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
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.
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.
the memory of that OTHER
that still haunts us both, I think.
so, I believe I'm up to the responsibility this year. I'm
braced. I'm ready. I'm
expensively medicated. I'm
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
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
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
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.
this: he'll lie through his TEETH.)
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.
I suspect that I won't be mopping up a lot of Maybelline on *my* watch.