Friday, March 7, 2008

My Loneliness Is Killing Me

The problem with asking people what they would like for their birthday is that there is a high probability that they're going to tell you. And when that person is your wife, there are consequences for ignoring that advice. Brandi wanted to take Paisley and take a trip to Chicago to visit her sister and hang out with their family for a week. On Monday afternoon I kissed them goodbye and watched them fumble their way through airport security.

I have to be honest with you and admit that there was a part of me looking forward to a break from responsibility. What I wasn't prepared for was the boredom and feelings of...discombobulation. Borderline depression. You could have probably filmed one of the Cymbalta commercials with me, the cat and the turtle the other night. Despite being overly dramatic, I really don't consider myself to be needy. (Do you think I'm needy? Do you? Please! Anyone.) If anything, my life in the past has leaned towards the side of isolation and independence. I once had someone psychoanalyze my hobbies: reading-isolating, writing-isolating, riding my bike-isolating. I could add to it that most of the jobs I've had within my profession have removed me from civilization.

Then I got married. The kicker is that I've just sort of assumed that I've remained the same person, despite the many major life events that have occurred within those short 18 months. But I'm not the same person and I'm actually a little bit proud about it. I've missed my girls tremendously. It's hard to say that despite of this or because of this, it's been a frustrating week. One of those where even the simplest activity seems to malfunction topped off with the fact that I ruined my brand new phone while almost drowning in 1 1/2 feet of water and an unbelievable amount of mud in the middle of a pond in no where Nevada and having to drive the 2 hours back to Vegas soaking wet. All I really wanted to do was wrap up in a blanket with Brandi and decompress. It's a level of comfort and security that no "night with the guys" could ever mimic.

From the sounds of it Brandi has had a great trip and has really appreciated the time she and Paisley could spend with them. It's one of the more reluctant birthday gifts that I've ever given, but I'm starting to appreciate the gift that I've received in turn. I also like convincing myself that her REAL present is her coming home to me with the same renewed appreciation! Not that I feel unappreciated or anything.

The people closest to us are far too easy to take for granted. But it's also easy to take being needed by someone for granted. Maybe the loneliest part of being home by myself all week was that there wasn't any one there for me to take care of. The fine balance of any relationship is the middle of being needed and being needy. A line that I will be firmly standing on tonight when they step through airport security again tonight.

Happy Birthday, my love.

(For the record, Brandi's birthday is next Thursday, March 13. Feel free to send your wishes her way. Also, since she's out of town, this post is missing her incredible editorial skills and she would probably want me to disclaim the following: the opinions expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the normal publishing standards that you've come to expect from


Shannon said...

I commend you on your honesty and sweet admiration of your family. Brandi is a lucky lady. Paisley too.
Happy (early) Birthday, Brandi!

Rachelle said...

tim, you are very sweet to miss your girls so much! I'm sorry to hear that you have been so lonely. Maybe that's why when I am gone with the kids, Nate goes to the movies all day long! If only he could express himself like you do. The difference between a writer and a stats man. :-)

Ems said...

oh man. this is such a fantastic family, great post.

(I'm katie from replikate's sister and I totally internet stalk you guys)

Tonia Conger said...

Dude, I feel you. Whenever Nate leaves for a week of travel my life goes to pot. I eat pickles for dinner and don't speak a word while I wander around the house looking for someone to smile at. It's a lonely world out there without the best part of life smiling back.

Sherry said...

What a sweet husband you have Brandi. I hope he feels the same in 10 years. I'm sure he will. I'm sorry Tim for your near drowning episode. I'm sure Scooter wasn't the same comfort as Brandi would have been although he's warm and fuzzy. Remember, "absence makes the heart grow fonder". I'm sure you're both a little fonder of each other.
P.S. I cracked up over the "Home Alone" picture.

Mike Colvin said...

Nice use of Britney's lyrics...

My loneliness is killin me (and I)
I must confess I still believe (still believe)
When Im not with you I lose my mind
Give me a sign, hit me baby one more time!

tim & brandi said...

Of course it takes a PhD to catch the reference. It never ceases to amaze me that every time I load up into one of the work Excursions (what is it with the government and these horrid beasts?) I am inundated with memories of Britney, the Boys of Backstreet, LFO and that golden summer.