For the past month, Jordan and I have had a commuter marriage. I really didn’t think it would be all that different from the traveling he did with his old position, but it sort of is. Also, in many ways, it’s not. Before, when he was traveling from country to country, he wasn’t home for weeks at a time and there were a lot of multi-day stretches we didn’t speak because of schedules, time differences, and the lack of cell service. But, he always came home, and he would stay home for a while before leaving again. Now? We can talk as much as we want via phone or video chat (God Bless America), but when he comes home on Friday evening, I know I only have about 36 hours before he’s gone again.
I know, I know. We’re not only married for two days of the week, and it’s much more than that and blah blah blah. I agree, wholeheartedly. But there is a lot in marriage you don’t experience when you’re not living with your spouse. For instance, socks. I used to walk around and find a plethora of socks littered about the interior square footage of our home. They were like little cotton droppings left discreetly by the Cotton Boss. My husband is a very clean and neat man (which I know I hit the jackpot on, so thy eyes may blush with green hues my friends), but there seems to be something about his socks that are blocked out by the clean machine he embodies. But since starting his new job, the socks have vacated the premises.
Our weekends are also non-existent, as a lot of stuff that can’t be done while he is away is relegated to Saturday and Sunday. Sure, I could pick up a wrench and do some dirty work, and I do, to a certain extent. However, just this morning I greeted a service technician at my door and talked with him for a full five minutes before realizing I had a rather large drop of creamy peanut butter on the chest of my shirt. I am not a woman who should don latex gloves and chemically strip the varnish from an old piano. My realm of labor assistance is pretty much limited to yard work and errand running. We’re all safer this way.
I don’t bother with laundry during the week since I know Jordan will come home and re-load the basket (I am also aware not having any kids allows me to get away with this), and I cook dinners fit for mice. Last night, I realized my entertainment choices are much more thrilling when Jordan is around, as I am 100% sure he’s not coming home to sit on the couch and watch Gilmore Girls. For all purposes, between 7pm Sunday until 7pm Friday, I live the single life.
So, what does living a 36-hour weekend marriage mean, exactly? A lot of laundry. It also means I go to the store with a sense of pressure to buy actual food to put in our actual refrigerator so I can make an actual meal to feed my husband who will actually be home. It entails a honey-do list, piles of sorted mail, and resuming and pausing certain projects over and over. It also brings with it a warmth to the other side of the bed, real life face-to-face conversations, and a longing for the hours to drag on. When done right, 36-hour marriages are short and more than sweet.
Amidst the laundry and the agony of cooking real food, I never want Sunday evening to come, but it does. I watch him load the car with his clothes bag and totes of groceries I’ve packed for him, our 36-hours coming to another end. I give him a hug and then he’s on his way to await another week until our domestic marriage resumes. Pretty soon I’m grinding smoothies for dinner and turning on Netflix to see what rapid-style dialogues Lorelei shares with Rory. I scan the house and sigh. He’s only been gone for an hour, and I know he’s still driving, but I send him a text anyway.
“I miss your socks.”
– S.S. Dees