June 15, 2011 by Leah
Our summer travel season sneaked up on us recently. We spent an action-packed three days in Portland for my sister-in-law’s college graduation (go Megan!), and the time reminded me how fun it can be to live as part of a family of five, or six, or eight. Dinner table conversation is a lot more lively with more than two people. Trips around town are particularly fun, as is a multi-dog household. If everything goes as planned, we’ll be within reasonable driving distance from Portland in just a couple of months, and will be able to do a lot more of this kind of visiting. Hooray!
Not that our lives are at all as dull as they were over the late winter. We had tons of fun at our second dance lesson yesterday (that was a great Groupon – $45 for two private lessons, one group lesson, and one party at a local dance studio franchise). We’re still working on trip planning and we leave in just over two weeks. The garden is full of produce and I enjoy figuring out how to incorporate the same ingredients into different dishes every night. (I was particularly proud of last night’s garden veggie ground bison curry, although it was inspired by Sunday’s Thai graduation feast, so I can’t claim all the credit.) Aaron is a great housemate and husband. We crack ourselves up and have a lot of fun.
That said, I’m pretty darn stoked about having the house to myself this weekend while Aaron jets off to Vegas for a bachelor party. I was fantasizing about what all I’m going to do for the three days he’s gone, and trying to remember what secret single behaviors (thanks, Sex and the City) I used to indulge in during the five years I lived alone.
Let’s see… Monarch of the Glen marathons? Repeated watching of Bridget Jones’ Diary? I did some of that while I was learning how to knit. Aaron didn’t mind.
Vodka-spiked Crystal Light? Ew. That’s not real food.
Morningstar Farms Spinach Artichoke Veggie Bites? Natural Ruffles with sea salt? Same.
Tortilla chips with cottage cheese or a tin of smoked oysters for dinner? Hmm. There’s some potential there.
Sleeping in on the weekends? We do that. Duke likes it.
Going out to the local bars at night? Sounds awful.
Hiking with girlfriends? Erm, no. I don’t understand where all these celebrities hike all the time. (Of course, celebrities live in Malibu, not Long Beach.)
Brunching with girlfriends? I still do that. Different friends, same meal.
Lying on the couch reading a book from cover to cover? Same couch, different books. Bonus: a cuddly dog!
Not doing the dishes if I don’t feel like it? Who are we kidding? That certainly didn’t change when I got married.
Sleeping smack in the middle of the bed? Hah. I have a dog now.
Reading at meals? That’s a shared bad habit.
Spending hours doing homework? I’m done with grad school.
Eating ice cream out of the carton? We both did that before we gave up processed ice cream.
The quiet of the early mornings before getting ready for work? Yeah, well. I miss that one for a variety of reasons.
Clearly, the changes I’ve made since getting married have been for the better. There’s nothing major I want to do differently while Aaron is gone. I’m not planning secret indulgences that would shame me before other humans. I have a dog to look after. I have neighbors. I try not to eat processed crap these days (not that you can tell by looking at me). Yet I’m excited by the prospect of autonomy. Of not having to watch the clock in order to get three squares on the table every day. I’m excited about waiting until I’m hungry to cook breakfast and eating smoked oysters straight from the can for dinner. About having the option to forgo dinner entirely, or to wear workout clothes for the entire day. Wait, sometimes I do wear workout clothes all day.
It seems that freedom from the kitchen is what I’m really excited about here, so I’ll just go with that. And revel in it. And if I end up feeling sorry for myself because I’m missing my husband on Day Two, I expect only sympathy from my friends and associates. Thanks in advance, everyone.