Ok, so yesterday was a pretty long day. I have one employee (and friend) that's been seriously sick - she was the one I took to the ER the previous day. Partway through the day, another one of my team managers went home sick. One of the second manger's employees were out at a family funeral, and another one had a doctor's appointment scheduled for the afternoon. That meant being really short - and I was trying to be in several places at once. The day went fine - and we got everything done that needed to be done. That's all fine and dandy.
I needed to stay about 20 minutes late to get my final paperwork done - so I was out the door a bit later than normal. I really wasn't very concerned about it, since T was off yesterday and he had the kids at home. I expected a nice relaxing evening. Um...
On my way out the door I get a phone call - T lost his cell phone and has been looking for it everywhere. He couldn't find it, so he was going through the process of getting a new one. He was calling me from a payphone, at the local Safeway (wow - payphone - it's like from a lost language) - then he was going to go to the store to pick up the things on my list. (Don't get all excited - he wasn't doing me a favor - most of the stuff on the list was for the kids or himself - and out of 4 things I asked for - he got two of them right) Anyway...
I'm driving home from work and my phone rings again. It's my mother-in-law. She asks me "Does T know he lost his phone yet?" A very lovely woman found his phone, and scrolled through it - found the "mom" entry and called. She called me. When I got home, I called my mother-in-law, got the woman's phone number, called her, and arranged to come pick it up. I left a note on the door that said "Back Soon - Picking up your phone" and headed out again. I met the woman about 20 minutes later, got the phone and came home to find a note on my note. "Back Soon - Trying to cancel new phone". I haven't even made it into the house yet, when T and the kids pull up.
T's greeting to me: "Where was it?"
My response: "No, we are not going to start this conversation this way."
T: "OK, thank you. Where was it?"
I explained the story, and he went off to call the cell phone company. By this point it's about 6:30, and my son asks me, "What's for dinner?"
Ok, so yes, that's the point of this whole story. It's 1/2 an hour before bedtime, T was JUST at the grocery store, he's now locked himself away to deal with his phone - and the kids haven't eaten dinner. Did he pick up anything at the store that would have made a nice, healthy dinner? No. Did he plan on doing anything for the kids for dinner? No. He had spent the last 4 hours dragging them around to deal with his cell phone (which, we'll remember, I went and picked up). So I end up throwing something together for dinner for the kids that will at least meet 2 of the 4 food groups.
Now let's make sure the point here is clear. I totally understand the frustrations associated with losing something as important as a phone. I don't mind being the one to go pick it up, I thought I was doing him a favor. So, to summarize the complaints: 1) What takes him four hours to cancel a cell phone and order a new one? 2) If he HADN'T been dealing with this phone, would he have planned anything for dinner (answer, by the way is no. I'd get a phone call at 4:45 asking me what I wanted to do about dinner - based on EVERY OTHER day he's home and I'm not.) 3) What was he so worried about on the cell phone? He gets a ton of minutes that he doesn't use, and all the calls after 7 are free. There are no long distance fees. If this was me, I would have waited until I had access to a phone - and called my own number - see if someone answered it - worked on the replacement after giving a couple of hours for it to be found. Oh, and that would have worked, since this woman had the phone on - in case he did call!
This is a long rant over something that seems awfully petty. I'm not doing a really good job of explaining the big picture here. In simpler terms - I, once again, had to work a full day (plus extra) then come home to do everything there - even though my so called "partner" was home ALL day.
The television was never turned on in my presence yesterday. This is an amazing accomplishment. Usually, as soon as the kids are in bed, the TV is on. I'm usually working on other things, and the TV fades into a hum into the background for me - but T gets sucked in. It doesn't matter what it is - any show - seriously, ANY show and he's glued.
I was on the computer "chatting" with a couple of friends, I was downloading music onto Pepe from old CD's, I was to quote an old 80's song - "enjoying the silence". T would occasionally be in the same room, but mostly he'd go into the playroom so he could watch television.
When I went to bed, I almost turned the television on, and it occurred to me how much of a habit television has become. I didn't want to watch TV, I wanted to read - so why would I automatically reach to turn it on? Our habits are so ingrained we don't even realize what we're doing.
How much of our lives are lead by choice and how much is just the force of a habit?