Ate cookies for lunch yesterday, because my spouse is away. This is something I would never do when he\’s around, not that he would object in any way. The most he would do is ask me to let him have a couple. But still, I wouldn\’t do it.
Then in the evening I worked straight through the \”dinner hour\” on a clay sculpture, not stopping until I reached a true stopping point. I cleaned up, made a fire, had a glass of wine and the rest of the cookies, and some almonds. And did the universe punish me by making me sick to my stomach or, worse, causing me to gain five pounds? Not at all. In fact, this morning I am half a pound lighter than yesterday.
Today I may commit other infractions, though they won\’t be cookie-related (I cannot bear to even think of cookies right now). I may have an all-spinach dinner–sauteed with olive oil and garlic–or I may spend the entire night downstairs in front of the fire, with the dogs.
I am always surprised by the pleasure that these short periods of solitude bring. Since the earliest days of our marriage, the prospect of my husband going on a trip has plunged me into separation anxiety. Though the passing decades have taught me to abstain from throwing hissy fits as he packs his garment bag, I still, every time before he goes, devoutly wish he wouldn\’t.
And every single time, the moment the car disappears down the driveway, a strange exhilaration seizes hold of me
Don\’t think that the thought of his return depresses me. The only thing that would depress me about that is if it were delayed by even five minutes. But there is something about the change that a temporary separation brings–the slight variation in daily rhythms, the ability to follow one\’s impulses from moment to moment, the silence–that is, temporarily, rejuvenating.
Eventually blessed conjugality resumes, enlivened by the hiatus. As Bertie Wooster would put it, variety is the s. of l. Or, as the witches say, \”merry meet and merry part, and merry meet again.\”