It’s been a long time, boys and belles. I would love to blame all-consuming family needs, ridiculous work demands and the other pressing and various inescapable requirements that it takes to simply cope with living and functioning in the twenty-first century—so I will.
First let me say that I don’t do well with change. One of my amazing and fabulous sister-in-law’s job requirements is to administer that Carl Jungian monster of a personality test to corporate employees. I refuse to take it for her because I was forced to take it when I began college for roommate compatibility and I got so insanely bored with the redundant and never-ending questions that I started making patterns with the bubble answer sheet. Nonetheless, her years of expertise still have me blowing the roof off in the temperament normally reserved for those in the ranks of the military. Guess what? Colin Powell and I get pissy when our routines are messed with.
So, bear the aforementioned in mind as I tell you that my darling dear husband was terribly, horribly, unbearably (get out your thesaurus and find as many adjectives as you can) miserable at his job.
- “Tough Shit!” you say, “He should be on his knees and grateful that he has a job in this economy!”
A. First off, I admit that the atmosphere at that place was toxic. It was as bad as a reality show as to who was going to get fired for no particular reason next. Inexplicably insane. They were also working him to death for pennies and no appreciation.
Secondly, I’m sure you’ve heard the term, “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” Well, that goes double for daddies. The man brought it home with him so bad that it got to the point, when I heard the Suburban pull up in the driveway, I would say a little prayer in my head:
“Dear Lord, please guide your servant, Ashley. Please help her to continue to use those big ‘ol heavy cooking pans for their intended purpose of cooking and not for the deep, deep, deeeeeeeep satisfaction of knocking him upside the head with one as he finds something to criticize the second he walks through the door. Please restrain her hands from...um...spicing his food with pharmaceuticals so that he will just go on and go to sleep. Please help her to remember that, somewhere in there is the man she married, but she can’t find him by physically reaching down his throat to pull him out. Amen.
- “Fine,” you say, “your husband has a crappy job. Find another one.”
A. Sha-ha! I wish! I followed my mother’s advice to the letter: “Ashley, it’s perfectly fine to go to Chapel Hill, but when it comes to finding a husband, you need to hang around the libraries at State and Duke. Get you a State Engineer or a Duke Doctor so you end up with someone who can earn a living.”
Like I could possibly live with anyone who went to Duke.
My beloved has a degree in mechanical engineering from N.C. State. Let’s go over Wilmington employment opportunities for a moment, shall we?
*The Aspiring (unpaid) Movie Extra
*Hotel Janitorial Services
*Hotel Recreation Specialists (Hookers)
Things came to an intolerable boil and my love felt he had no choice but to look outside of the Wilmington area for employment. Seeing as those damn frying pans were looking better and better every night, I agreed.
The man went to some really scary places. His first interview was in Indiana and I told him that would be a bitch of a commute because I wasn’t stepping out of the Great State of North Carolina. There was one in Charlotte (which I don’t particularly count as North Carolina, but debate if you must) and I have never been to Charlotte when I haven’t gotten lost and ended up in some seriously scary “gritty police drama set locations.”
Then the man got an excellent job offer with a company he really liked near Clayton, North Carolina. We were familiar with the area and we had dear friends and family close by as well. We had a really big decision on our plate.
AND THEN CAME THE FATEFUL CONVERSATION IN THE KITCHEN. It was after work and I hadn’t had a particularly stellar day. We’d rehashed and done the pro and con list to death about the job offer and Darling Dear picked it up again while I was in the kitchen trying to get the Baby Belle’s dinner put together. He was earnestly listing the good and bad points and I was pretty much grunting in response. He finally asked me, “Ashley, what do you want?”
Well, that did it. My frustration with my bad day and my frustration with...well...everything came up and I turned around and held forth: “Scott, it doesn’t matter! I can be miserable here and I can be miserable in Clayton! It doesn’t particularly matter one way or the other to me!”
Rather than come back with a zinger, Scott just leaned forward and said, “Yes it does. What do you want.”
I figured I might as well go for it: “I want to write.”
Scott replied, “Okay.”
Well that just took the wind right out of my sails. I had a good thirty to forty-five minutes of fight locked and loaded.
So, boys and belles, here I sit in Clayton, North Carolina. Don’t fret, I’m still an attorney. I’ve wanted to be an attorney since the pacifier came out and I could argue. I still come to Wilmington and practice, but my husband afforded me the gift of indulging in my passion and I intend to take advantage big time.
I’ve actually written two books in what will be a three book series of humorous fiction entitled The Chronicles of Beatrice Beaufort: Rogue Southern Belle. I’m also thinking about publishing this blog with new material.
Maybe I can handle change after all. We’ll see...