Late, steamy nights

(It’s not what you think.)

After four and a half years of living on my own, I have been completely undone by one month of sharing a house with another adult. That Otto is such a JERK, getting me all used to having him around.

That insensitive jerk lulled me into a false sense of security and then just as the temperature spiked, he went and left me. He left me here with the over-100-degrees temps and a couple of cranky kids and suddenly I was all, “I have to take the garbage out!” and “I have to pay attention to my children!” and “Damn there are a lot of dead bugs in this pool!”

Oh, he’s coming back (or so he says), but it’s shaping up to be a very long week, I can tell you that much.

The good news is that I can get to Kroger and back without the GPS unit, now (woo). It’s not as though I have no idea where I am. Also, Otto taught me how to vacuum the pool, so I don’t have to send the kids in to swim amongst the crickets and frogs.

The bad news is that after a day of working and shepherding the kids single-handedly I then find myself sitting in a very quiet house and missing my husband. It didn’t take very long to get used to having him around. And not just to vacuum up the crickets.

It turns out that I don’t sleep very well when he’s not here.

There’s a part of me that enjoys the quiet, the freedom to watch whatever I want on TV, the time to myself. There have been moments in the last month when I have looked at the houseful of people I live with and maybe thought just a wee bit wistfully about the days when I had a solitary weekend every couple of weeks.

But most of me has become terribly spoiled in the last month.

Today the kids spent 4 straight hours in the pool—along with a lovely young lady who just finished a babysitting course (“Okay, what are the pool rules?” she asked me. “Let’s see… no drowning. Got that?”)—and I sat in my office and worked (inbetween peeking outside to make sure all was well) and it made for a nice day because the kids got to do what they wanted and I got to do what I needed to do and it was all fine. Well, it would’ve been better if I could’ve stopped working and gone swimming, I suppose, but other than THAT.

(It turns out, by the way, that the giant ice blocks last less than 10 minutes in the pool. But the kids were happy to paddle around on top of them for as long as they’d support their weight, which was pretty hilarious.)

Due to the nature of the trip he’s on (an itinerary that has him going and doing approximately 18 hours a day), we don’t even get to go back to our late-night marathon phone calls. I get a call every day, but it’s usually mid-afternoon and only for a couple of minutes. Leaving my nights full of solitude.

And that meant there was no one here to share with when I discovered that it’s so hot and humid, when the air conditioning is going full blast condensation forms on the toilet seats when the lids are closed. (Go ahead, ask me how I figured that one out.) Otto is missing out on SO MUCH.


  1. mcewen

    You certainly deserve the rest, what a pity he can’t be there to enjoy it too!

  2. Melissa

    You need some kind of a pool-bar thing, like at a tropical resort. With cabana boys and whatnot. You know, so you can work in the pool. (Apparently in my version of you working, tropical drinks are necessary.)

  3. meghann

    Hmm, I think I need some cabana boys and tropical drinks. Even if I don’t have a pool.

  4. Sharkey

    Weren’t you people reading? She said her cabana boy is out of town! ;)

  5. jean

    You are so in love. I miss that. But I love reading about it and remembering it. Thank you. And thank Otto (the “jerk”, who dared to leave you during a heat wave).

  6. becky

    uh oh. i guess you found out about the toilet seats the hard way. ick. i hope there wasn’t any sliding and splashing involved. :o

    those darn men, getting us comfortable with having them around and then running off. the nerve!

  7. LuAnn

    I like your pool rules. Clean, concise, understated. :)

  8. Leandra

    I know what you mean. Even though I crave solitude every now and again (okay — ALL THE TIME) I don’t sleep well when Mr. Daddy is gone either. I just re-read that sentence and even though that’s what I call my husband in my writing, it sounds kind of creepy. I think I just weirded myself out. Ick!

  9. Rachel May

    I don’t sleep well when Knight is gone, either. For me, it’s paranoia that ohmygosh now I’m the ONLY adult in the house and what if something happens or somebody breaks in and I don’t hear it and can’t get to Jet in time to help him.

    So. Jet usually ends up sleeping with me.

  10. AmyM

    Awwww, I miss my husband terribly when he’s gone, too. Even when he’s just working a few hours of overtime, it feels like an eternity. Thankfully he has a job that doesn’t make him travel overnight.

  11. Jenny

    Oh, I feel you. My husband travels a lot for work, and the first day is always like, “Wheee! I can read a book ALL NIGHT if I want to! In the tub!” and the second day is like, “Hmmmm. It’s awfully quiet…” and by the third day, I’m a raving basket case what with the not sleeping well and all the freaking solitude.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go curl up in the refrigerator.

  12. Sara

    My husband travels nearly every week. He’s usually out three nights a week. It’s been that way for 16 years of marriage (longer if you count when we dated and were engaged). I have four children. People often ask me how I manage being alone so much. I joke back that if he were home every night we’d be divorced. Actually, even after all this time, I still don’t sleep well the first night he’s gone. I do much better when he’s home where he belongs. ;) Hope Otto’s trips away are few and far between.

  13. tammy

    No frogs and crickets?

    I am rethinking my decision to come swimming now. All the protein is out of the pool.

  14. hollygee

    Steve has been gone for 3 weeks. He was first supposed to have returned last Saturday, then Tuesday, now he says maybe tomorrow. the last time he left for 2 weeks, it turned out to be 5, instead.

    I’ve decided that leg shackles are on my to buy list. Do you ever find deals for Want Not on them?

    I hope Steve [and Otto] returns soon, I need that annoying comfort that he provides.

  15. Lucy Dee

    The bad news is that after a day of working and shepherding the kids single-handedly I then find myself sitting in a very quiet house and missing my husband.

    You have a delectable problem most married couple should have. Yes, you’re in love. There’s nothing funny about that, unfortunately. (I’m a standup comedienne and nobody ever writes about love. They write about relationships and sex, but never love.) You do have a way with words. I was right there in the moment–a well-written post! Thank you!

  16. nan

    Here’s what to do when hubby is away: all of the kinda icky things like giving yourself a pedicure, trimming nose hairs, putting goop on your face and in your hair and walking around all evening like that. Give your ears a really good clean. You can probably think of other cool stuff. He will think you are a maintainance-free beauty, and will never have to see you looking in your nose in the mirror. Buy some magazines, and put the kids to bed early. This can become a great ritual. It’s all about you!

  17. Aimee

    Um… ew! with the toilet seat. That’s gross!

    I don’t sleep well without my husband either. It’s funny, because I lived alone for the longest time, and I know exactly what you mean. You get used to having them around, durn it, and then when they’re not there, it’s looooonely. Hurry back, Otto!

  18. jenn

    Oh my. I lose Mr. Clairol for two weekends every year to the Bug-O-Rama (the VW kind, not the ewwww kind) and those are the nights I cannot get to sleep. Dang those boys, anyway. Once we get used to them, they have no business slipping the leash, errr, leaving.

  19. Burgh Baby's Mom

    Stop. the. train. The toilet seat lids are closed? Really? What’s that like? Did you stare at them for a few minutes, confused as to how they stayed the way you left them?

  20. BOSSY

    Those darn men. Can’t live with them, can’t live, um, with them.

  21. Sarah

    I don’t sleep well either when my John is gone. There’s just something comforting in another body in the bed, and it’s gotta be the right body!

    And sadly, the condensation on the toilet seats isn’t restricted to Georgia. We had it back in Iowa, too. Why do you think I left for California the minute I could?

  22. ScottsdaleGirl

    Whenever I get to the point of killing the Prince I remind myself how much it would SUCK if I had to carry in the heavy dog food bags, pick up dog poop, kill my own bugs, unclog the hairfilled drain, grocery shop, and cook.

    That usually buys him an hour or so.

  23. Jenn

    I totally second the idea of hot cabana boys while he’s gone. Cabana boys with massage therapy licenses and bartending licenses…

  24. emily

    please tell me you’re kidding about the frogs. there aren’t really dead frogs in your pool, are there? *cringe*

  25. Christine

    I used to sleep like a rock when either of us traveled. On the phone it was like “I miss you baby.” “I miss you, too. How’d you sleep.?” “Like a baby…” “Um, me too…”

    Now HRH is likes to have sleepovers when daddy’s out of town and I’m never in the bed alone.

    In love or not, I’m no cuddler when I’m ready for sleep.

  26. Otto

    Okay, first – NO FREAKING CABANA BOYS!! I’M RIGHT HERE!! Jeez …

    Second, what The Pretty One failed to mention is I’m on a one week semi-forced march of Georgia – and today we were in Tifton. Which is in southern Georgia. Where it was 115 degrees with the heat index. And 101 without it.


    That expression on your face? Two hours of it, but doubled.

  27. Cassie

    Wait, condensation forms on the toilet seat lid?! That’s pretty much rad in my book.

  28. kathy

    I’ve got a drink for you, Pretty One, for those lonely nights. Take some mint and crush it really really bad. Add some powdered sugar to it. Squeeze a lime on it. Add your favorite rum, ice and club soda. Drink. Better now?

  29. Mimipz5wjj

    That’s so sweet that you can’t sleep well without him! I know how you feel!

    Sometimes I think if only DH would go away for ONE night… but I know I’d miss him terribly if he did… and even with the kids in the house it would seem empty!

    Here’s to a speedy and safe trip back Otto!

  30. Heather Cook

    Where the heck do you get giant ice blocks??

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