My wife flies back from San Francisco today. My anxiety levels should return to their regular low boil in the next day or two. And who knows? I might just find myself back in a blogging mood.
The girls and I managed quite well during her week of absence -- this has been the year of travel for her, and we've figured out our routine for dealing with it -- but there was one night where everything came to a head. A local friend with older daughters came by and asked if we'd be interested in some stylin' hand-me-downs. I said sure, so a couple of bags were handed over. Some mechanical "barking" could be heard coming from one of the bags. "Oh," said my friend, "those are just some MicroPets my kids wanted to give away."
Note to self: do not wait until the bedtime hour to settle the issue of who gets which toy.
Tears were flowing, and there seemed to be no immediate way to staunch them. The younger daughter was in a white hot fury over the injustice of the paper-scissors-stone outcome; the older was feeling badly for her sister's misery; and I was having none of it, because it's all too common for the younger to pull this stunt in an effort to steer things her way.
I hope escalation is a tactic that works better for the nations of this beleaguered planet than it did for the three of us that night.
When exhaustion finally took its toll and the urchins were asleep, I retreated to the office and opened my e-mail. Let's see what we have here... It seems my wife and her co-worker are slumming it in Haight-Ashbury. Music pouring out of a theatre; they walk, and notice a back exit door is open, so they step in to see what's going on. Security stops them before they get anywhere.
"Who's playing?" they ask.
"Bob Dylan and The Kings of Leon," they're told. "Show's just about over."
"Oh," says my beautiful wife. "We'd love to see them. Any chance we could just slip in and watch from the wings?"
"Hmm," says security. "I'll have to check." He disappears. A few minutes later he's back. "Sorry," he says. "Can't do that. But go to the front door. Sometimes they just let people walk in for the end of the show."
They walk to the front. No dice.
And now I can thank Dylan's security team for keeping our marriage on an even keel, and more or less free from the weeds of envy. More or less.