Friday, September 01, 2006

A Vampire No More

My husband and I have been together for a little over five years. During the last four and a half years, Dan has worked the night shift at a big box store. As management, he would put in way more hours than for which he was paid. Some weeks the hours would approach the eighties. I often found myself a widow to said store. During this time, weekends off were rare and a normal schedule was a joke. Dan slept through the afternoon, while I snoozed at night. Dan often referred to himself as a vampire, due to his lifestyle. We would get to spend maybe one normal day a week together, a day when we enjoyed meals and other activities at more normal times. It was like he and I were in some science fiction novel where one of us experienced time in reverse. We shared fleeting moments. We developed independent lives.

Last night, Dan worked his last night shift. He has finally escaped the claws of evil thirds and now will be working as a grocery manager during the day. (First shift to boot!) He still won't have weekends or holidays off, as that is the nature of retail. He does expect to have Thursdays and Sundays though, so we may get to start seeing our friends and families again.

Eighty percent of our time together has really not been together. This statement frightens me and raises many doubts in my mind. We have both developed habits that do not include the other. For instance, I have a habit of sleeping in the middle of the bed. Unless we submit to separate bedrooms, that must change. I know I am used to not having him around. Will we get on each other's nerves, now that he will be working fewer hours? Will we fight more? Can we adapt to such a big, but positive change? How will Aveline react to seeing Daddy only at night?

We feel very fortunate that he has been given this opportunity. Moving to day shift has been one of his goals since we wed three years ago. Having Aveline sharpened his aim. I know he (and I) experienced more urgency for this change when we discovered The Deuce. This change will allow him more family time and less stress. Who doesn't crave that?

We are both giddy that he no longer works third shift. Perhaps a month or so ago might have been a bit more favorable, as our lives will grow tumultuous during the coming weeks. But you take what you can get when you can get it. I'm not going to complain. All of these changes will undoubtedly stress our relationship, but that's what makes us stronger right?


Jamie said...

So Happy for you guys, I'm sure this will strenthen your relationship.

Uncle Crappy said...

The Wife and I both work as reporters, so our schedules are all over the place. I just switched beats a couple of months ago and have gone back to attending at least a couple of night meetings each week. Sometimes it seems like we're never really sure when we're going to bump into each other; sometimes I know I'm aware that I'm interrupting the evening rhythm she's established while I've been at work, and although I might be in the mood to talk I try to give her some space.

All the changing around does mean we make sure we enjoy the time we have together. You guys will run into some little hassles as this progresses. It's important to remember that they're just that: little.