A few nights ago, Ben arrived home from work carrying several bags, none of them the one containing his newly bought shirt from J. Crew ($66, on sale).
We've been long distance for the past six months and have three months to go. My girlfriend studies German at a university, and as a part of her coursework she had to embark on her year abroad last September. The experience has been, besides predictably shitty, interesting. Over the past few years, I've somehow seen a lot of friends in long distance relationships—some of whom have managed it with frightening efficiency, others who have had giant burning messes. All things considered, my girlfriend and I have done pretty well.
Taking short meaningless walks between the kitchen and the bedroom became his favorite hobby.
My coworkers have provided for me in ways that are less quantifiable than money, career, or real estate: it's been in venting sessions over drinks, showing up to my events, movie nights, hugs, holidays spent together, and general support.
Both my parents were in the ICU at Archbold Medical Center in Thomasville, my father with a broken neck and my mother with a fractured lower back. A truck had smashed into their SUV as they drove home from their Florida vacation.
One of our first discussions about combining our bank accounts was, "What about presents?"
As the twentieth century draws to a close, I find myself the father of three boys under five. The youngest is born under circumstances that seem positively routine compared with our first outing. When I return to hospital six hours after the birth, my wife is dressed and ready to go, the baby packed up like hand luggage.