Twenty-One Hours Alone
My birthday was on Friday and I received my gift several weeks ago. I told my husband that I wanted a new bookshelf. When we moved into this house six years ago, he said “That’s it — no more bookshelves.” Meaning that I needed to make do with what I had, also implying that I would need to make decisions about what books to keep when new books come in.
And I did fairly well. It may have also involved sneaking books into unexpected places and calling them “decor” but it never rose to the level of needing another shelf. Until a few months ago, when we finished putting an addition on our house. As a result, a lot of furniture moved around and I stopped using a desk that had two very nice shelves. Those books had no home. Coupled with the fact that I had been bursting at the seams for awhile and running out of places to shove books, it had become a problem.
So I asked for a bookshelf for my birthday. I told him that I would swap out a very small shelf in our master bedroom — give it to the 10-year-old, whose own collection is growing — and put a larger shelf there. I found one on Wayfair and my husband even helped me assemble it as part of my “gift.”
When my actual birthday rolled around, my husband asked “What do you want to do for your birthday?” Gift already received, he probably figured that I would choose a restaurant for us to go to as a family.
I told him: “I want to check into a hotel. By myself. From check-in one day, to check-out the next day. Peace and quiet.”
I was talking to a friend recently who is temporarily living in a different state than her husband, due to work. She was headed home to see him, and I commiserated. When my husband and I were first married, we lived in different states for six months, and only saw each other every other weekend. My friend asked when the last time I was apart from my husband. Well, every year I have a work conference that takes me away for about 3 days. Last time I was truly away, completely by myself? It had been far too long.
When my 10-year-old was a toddler, I remember my mom coming to visit and she helped my husband while I went to a hotel for a night. That is probably the last time I had a whole day completely to myself. And…