved working together all the time. In fact, on days when I was gone all day on field trips with the kids or teaching pottery classes and Mr. E was at the store by himself, we always talked at night about how much we missed each other all day. We laughed about that. How could we miss each other when we were rarely apart? But, we did, and we still do.
Sometimes, I wish for a “normal” life. I do miss the predictability of having him go to an office every day while I stay home with the kids. What’s funny about that last statement is the fact that this same predictability just about drove me crazy back in the day! I hated the schedule and the rut. I guess you always want what you don’t have.
Homeschooling was easier when Mr. E went to work. Of course, the kids were smaller and nicer back then, too. It could just be the age that has made it more difficult, and at least now, when I get frustrated, I can hand him the book and say, “You the man.” My kids hate it when Mr. E takes over their school day, because it usually results in lectures and long talks. They are usually comatose by the time he is finished. I’m pretty sure he does it on purpose, and that’s just another reason I think he’s great.
Today, Mr. E has been gone since 7:00 this morning. It’s now past 3:00, and I’m losing it. I have only talked to him twice. How am I supposed to function without talking to him? It's like I'm missing half my brain! Based on today, I’m pretty sure having him get a regular job and go away all day would not be a great idea. I would be so lonely without him. (Or he would get fired because I called him all the time.)
So maybe it’s annoying to some people that we always want to be together, or maybe it’s just plain weird. It may be less than average, but we like it that way! I just hope we’ll be able to continue to live and work in a way that lets us be inseparable. -Al