A surprising number of people commented on k being away for the week this time round, even though it was not the first time we have been away from each other. Maybe I looked more tired and drawn this time round- I was battling a bout of exhaustion and flu. Or perhaps after becoming part of a duo- people feel its necessary to cluck sympathetically if your other (better/worse?) half goes away for whatever reason.
Someone I met yesterday asked me how I held up in the week he was away. And I decided to go for the real answer this time round, instead of smiling and nodding understandingly as people tsked tsked about work trips and separation. “It was actually a relief, ” I said smiling as her expression froze ever-so-slightly, ” I got a lot of pending work out of the way by being able to work later than usual and I wasn’t distracted by thinking that I wanted to be with him. So in a way, it worked out rather well- the timing was great!” I finished off, with a laugh.
As a culture, we react best under predictable circumstances. Throw in an unusual situation or two, and we find oursleves stumbling to figure out how an alternative could exist. When your partner goes away, according to the story, you should look incomplete, lost and you should count seconds till he gets back. Funny thing is while k was away this time, I did indeed count seconds till he got back, but all the while thoroughly enjoying the complete rule over the bed and TV, putting in an-amitabh-movie-watching night spent with my sisters and immense relief at having gotten so much time to put pending work out of the way. Welcome back k.