We didn’t expect life to look like it does now. Whoever does though? For one thing, I’m pretty sure I expected my hair to stay pixie-short for the rest of my life. I expected to be a drug rep—begrudgingly—for a long time. I expected I’d stay married to that other guy. I even expected that I would give in and have a kid and spend the rest of my life trying to to have a good attitude about being something that I never in my life wanted to be.
I’m just so glad, so grateful, that none of that is true. Life now is startlingly different than what I may have expected. It is startlingly so much better.
Yesterday I asked Jim, “You know that saying, ‘If it seems to good to be true it probably is?’ Then how do I explain you? You seem to good to be true but with you what you see is actually what you get.” He is this great. And Jim is never shy about his faults or things he would have done differently in his life. I never have to be uptight about telling people things about my husband. He’d tell them himself. Even nearly three years into this relationship I’m still surprised by that. I spent ten years married to a guy who was nothing but secrets. Jim, however, couldn’t keep a secret to save his life. Or even my life. Anyone’s life, if we’re being all-encompassing and honest here. Keeping secrets takes more energy than he is interested in expending when he could be doing something useful. He is dead set on being useful.
This was the week of his Victory Woodworks holiday parties. One for each office, one here in Reno and one in Vegas. I love going along to those events. First off, Jim lets me hand out the crisp new money when people spin the wheel for cash which makes me instantly the most popular person in the room. And I love seeing how happy his employees are. Unless they are 85 of the best fakers in Nevada, these people like where they work. My husband is a good boss. He is genuinely interested in making Victory a place where his people are happy. And when he gave his little speech at the Reno party he got to announce that he missed work the previous day because he was at the hospital becoming a grandfather. He'll be good at that too.
You skipped over the relevant niceness of Jim’s daughter having a baby and went right to, “Wait! Doesn’t that make you a step-grandma!?” Snicker snort chuckle guffaw blah blah blah. You realize I’ve been getting that for a good eight months, right? I’ve also come to terms with it. If a grandma figure is someone who buys shit the parents wouldn’t and sends surprises to their doorstep and helps decorate their apartment, well then I fit that bill. I got to leapfrog all the hard parts of having a kid and jumped right to the part that all overworked mothers ache for. I’ll take it.
Something that Jim and I frequently say that we didn’t expect was how great things would be with his kids. We reasonably thought that it was going to be awful a lot of the time because family blending is just that. But I—thank you thank you thank you—didn’t come with kids, which makes things easier, and also, I am awesome. (Jim too, but let's talk about me for a sec.) The kids—I’d say especially the older two—have gotten the message that I’ll do anything to help them. In the beginning that was for Jim. I wanted to make him happy and that meant being nice to his kids. Now I enjoy them in their own right for the engaging people that they are. When I threw Katelynn’s shower I told Jim, “This isn’t for you. This is for her.” I love hanging out with Katelynn. And I’m going to enjoy watching her be the terrific mom everyone is certain she will be. I’m excited when Dustin comes home to visit. I’m ecstatically pleased at how he’s progressing in his pilot training. They’re not my kids but I adore them, I am happy for them, I’m proud of them, and feel what I guess could be termed a sort of stewardship for them. It’s a gift that the horror Jim and I expected to wade through didn’t materialize. Instead we all get along and even enjoy each other’s company.
All of that has been a boon lately since my yoga practice has been on a sort of hiatus and I needed other things to focus on so I didn’t drive myself—and Jim, the real sufferer here—to madness. A couple months ago I dislocated a rib in pole class, and then just as it was healing I had a minor foot surgery that developed an infection which absolutely wouldn’t heal if I didn’t stay off it (“for crying out loud” —nearly exasperated podiatrist who would really love it if I started wearing shoes once in a while instead of living my life barefoot). But I’m back on my mat, Dear Reader, heading to class now, in fact, and am really looking forward to putting my body in its place. (Said the girl who imagined she had some kind of control.) Peace out, y'all.