One of the appealing reasons to make the move to North Carolina was that Husband got permission from his company to become a home-based employee. He likes his job and had no interest in looking for another one, but his commute in Maryland was sucking some of the enjoyment out of his life, for sure. He's definitely not a complainer (like I would be in his shoes--ranting every day when I arrived home about the crazy congestion and slow roads) but you could tell it was wearing on him nonetheless.
And now that he's been operating under the revised guidelines for a few weeks, you might be curious as to how it's going. Well, let me just sum it up thusly: "my, how things have changed". These days, he rolls out of bed, strolls down to the kitchen to grab some breakfast (which, can I tell you, is just NUTS...did no one ever teach the man the Golden Rule: "Caffeine Before Calories"? Or perhaps that's just me...), then meanders...into the next room...to begin his work day. When he first contemplated this radical option, one of his initial, much-too-gleeful comments ran something along the lines of, "I don't have to drive! I don't have to leave the house! Heck, I don't even have to wear PANTS if I don't want to!" (Don't be alarmed--this subversive notion was quickly squashed by...well, me...as I firmly informed him that yes, indeed, he would in fact be required to don...at least a pair of shorts...to wear to "the office".)
And overall, I would say it's been smooth...if a bit weird...having him around so much. Fortunately, he has the self-discipline and attention required to actually close his door and focus on his professional tasks. On the other hand, he can just pop out for a snack when the mood strikes...or like the other day, when he was finally ready for his coffee and emerged to hit up the Keurig for a fresh cup. (Later he told me that he was a few minutes late for the start of a conference call because I had happened to be brewing my own java at the same time. So he blithely apologized with the excuse, "Sorry, there was a line at the coffee machine!" His poor colleague was evidently quite confused by this...)
And he's suddenly available in ways that weren't possible in the previous paradigm...such as being around to cook dinner every night...a chore which he doesn't mind, but I loathe, so that works out beautifully. Then there was the incident yesterday when Riley came in crying because he was having some sort of trouble with the gears on his bicycle. Out came Dad to the rescue, with tools and...other mechanical-looking...stuff. As he was tying his shoes to go out and save the day, I noted that his desk phone was ringing. "I'll call them back," he said cheerfully, "right now I've got to handle a bike emergency!"
So yeah, I suppose it's safe to say he's quite invested in his new circumstances...but I can see how there might have to be some...boundaries....established. For example, this morning Derek--who I might have mentioned is oblivious to, if not openly scornful of, "fashion" in any way, shape, or form--actually caught on to something that seemed amiss. I heard him ask his father, "Hey, wait a minute, are you wearing the same clothes as yesterday?" Husband glanced down at himself (in a slightly startled way, as if just now noticing that he had apparel on at ALL...and was congratulating himself for it...) and admitted with no self-consciousness whatsoever that yes, he was. When pressed by the teenager, he also confessed that he couldn't remember if he'd even showered in the previous 24 hours. Ay yi yi. Almost as an afterthought he hastened to add, with a disturbing note of triumph in his voice, "But...I changed my underwear!"
I don't know if it was the actual concept (I know--don't think about it too closely) or the fact that he sounded so darn proud of himself? But I couldn't help shooting back, "You sound like you want a STICKER for it, or something!" Oh. My. Goodness. You should have seen his face--his eyes brightened, he grinned from ear to ear, and he enthused, "Yeah! We could put a mark on the calendar for every day..." Here he trailed off, as he must have noticed my blistering stare, which thankfully quelled that whole misbegotten plan before it could be implemented. Even Derek, sitting off to the side, was shaking his bowed head in disbelief at this point. So...um....in my new role as Administrative Support Personnel for WestEnders, LLC, it seems I'll need to be creating some sort of...coffee distribution schedule...and sports management schedule...and, um "hygiene schedule"...for the employees. Sigh. At least I'm compensated in home-cooked meals, right?