Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Labor Of Love

Labor Day Weekend.

Everyone looks forward to it.  The 3 days off.  The resting.  The traveling.  The fun times with friends.

This Labor Day, our plans were to spend the weekend with some of our best friends.  We had planned on leaving Friday right after work. 

These plans had been in place for months.

It's important to realize that when you live Life With Rachael, plans are not necessarily made of concrete.  They consist more of fluid that runs through your fingers each time you try to grasp them.

My first sign of trouble was Thursday evening.  When I found out that Rachael had not yet made plans regarding who was going to feed our two dogs, Rhett and Scarlett, and our guinea pig, Sugar.  I also had been waiting on her to type up a letter for a hopeful loan modification.  I had typed mine up and sent it, but the bank was demanding one from Rachael as well.  I had reminded her several times and Friday was the deadline.

We'll suffice it to say that when we went to bed Thursday night, the letter had not progressed beyond a blank sheet of paper.

My next sign of trouble was when I could not reach Rachael on her cell phone.  On Friday, I tried to call her a few times during the day to see how she was coming along.  I was unable to reach her.  When I finally talked to her later that day, I asked her if she had heard my message.

"Ummm, no."

I could tell something was up.  I asked her about her cell phone.  She told me that she did not know where it was, but knew it had to be somewhere.  Now, I am not really an expert on these things, but I figured she had to be right.  The only other alternative was that it was nowhere, which hardly seemed possible, given the known laws of the universe.  That being said, I wasn't quite sure how that was going to help us.  The fact that the phone was somewhere did not seem to get us any closer to it's true location.  As I'm writing this Tuesday night, it has still not been found.

For those of you who may not know, this is the new cell phone that Rachael loves so much.

...............The one she got less than a month ago to replace the last one she lost.

Anyway, I know it's somewhere. 

You know how most of the financial advisors always tell you that the cell phone insurance is usually a waste of money?  That you should not spend the money on it, as you will most likely not ever need it?  That the plans charge so much money, it's just not worth it?

I'm thinking they have not yet had the immense pleasure of reading Life With Rachael or Rachael's blog, My Poor Husband.  If they would have, they'd probably have a Rachael Clause.  'We can not be responsible for wind, fire, hurricanes, or other acts of God or Rachael.  Forgetting, misplacing, poorly managing, or otherwise misappropriating your cell phone will not be the responsibility of this firm.  All other incidents of damage will be replaced and/or repaired at the sole discretion of the cell phone company, to whom you signed over your life when you signed the two-year contract.'

However, until the cell phone companies enact the Rachael clause, I am starting to think that Rachael is the one person this side of the Rocky Mountains that may actually benefit by having cell phone insurance.  Once the Rachael clause is enacted, I'm guessing that cell phone insurance rates may very well be cut in half.

Friday afternoon, I received a phone call from one of the friends we were going to be staying with.  He asked when I thought we'd be there.  I told him what I thought, but added the Rachael disclaimer, which basically compensates for the unexpected delays, slight setbacks, and the 1-3 trips back into the house to get some forgotten item.

When we finally were on the road, we began to realize that even though we'd had several extra trips back into the house, there were still a number of forgotten items.

1.  Rachael's Cell phone- Already mentioned.
2.  Rachael's Hair Dryer
3.  Someone to feed the pets.  This actually did not get accomplished until a little after 3 PM on Saturday.  Which was fortunate, considering they needed to be fed Saturday evening.
4.  Rachael's church clothes.
5.  Rachael's swim suit.
6.  Rachael's hairbrush.
7.  Rachael's shoes.
8.  Eyedrops and medicine in case the kids get sick.
9.  Rachael's makeup.

Now, if I didn't know Rachael as well as I do, I might listen to the argument that 'forgetting' could be a plan enacted to allow the purchasing of new shoes, swimsuits, hairbrushes, etc. 

I'm pretty sure that is not the case.

Rachael and I are a bit different in the planning department.  Recognizing that we were going to be leaving, I made sure to set things up to have a smooth and successful trip.  I filled the truck up with gas so we wouldn't have to worry about stopping.  I took some money out, so we wouldn't be caught unprepared.  I planned my time to allow for packing.  I counted out the exact number of pairs of socks I'd need.  I calculated the exact number of gallons of gas we were likely to burn.  OK, that last one is not true, but the rest is.

As you can probably guess by now, Rachael's plans are often a bit simpler.

1.  I'm here.
2.  Let's go.
3.  I forgot  ______________ (fill in the blank).
4.  Evaluate distance from home.  If closer than 10 miles, turn around.  If further, buy new once we get there, if possible.
5.  Put up with husband's irritation and/or anger.

As any married couple can tell you, opposites often attract.  And then marry.  And then drive each other crazy. 

But maybe, just maybe, through it all they can learn a little from each other and grow to be better people because of their mate.

I know that is true with Rachael and me.  She often does drive me crazy.  She forgets frequently.  She often allows distractions to interfere with her family and our plans.  Sometimes she seems to live in her zone more than in reality.

But, on the plus side, she tackles each new task with big, exciting plans.  When she's excited about something she'll talk about it with wide-eyed wonder.  Her eyes literally sparkle with enthusiasm.  She teaches me how to look at things through eyes that see more than just the facts. 

In a word, she supplies the missing parts to who I am.  I am hopeful I do the same for her. 

Now that's not to say that we aren't going to get on each other's nerves at times.  We will.  Like the next time we leave for a family trip.  Or she forgets her cell phone.  Or I get so stuck on the details of the plan that I can not share her considerable excitement.  Or I stifle her creativity.

But we will also be there for each other.  Will hopefully complete each other.  Will hopefully never close our eyes to what attracted us to each other in the first place.

The fact that we are so very different.

And that's OK.

Most of the time.

Now we just have to call to be sure her cell phone hasn't racked up 2500 minutes calling to Mexico in the past 5 days.

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