Suzanne's in Boston this week, taking care of more business at VON 2008. While I hate the thought of being alone in the house, every so often it's kind of nice to not have to worry about whether we have everything we need to go out for a long run, track practice or race.
Before she or any of you think I don't love my wife, please understand what I mean by this. I only have to make certain I have one water bottle, one towel, one spare shirt, etc. When the workout is over, I can leave or stick around as long as I want. No need to close a conversation in order to get back to the car/house and clean up a little before a bite and a beer. While being single truly sucks bilge, it's a simple, one-hose form of suck. Being married has it's share of suck, too, but (in the words of Jimmy Red Dust, one of Jimmy Buffett's characters from A Salty Piece of Land) it 'sucks less.' It's a more complicated form of suck; a multifaceted, multidirectional, multi-flow version that varies in quality over time. When you're young it's emotional, when you're middle-aged it's physical, when you're older you toddle away from the hoses and say 'to heck with it.'
My wife has taken on the role of primary caregiver to our five-and-a-half year-old greyhound. So when she goes on the road, whatever temporary respite I might have received from the multi/multi/multi suck goes right out the window. I feel so guilty leaving him home during the workday (he usually serves as security for my wife's office) I do my afternoon running near the house and come immediately home to keep him company. He still wants/needs attention, food, biscuits, walks, and to be let outside (especially while I have my dinner in hand!), above and beyond the amount Suzanne normally gives him.
Rubin's not one to buy the 'oh, Dad's going out for an easy six-miler, after which he'll take you for a walk around the park' line. He knows:
1) Dad's NEVER gone out for an easy six-miler.
2) When Dad comes back, all he'll want to do is rest on the couch, watch television/movies and sip on one or more beers.
So...he'll stand in front of the front door and stare into the wood in the hope of boring a 'hound-sized hole through it with his doe eyes. And it doesn't matter whether you already took him on a three-lap jaunt around the park (well, two laps would make him sleep all day!); he wants more. Doesn't matter, just more. I have not figured out more what, either. In spite of my best efforts to try and understand the d-a-w-g (and his best efforts to communicate with me without pawing my leg off), we're as uncertain as we were the last time I looked at a technical manual, like the ones written in the Far East for those pre-fabricated office furnishings.
So, dear, if you read this. . . your dog is fine. I am surviving, thanks to Wolfgang Puck and Anheuser-Busch. And we both look forward to you coming home. P.S. Don't mind the remains of the wing delivery guy you'll find in the driveway. He mistook our address for someone who ordered from his shop. The dog decided to eat him. . . Okay, so I let him. It was 11:30 p.m., and nobody should beat on our door at that hour.