Suburban Snapshots


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

In counseling (I know, this again. Sorry, I'll return to stories about how my almost three-year-old has become occasionally worthy of the b-curse with her crappy attitude of late, how she frequently sings, "Oh na na, what's my name?" and I don't stop her, or how she navigates my iPhone with the dexterity of a gum-smacking, ingrate teenager. Trust me, people, I wish I had something else on my mind at least as much as you do.) you have to do all kinds of soul searching, examining stuff you'd normally shove into the recesses of your gray matter while horking down Fritos with microwaved queso, and you have to do this and hope your spouse is doing the same thing.

As it turns out, New Hampshire blizzards are super conducive to thinking a lot and then spending huge amounts of time trapped together watching helplessly as the DPW plows a pile of snow so high at the end of your driveway that you can actually see sherpas escorting rich, white people to its summit.

So when we're not pressing our faces against the picture window hurling muffled obscenities at plow drivers, we might talk about stuff. We talk about missing life in the city, how I wasn't ready to leave, how I loved walking fast and with purpose, how even though it was full of people who'd been raised by wolves, sometimes I miss taking the train to work. Then we talk about how much harder that life would be now, with an additional dog and toddler, and we agree that where we ended up has been a good compromise.

We talk about how we got here, to the counseling and The Work. We realize that even two people whose relationship was built on spending huge amounts of time in small spaces (namely Boston real estate) need to get away from each other sometimes. So while I am lucky to have a full-time, from-home job, holy shit people, we have been together in this house almost non-stop for four years — that's four of these bullshit winters, power outages, unemployment, a colicky newborn, three needy dogs, countless bounced checks, marital strife — all while within twenty feet of each other most of the time.

Steve got a new job this week that will have him out of the house — though at odd hours — and I anticipate the time apart, the reliable extra income, and his re-established sense of worth will all improve our situation. Now we just have to get through this week's nor'easter without one of us ending up in the crock pot.

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