Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Conversations with Long Lost Husband

Okay, we are pretty pathetic. Rob and I talk every day, sometimes twice a day. Unlike most techies (which I guess I'm not) I hate Skype. So, instead of being disconnected 20 times during a conversation, we usually use the traditional phone and calling from Banda Aceh, Indonesia to Olympia, Washington, boy do we have the phone bill to prove it. You'd think we were love struck teen agers instead of old married farts celebrating 14 years this coming Tuesday. (This is your last hint, hubby!)

It takes me back to our engaged years when, for one and a half years, I lived in Washington and he lived in California. We bought SouthWest airline tickets in bulk, drove to meet each other in Oregon, used lots of stamps, and had enourmous phone bills. Rob took on a second job as a personal trainer at a gym and scraped his pennies together to eat at Del Taco. I stopped in whatever locale he was living in at the moment on my way to and from sales jobs and trade shows in the contiguous U.S. Nothing like having my luggage lost on my way from St. Louis in January where it was 30 degrees, to in Sacremento where it was 90 degrees and I had to wear a sweater and jeans.

And for the many times we've been apart like this when living over in Egypt, we have this same silly behavior. Which is good, because it is hard to hold onto a marriage if you don't communicate. We've gotten good at this, but it's never very fun. On my end, it's a little less taxing because the kids are bigger and don't require super human attention all the time any longer, and I can rely on them for help. That has been the biggest change this time around. It' s amazing the power an allowance wields in this house. It's gotten little boys to change diapers, dress the baby, take out the garbage and the recycling, make beds, put clothes away, dust, vaccuum, pick up outside toys and get the mail. Although the last time the six year old got the mail, we found it scatter over five acres of lawn for the next few days.

At the end of our conversations we sign off and I hand the phone to the littlest gal who is 19 months old and loooooves the phone already. She uses everything as a phone; tv remote, building blocks, spoon, you name it. Anyway, we give her the phone and she wanders around the house saying gobbledy gook until Rob hangs up and the phone starts beeping at her because we haven't replaced the receiver yet.

Typical conversation:

Rob: So, on my way out to one of the job sites there was a dead crocodile and a dead goat in the road. A bunch of us went to Sigi's house in the jungle and ate wild boar that a local friend of his shot with a bow and arrow.

Me: Uhm,.. we went to Red Lobster??!

So, when I was recounting this conversation to my mother she must have seen that twinkle in my eye. The one that always yearns to be doing something adventurous (not that raising 4 1/2 kids isn't adventurous; trust me). So, she slammed her hand down on the arm of the chair and said to me, "If you go back over there I swear I will check myself into a mental institution." Okay, mom, I promise to stay put,.. for a while longer anyway. : )

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