Life Without My Husband (Day One)

Posted by Ann Evans in domestic life, husbands, life after 60, losing a husband, the good marriage, women | 5 comments

I have just kissed him good-bye, so I don’t miss him yet.  He’s still sitting in the airport, or going through security.  I’m grateful that the big storm that’s coming tonight held off until he left.

Driving back from the airport, I could feel my context shifting. I was starving and now I could eat my main meal at noon, which I prefer. Maybe because we share a bottle of wine over dinner, and wine doesn’t fit well into the middle of the day, we eat the main meal in the evening. I stopped at a local supermarket which has a diverse offering of readymade meals and chose all vegetarian (he is starkly a carnivore) — sweet potatoes, spanakopitta, and baba ganoush.  I picked up a couple of persimmons too. He would eat those, but persimmons are only rarely worthy of eating when purchased in Hoboken, New Jersey. When I cook I have an audience, so don’t want to serve under-ripe fruit, so don’t buy persimmons.  Now it is only me. I’ll throw them away if they’re awful. What an odd mixing of foods for lunch. These are all things he would eat, but I know he would not enjoy them, especially the sweet potatoes, and never would crave them as I was at that moment. Sweet potatoes have been hibernating in an inaccessible corner of my brain for the last six years. I took the whole mess home and gorged myself. Now I want a nap.  Already my schedule has changed.

I did one other thing which, like the above, doesn’t make sense. I bought carrot cake. My dear husband struggles with his weight, so I avoid bringing home fattening desserts. It is not as simple as that (since he would note that plenty of times I bring home fattening desserts). If I brought home a slice of carrot cake I would either have to bring two (which would be an overload of calories which I could deal with  but he shouldn’t) or cut the one in half, which would yield a piece that was not enough for me.  Heady calculations? If I were living by myself all the time, I would avoid the calories of carrot cake, but here was an opportunity to bust out for one brief moment. I have eaten one bite of the cake. It could probably last me two or more days, one bite at a time.  (The logic of this paragraph is ridiculous. I am chronicling a benign and harmless insanity.) The point is that suddenly appetites have popped into my head which I have not acknowledged for years. They will pop out like an ugly burp and then disappear because I really don’t need sweet potatoes or baba ganoush or spanakopitta or carrot cake.

If he were here he would be concerned.  “You can eat whatever you want. You don’t have to eat what I want.” Yes, I could. As I said, this is not normal.

Before he left, he not only ordered a couple of Netflix movies he thought I would like (he didn’t tell me which ones, I’ll find out when I open the envelope), he also moved to the top of the Netflix queue some other movies he thought I would like.  Isn’t that lovely?  He is assuming that I will watch television, as we do now. It feels as though we have a date every night. Just sitting in the same room with him watching a basketball game, Stephen Colbert, or Homeland makes me happy. I don’t know what I will do with my evenings while he is gone. When he is here, I could, of course, play the piano or read a book or continue my writing, but I’d rather be sitting in a room with him.

I am two hours into my new schedule and must filter through the possibilities for the afternoon. I have plenty to do so boredom is never a problem, but the context I do them in is different. Where do they all fit now?

At what point will I run out of plans and just sit there?

I made sure I touched him more than usual today, as if  could bank those touches for future use. They’ll run out quickly. I’ll tell you when.

Comments (5)
  1. Lisa Romeo says:

    I hope you (both) have a wonderful couple of weeks. The persimmons bit made me smile; I do the same with kiwi and pomegranate.
    For a couple of years, my husband and both sons were all away for 8 days on a summer camping trip, and I remember making those same kind of adjustments, enjoying those liberties. A delicious stretch. You’ll miss him soon enough, in the meantime, enjoy!

  2. hannah says:

    I wonder when you will walk around the block three times and then visit your daughter;)

    • Ann Evans says:

      My dear, I am so looking forward to our Downton Abbey marathon after Thanksgiving dinner.

  3. Bill Mutch says:

    Hola Ann. I can’t help remarking that I wish you’d made clear in the title bar that your husband was (is) merely traveling rather than having died.

    • Ann Evans says:

      Sorry to alarm you. But that is part of the point. One of our wiser classmates once said to me, “No matter how long you have been married, you have to always be ready to say good-bye.” Keeping in touch with the fact that we come in alone and go out alone is part of being a whole person, isn’t it?

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Life went on

Life went on again after Daring to Date Again: A Memoir ended, so I began this wide-ranging blog about life as a writer and as a woman in the early 21st century, especially as an older woman.

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