May 5, 2005
Deal

David and I made a pact in the Subaru this morning, as we were driving to work. Next week will be *my* week to flail and weep and feel sorry for myself and require massive amounts of emotional hand-holding, every morning and every night; the week after that, it will be HIS turn. "Let's shake on it," I said, and he agreed, and at the next red light we clasped hands across the parking brake and solemnly shook hands.

Deal sealed.

My boss will be going on vacation next week, leaving me in charge of all Dirt Company admin-related crap for five hellish, interminable, paper-cut-intensive days. This isn't the first time that she's left me to hold down the fort while she's out of town. By my count, I've covered eight JoAnne Vacations in the nearly four years that I've worked for the company. Seven times out of eight, I'd say that I handled the challenge perfectly well.  

It's the memory of that OTHER TIME that still haunts us both, I think.

Even so, I believe I'm up to the responsibility this year. I'm braced. I'm ready. I'm expensively medicated.  I'm semi-well-rested.  Plus I am a veritable walking/talking ENCYCLOPEDIA of Dirt Company procedural policy. JoAnne and I have been huddled together, the past few days, going over procedures, drawing up *To Do* lists, formulating emergency contingency plans. I know where the company checkbook is hidden. I know how to swap out the backup tapes on the server. I can format a Soil Density Report ... I know how to make a quadruple-urgent last-minute airline reservation ... I've got fresh emergency stashes of Pepcid and Penguins and Liquid Bandage squirreled away in my middle desk drawer.

Still, I know that it's not going to be easy. 

I fully expect to come home every night next week and indulge in a fullblown emotional meltdown before bedtime. And that's where The Deal comes into play. While I flail and weep and feel sorry for myself and dribble Maybelline down the front of my Yosemite T-shirt, every night,  David will hover quietly in the background  ...  playing soothing music on the stereo, serving me bowls of pesto and garlic bread, offering to rub my feet, mopping up the Maybelline. He'll listen to my tales of woe. He'll deflect annoying phone calls. He'll wash the dinner dishes. He'll watch "American Idol" with me, without making snarky remarks about wardrobe and song choices. Most importantly, he'll remind me that this week will pass ... that everything will go back to normal soon ... that I'm the most amazingly capable, qualified, fabulous Admin Ass in the entire history of Admin Asses, and that I could probably run the entire Dirt Company myself, with my eyes closed and both feet tied behind my back.

(Read this: he'll lie through his TEETH.)

All of this fuss and attention and mollycoddling will give me just the emotional boost I need to get through The Week From Hell, until JoAnne comes back and life dials back down to normal.  And then, week after next, when David's secretary goes away on her vacation, leaving him alone and helpless and forced to fend for himself for five days, it will be *my* turn to be the provider of nightly pesto and pep talks.

Although I suspect that I won't be mopping up a lot of Maybelline on *my* watch.



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there is nobody left on 'survivor' that i give four-sevenths of a crap about.
[i was rooting for the snippy gay guy, originally, and then for plucky stephanie,
but they're both history now.]
therefore, it's now  become a case of who i most DON'T want to see win, and that
would be either one of the young blonde women.  neither one of them is as annoying as
the infamous heidi and her flaming breasts of scorn, from a few seasons back, but they ARE both filled with the
sort of dimly-lit arrogance and self-entitlement that just makes me see red.
 i want them both gone, gone, gone.