Tuesday, July 8, 2008

my brain works part-time

This is the time of day when my productivity takes a hit: getting on 3pm. I am the only staff person available to the public (though at least I'm not the only person in the building today), and while the lack of co-worker interruptions should be helpful, it's exchanged for phone calls and food shelf visitors etc. The real problem though is that my friends are gone for the day, my bio-rhythm starts to ebb and I'm lonely. Lonely, distractable, and prone to naps.

I don't actually nap at the office. I mentioned to someone yesterday that I really shouldn't attempt any relational inquiries after 4pm -- in other words, by like 5 o'clock I have that unresolved teenaged brain incapable of rational forethought. I might start crying over something silly, or ask you enough personal questions that you start feeling uncomfortable, or go out with a pal and drink too much. It only lasts until 8pm or 9, and then I'm back online. If I have an evening meeting I have to just drink lots of coffee and tough it out.

Today I've almost made it through my list of grindingly unpleasant tasks that must be addressed. Evidently one of them was to negotiate with my husband over whether we can go out to eat tonight.

Here's the thing: My husband will not eat outside the limits of Northeast Minneapolis/St. Anthony. He will not drive to Roseville, to downtown, to South Minneapolis, or anywhere else. He makes an exception once or twice a year to eat sushi about a mile from where I work (technically within the downtown North Loop borders, across the river.) This restriction pertains to "date" nights as well as eating with our child. There are lots of great restaurants in Minneapolis, but if they don't serve tater tots and/or fall within the aforementioned geographical restriction, he's not interested. Every once in a blue moon he'll work me in for lunch, while H. is at daycare, and we'll hit someplace nice near the office in Northeast. But blue moons are rare and unpredictable, and it's been a while. So I just spent 10 minutes trying to convince him that we had more than two options -- one being Culvers, home of the heart attack, and the other being the Perkins' on Riverside that is always crazy busy.

It should also be noted that I'm about to buy a plane ticket, to take my first overnight trip away from home (on business) since my son was born. Compared to my husband's three fishing trips. He won't travel with our son: he's convinced that children must be at least 6 or 7 years old before they become suitable travel companions. And because he won't take me out on dates, there's no babysitter the kid is familiar enough with to stay overnight anyhow. I have not had any out-of-town anything, business or otherwise, in five years. I have not spent one night away from my child. Needless to say, the husband is freaking out -- he'll have to be responsible for baths and bedtimes for three consecutive nights. After staying up half the night with our son last night (for no discernible reason) I can't say I'm feeling very sorry for him.

I know people with marriages every bit as nuisancy as mine can be, and most of these people are much more socially active with their partners. Short vacations or occasional weekends, date nights where the kids stay at Grandma's, concerts, road trips... and I'll bet they complain about each other just as much. *sigh* Still, it would all seem so much more tolerable if I had a real social life.

See? It's 3pm, and I'm totally hacking on my husband. CASE. IN. POINT. All I'm good for is food and drink at this stage. I have the relational skills of a houseplant.

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