My husband left yesterday afternoon for a conference in Washington DC and will be gone until late Thursday night. I hate it when that happens! It's not as though it happens often--he travels just once or twice a year. I'm not upset that I am alone here with the kids for all of those days either. We will be just fine and will be doing all sorts of stuff to stay busy until he returns. I guess I hate to see him go because A) I really like hanging out with my husband and B) I don't like being the one left behind even if it is to go to Home Depot and look at router bits.
When my husband was in graduate school in Pittsburgh, I had positions with two different companies that required a significant amount of travel. One job required me to fly to Raleigh, NC every other Monday and return that Friday. It was hardly a glamorous job and I grew bored with the same hotel and the same sit-down chain restaurant diet, but I didn't see him much anyway, so it worked. Then I joined another company that required a lot of travel to different places around the country. Some months I would travel once, some months I travelled 3 out of the 4 weeks. Again, it wasn't glamorous. I wasn't staying at W Manhatten like my friend Laura does for her buying job. I was typically at a Hampton Inn or maybe a Marriott in Davenport Iowa, Charlotte, or Florence, AL. But at the end of the day, I always felt that what I was doing was marginally important for the company and was proud to represent them wherever I was sent. And while I called my husband everyday and really missed him, I was the one who wasn't left behind, so the travel didn't seem so bad.
So when the shoe is one the other foot, I am really unhappy about it. But I shouldn't be. This week, my husband will be surrounded by thousands of people in his field, but since they are Chemists, you can be assured that 85% of them are complete science geeks who have virtually no outside interests and tremendously overblown egos. My husband will be spending the majority of his off time going to a baseball game, running, drinking a beer or going to the Spy Museum alone. Many of these people believe that cutting loose is having 1 watered down lite beer and talking about quantum physics or whatever their specialty may be. For most of us, that would be Snooze Fest 2005.
My husband called me last night after he had eaten dinner. He had planned on eating at his hotel but he quickly discovered that his wardrobe was not appropriate for the restaurant. This surprised him as his room is a dump and his window has a view of an airconditioning unit for another room. Instead, he walked to Capital City Brewing Company, a fantastic brew pub we used to go to when we lived in Maryland. When he got there, he went up to the bar and was completely surrounded by Chemists, including a Chemistry Historian (who knew?) who tried to start up a conversation with him. He said he suddenly experienced a deja vu. He remembered a magical Saturday many years ago in which we spent the afternoon with our friends Peter and Jennifer. At the time, we each had boxers and they were playing in the back of our car that was parked outside. The dogs were having a blast romping around and we were having a blast drinking. He remembered people coming up to us and asking about our dogs and raving about how cute they were. Mercury and McBain always got attention wherever we would go so it was no surprise that people were approaching us. Corey got extremely choked up by the memory because Peter, Mercury and McBain all left this world at different times, and much too soon a few years later. He told me he left the bar and sat at a table by the window with his beer and his memories.