Because He Loves You

iHopI did the most unthinkable thing on Thanksgiving weekend.  I opted not to work.

We had the kids and to be honest, we get very little time with them.  Ten days is all we are allowed right now by Texas law per month, which never feels like enough time.  Sometimes we think about changing that legally, but as both of us run small businesses, we can’t figure out how to make that work and be fair to the kids.  If wishes were fishes, we’d have them 50% of the time, but that would create a rift and … we just wish things were different.

I had a bunch of things planned for Thanksgiving, but recent expenses (including an unforeseen huge bill for renewing my green card) let me tighter for funds than I anticipated.  I anticipated that all clients would pay me on time (okay small business owners and consultants… you can stop laughing now) but was able to jockey funds around to give our kids a pretty awesome holiday weekend.

For two little boys who are grounded anyhow.  They were able to earn a reprieve by doing chores around the house.  After a week of no television or video games, you’ll pretty much do anything to get some “screen time” when you are nine.  My garage?  It looks AH-MAZING!  And the boys got to do some honest hard work with their Daddy and learn some responsible lessons about being a part of the household, and working hard to get things done.

Because I opted to spend oodles of time with family, my Monday was out of control.  Managing client expectations right after a holiday can be challenging. Some of my clients are still transitioning from the “old Lori” who was single, alone all the time and worked 24/7 … to the “new Lori” who pursues this messed up notion of life balance and family time.   I have a family now… I will stand for my time with them always.  Very few male marketing executives I know were even working on Cyber Monday, which just asserts that a woman in marketing consistently works twice as hard for less pay than her male colleagues.

Men simply say “I’m off” and don’t respond to emails.  Women … we have this guilt/confidence/worry thing that makes us easy targets.  Most of my clients are however, really wonderful people and I am blessed and grateful for that.

Monday was about catching up for me.  I worked 16 hours (phew!).  Tuesday was another mad scramble with urgent errands mixed in.  A trip to the DMV is always the highlight of my life (sigh…) I was there for over two hours staring at the floor and contemplating a Tootsie roll the kids left in my purse. I ate it (for the record) as a matter of survival before heading to the bank to get a cashiers check for rent (and facing another large line) and then to the rental office to face a chatty receptionst…

ERMYGAWDLEMMEGOHOMEEEE…………….. I haz busy!

I rushed back to the house to finish my work (ish… it’s never really finished).  Deflected a couple sarcastic emails and a bunch of inquiries from overseas prospects who were looking for content writing.

Prospect: “Lady I would like to buy your beautiful writing but I and my colleagues fear your price is too high. Plese for to give me your cheapest price.”

[Insert brain scream]

Me: “I regret we won’t be working together, but thank you for connecting with me on LinkedIn.”

[Boom]

Then my close friend Sonja offered me the opportunity to get away with her to a cool place in Texas while she does her nursing CE.  ARRRRRGHHH!! I so wanted to go!!! :( But since payments were delayed and work was compounded by the crazy idea that I should spend time with my family on a holiday weekend I had to pass that up.    Grumble…

THEN just as I was making progress with a editorial creative piece that was delayed by a complete unforeseen rework request that took up 14 hours of my time last week (increase scope of project the deadline changes… rule #1 of project management) I got on the phone with my sister (who I missed and hadn’t spoken to for about a week) to talk while I got freaky in Adobe InDesign.

Kim: “Lo, is Kevin stuck by the road somewhere?”

Me: “What makes you ask that… gee… RANDOMMMMM!”

Kim: “Geek, he posted on Facebook that he’s been at a tire place for an hour. Did he text you?”

Me: “Oh shit… my phone is on the chargerrr….”

 

Sure enough there were ample texts.  I hung up quick with Kim, connect with Kevin and opted to meet him at his parents, then the tire place, then his parents… then the tire place…. Finally they put his truck up to replace the tire, and I headed to his mom and dad’s to give his Dad a birthday gift.  I got hugs, a nice visit and a cute little Christmas cactus that my thoughtful mother-in-law bought because she saw it was made in Canada.

Like me :)  And “awww”.  She’s the best.  Dad thought his new sweater was sexy but a little more fitted than he is used to.  You can tell when a couple really loves each other, because as he slid on the fitted sweater, my mother-in-law was checking him out. (You know… like really checking him out) and complimenting him on his shoulders and stuff that made us feel we should leave quickly before the real festivities began 😉

The dinner I was going to make Kevin didn’t happen.  The teriyaki beef skewers and brown rice, with grilled brown mushrooms will be tonight’s dinner.  We ungloriously went for a quick and dirty dinner at iHop with two cars.   He cheats when he drives and beat me there, but as I was walking in toward iHop from the parkiiHop Shermanng lot, I should have seen ‘tired’ or ‘frustrated’ or ‘impatient’ on his face as he held the door open waiting for me.

I didn’t.

What I saw was this melting kind of warm expression on his face the second he saw me walking toward him.  It’s a different smile.  A gooey one and his big brown eyes soften at the corners when he looks at me.   Unless I am being an asshole (it happens… rarely … often) I see that look a lot but I guess I am usually too busy to see it.  If that makes sense.

We talked about business and I held his hands over the table.  I like how much bigger his hands are than mine, and the way he holds them always makes me feel safe, and loved.  And understood.  And supported.  And … owned in the most passionate, romantic way.  I don’t think I’ve ever met a man that made me feel like I belonged to him the way that Kevin does.  I was sure I’d resent that kind of archaic sexist action… but I don’t.  Not anymore. I must be getting infirm with old age.

I need it.  And am grateful for it.

He laughed as he watched me eat my french fries first, and then try to reroute my BLT, avoiding the mayo that I hate … but that always seems to freaking find its way onto my BLT’s.  It’s a curse.

But my husband is a blessing.  He still shot that goofy, lovey, mushball look at me over the table. And instead of mocking him for it … my inner critic sighed inside my head.

“It’s because he loves you.”  Followed by … “If he touches my french fries he’s dead.”