I decided to categorize my posts the other day and realized that, although I proclaim it as part of my personal equation, I have no posts under the Marriage category. As Valentine’s Day, that once yearly celebration of love, affection, and glorious chocolate eating approaches, I felt it apropos to write an inaugural piece for the Marriage component.
Musicman left for a month-long tour of the United States on Tuesday. A month is a long time to be away from your family but he has done much longer tours and has gone much further afield. Before Ladybug was born and our lives were forever changed, I used to fly in to see Musicman for a few days when he was gone four weeks or more. We would rent a car, check into a hotel, and explore the area. How else would I know about the moonlit delights of Fishtown, Philadelphia or where not to stay in Brighton, UK? It’s a little more complicated to do with Ladybug in tow and, with me not working outside the home, a little harder on the family budget. So, most of the time, I just miss him and he misses me.
Road dogging it is not nearly as glamorous as it might sound or as fun as you might expect. For a vulgar-funny perspective on the life of a musician on the road, check out Kelly Hogan’s article here. I grow tired of hearing from people about how much fun or how exciting it must be for my husband to travel around the world with a group of men he has known for 15 years. It’s not. It’s mind-numbing, sleep-and-sanitation-deprived work that ends in 90 minutes or so of glory every night. It’s that 90 minutes of doing what he loves that keeps Musicman going. That, and the fact that he has to keep his girls in lentils and parkas.
Being on the road is also extremely lonely in many ways. Musicman has to leave his toddling daughter and loving wife for the comfort of … earnest music-loving people he doesn’t know and will never see again, or the flat screen TV in the hotel room, or the clerk at the all-night truck stop selling microwaveable burritos and caffeine pills. Lonely though never really alone. I think Sofia Coppola captures this bizarre ethos so beautifully in her films Lost In Translation (Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson’s characters), and Somewhere (Stephen Dorff’s character).
Though I often feel sorry for myself, and now for Ladybug, when Musicman is away, I feel sorry for him too. It’s the glue that binds us together across the miles, through spotty cellular reception and dwindling phone card minutes. According to a recent study from Harvard University, empathic couples are happy couples.
So, I miss him and he misses me, but it works for us, and we are happy.