This is where the story ends: I’m on the road on my way home. Santiago Canyon Road, just coming into Orange. It’s a nice road, winding between green, rolling hills, green now from all the rain we’ve had this year, and there are trees and a stream. Picturesque, you might call it. Just as it comes into Orange, there’s a passing lane. Now, the guy ahead of me has been keeping a slow speed, keeping us all bunched up behind him, but I haven’t said anything or cursed at him. I’ve just been enjoying the ride. As the guy ahead of me moves over and lets me pass, this motorcycle comes up from behind. It’s a big Harley and I haven’t seen him, but he pulls up beside me, passing on the right, in the passing lane, and he looks over at me. He’s a big guy with a pleasant face, odd for a Harley ride; he reminded me of Tim Murphy. He gives me a big smile, flashes me a peace sign, and then the peace sign is cut in two and the guy’s suddenly giving me the finger. He shakes it at me, still smiling, as he passes.
What did I do to deserve that, I wonder. I don’t have any kind of bumper sticker that might piss him off. What did I do?
But it’s been that way for the past few days. It was kind of the topper, if you will.
This started a while back.
I should let you know that things haven’t been great. Not at home or at work. Vicky and I have been snapping at one another, and it didn’t help when we found out that our medical insurance would cover childbirth thinly, vaguely, and insubstantially. We might have to pay as much as $3,200!! My reaction was less than exemplary; Vicky thought I changed my mind and didn’t want to have a baby, which was not the case, not that I did a good job communicating that. But $3,200 is an impossible amount in my world. I say we'll figure something out but I haven't a clue to tell you the truth. At work, I get these impossible requests to do things I am not trained for, not able to do. I’m working on this new catalog and my boss puts up every roadblock he can, as if he wants to sabotage the whole thing. When I bring it up to him all we do is fight! Last week, in a meeting, he started screaming at me and another guy, “I’m tired of fighting! I’m tired of fighting! I’m tired of fighting!” like some lunatic.
Going into the weekend, I thought things would be better. I was wrong.
Friday night, Vicky had a “girl’s night out”. I’ll let her tell you about that, not that I’m promising anything. Sean and I hung out and, over a few drinks, really bonded. It was nice. We complained about our spouses, something you can only do with another married man, one whom you’ve known for some time. It helped get some things off my chest.
Saturday morning, Vicky and I went to the California Speedway for her big, driving day, and I got to watch her drive a race car. She had a terrific time but I felt like crap. I thought I’d paid all that money so she could race and all they did was have her drive behind a pace car. I felt like a jerk! I should have paid more money! What a louse I was! She seemed to have a great time – and I was really glad for that – but you know how Christmas or a trip to Disneyland can be loused up by one, stupid moment? Well, I had mine.
And then, before I knew it, we were fighting again!
Now, I’ve said in the past that our disagreements pale in comparison to most, and I’m grateful for that. But then, Sunday night came. Suki fell down the stairs and we brought her to the emergency vet. It ended up costing us $300 and an evening, night, and morning spent in this uncomfortable waiting room.
Maybe it was the lack of sleep. I don’t know. I could make a dozen excuses. But I snapped at her. All of our fighting just came to a head there and I found myself saying all the stuff I shouldn’t have said. True stuff, sure. But you just don’t say some things, you know?
We got home Monday morning and we both slept, calling in sick.
That day was miserable. We both felt rotten.
Now, I love Vicky. I don’t want us to fight. But there are some fights that get so big they have a will of their own. You just have to take a time out and hope they cool down on their own. Afterwards, the plan is to have that post-fight talk and try to work things out, which we will, I’m sure.
But then, I went into work this morning and I don’t know if my boss had just had enough of our own fighting or what but he called me into his office and just let me have it. He said I took too much time off – though I had PTO coming to me. He told me I took a day off that I knew I didn’t and make me time PTO for that, too. He told me that I’d been surfing the web too much on Friday, though I’d finished all of my work and nearly everybody was out of the office. He told me I spent too much time on the phone with my wife, who calls about twice a day, five minutes or so each call. He said I was a disappointment and that I’d let the team down without any examples to back it up. Then, he said that I’d better not cause any problems for the next few months or I was history.
Just a rotten, rotten day.
And then, after I stayed at work late, as I was driving home, this lax harbinger comes up and flips me off. Then again, maybe he wasn’t a harbinger. Maybe he was an employee of the universe, telling me that the totality of everything was having a great time having fun with me. Hey, if I thought I had it bad, think of Job why don’t you?
Okay, so things aren’t great.
But they could be worse, right?
Anyway, Vicky just got home and it’s time we made nice. We’re both pretty sad right now and we’re the ones who are supposed to make us happy. Time to make things better… I hope.
No fingers now… okay?