I went to visit Husband #2 in his current state of residence. I started off by writing “in his current state” but that left the door open to guesses about his mental state, emotional state, physical state, you name it. So instead, I’ll narrow it down and talk about his state of residence. You know, the place that is 700 miles away from here.
When we discussed the possibility of this vacation together, the agreement was that I would visit his state with the caveat that I would not visit where he currently lives. He refers to his abode often as “his home” just as he refers to the house we bought together, fixed up, gardened in, and worked side by side in as “my home”. I die a little each time he says these phrases, “your home” and “my home”. Maybe it’s because “home” is so important and central to who I am…Home is my refuge, my base, my castle. It is my sanctuary from the world. Home to me is family and comfort and priority.
To see his “home” would have been hurtful to me. It may sound silly, but I know myself well enough.
In listening to Husband #2 talk about his present abode, the house he lives in alternates between a vermin-infested cave and the Taj Mahal. No matter, seeing his things permanently planted in another locale is too much for me, so as a condition of my agreement to visit his “home” state was that we would go to a corner of it that he never visited before.
New territory for both of us and equal footing for me.
We spent almost a week together, from Thursday night to Tuesday lunch. And true to form, it was enjoyable. No surprise there. We’ve always enjoyed exploring, driving on lonely country roads, staying at bed & breakfasts, and eating at new places. This trip was no different. Together, armed with maps, Garmin, and a sense of adventure, we visited beautiful parks, country churches, cool towns, and stopped at the occasional scenic overlook. There was even time to spot an eagle and a couple of black-feathered eaglets practicing their regal stance.
After a week of professing love and holding hands, I came home.
I went about my household duties of mowing the lawn, spraying for asparagus beetles, killing poison ivy, making appointments, buying groceries, talking with the kiddos, eating dinner, exercising, getting my hair cut, and doing laundry. Just as quickly as I turned on vacation mode, I turned it off and replaced it with daily living mode.
It’s almost like going on vacation and having a house on the beach. You get used to the sound of the crashing waves, the morning walks on the shore, and digging your toes in the sand. But eventually you have to go back home to reality – where employment, commitments, school, and bills await. Only instead of having a vacation home, I have a vacation husband.
My vacation husband appears every once in a while to fulfill some husbandly duties. He’s like a perk that shows up with the room. Maybe it’s like being greeted with a free cocktail or having a readymade basket put together for a romantic picnic, he’s there as long as I stay at the hotel. And then, when vacation is over, we go our separate ways. I return home and live the life of a single woman (who isn’t really single but doing everything as if she is).
I’ve returned to Single Mom Status and work hard to do the jobs that need done: the cooking, the cleaning, the making ends meet. I’m back to reality.