Monday, April 11, 2011

A Lonely Sunday Strikes

The evil gnome of Kitchen Widow life struck this weekend.

It was a beautiful Sunday, warm and humid and practically begging for much outdoor play, when the dastardly villain crept up on me before I could light-saber it to the ground, as I usually do, and attacked. My defenses were down as I struggled to wrangle the children and fight off third-trimester exhaustion, so I sank easily into its clutches: Loneliness had gotten me.

It was one element of Kitchen Widow life that surprised me in its ferocity, the first time Loneliness struck. I am very capable of being alone, in general. I lived alone, from the time I graduated college to the time we got married, and I loved the freedom and independence aloneness afforded. But I believe there is a difference in the aloneness of single life and the aloneness of missing your spouse.

These days, Loneliness does not win very often. I am too frantic, too caught up in the busyness of career/mommyhood/home ownership/married life to pay Loneliness much heed. It also does me no good to dwell on my lonely hours, and it certainly does nothing for Chef Matt except produce guilt. But this Sunday, I think I was caught up in imagining a life where weekends belonged to us and not the restaurant, where we could lollygag and linger to our hearts' content, where weekend camping trips were a possibility, where we could socialize during normal hours instead of on inconvenient Monday nights.

The world is certainly not set up for non-bankers' hours. But I can find solidarity in so many others who exist outside of 9-to-5: nurses, police officers, retail clerks, journalists, bus drivers, to name a few. Weekends do not always exist for them, or their spouses, and I am sure that many of them see life as we do: hours spent together are rare and precious and never taken for granted.

I was able to vanquish Loneliness after a while, as the day rolled into evening and meals were made and children were entertained. Although I always feel bad when I let it bring me down, I suppose I should feel a little grateful for Loneliness. Its appearance reminds me that my husband's presence is important to me, and to the kids, and just as the existence of evil illuminates the good, the existence of Loneliness illuminates the Companionship. The elusive weekend will eventually come to us, but for now, I will take our Monday nights.

My defenses are operational, Loneliness. I am ready when you strike again.

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