Greetings. I ended the last post on last Tuesday night, reflecting on the difficulties of being away from my wife, if only for one night.
Enter Wednesday morning…
Wednesdays are always crazy. Late to bed, early to rise, makes a man want to rip out his eyes. That Benjamin Button guy knew his stuff. I woke up at DJ’s house (the drummer in my band), mooched some cinnamon buns, and headed to my dad’s for, as Merry and Pip from LOTR would say, Second Breakfast (in a cute pseudo-Scottish accent). I hung around there for a while contemplating a strategic time at which I could leave so as to successfully avoid the ghastly Nashville morning traffic yet simultaneously arriving at work as early as possible. Yea, I’m pretty scientific and stuff.
Jill was already at work at this point, so I waved longingly as I passed the general vicinity of her school, and kept on driving. It was a normal day at work, full of planning worship experiences, making tough decisions with no time to second guess myself, fighting terrorism, rescuing kittens from natural disasters, and making hot tea. It’s what I do.
That night at church was pretty normal, too. Refuge was great. Deep worship with high-schoolers and passionate Bible teaching from Chad. But Jill and I were wiped out after the day and went straight to sleep when we got back home.
Thursday morning was rushed. I think we slept in. Not sure, but mornings aren’t exactly the most romance-inducing, long-walk-on-the-beach type atmospheres anyway. I drove her to work since we had a spaghetti dinner extravaganza at her school that evening.
(At this point, the band was coming up Friday morning to head up to the camp to begin setup for The Walk – the student retreat, remember?).
The dinner was extravagant and tomato-based. We hung out with the kids, played silly games, and had arts and crafts time. I fit right in. When we left, she had been at work for 13 hours. She’s a trooper. Like a stormtrooper. Without the blaster rifle and pasty plastic armor. And nicer and hotter.
Four or five points later: the band was now coming up that night. Boom.
Jill and I were on our way home when I told her. Note the verb used: ‘told’, past tense of ‘tell’, meaning to inform or communicate news of some certainty. Not ‘asked’, assuming a level required consent or at least prior acknowledgement.
Bad move. Lesson learned.
The house was a wreck, we were both exhausted, and we hadn’t really seen each other in days, but she took it about as well as I thought she would. I’m not saying that the band was guilty of messing up our plans or responsible for any specific marital tension, because they are all in serious relationships (one married, another engaged) and they and their ‘women’ all felt the pangs of sudden changed plans, especially ones as significant as those.
But right then, it was palpable the effect that the lack of time together was having. We both knew that meant our last visage of hope of actually ‘hanging out’ and conversing about our lives before the retreat was gone. And if I know one thing about my wife, it’s that she really values the time we spend debriefing about our days and connecting with each other away from all our routine distractions. It helps her unwind. And with that necessity out the window like a bad piece of bacon, the fickle, flustery attitudes began to emerge from within us. Wicks were flying half mast by default, and all the world was a minefield.
We spent the rest of our waking Thursday hours soaking up all the time together we could. After struggling through groggy, increasingly drowsy conversation, she went to bed while I waited up for the band to arrive.
I was dominating Angry Birds when Ben called.
He was here.
In Part III we shall discover the Calculus!