So, I guess my husband and I are workaholics. This was brought home to me on Saturday afternoon, when I spent 2 hours trying to figure out how to work the MYOB First Edge accounting software I bought for my business (Plainsong Enterprises – anything for a quick plug). We both agree that weekends are difficult to get through. There are weekends when our children are with us which is a whole world of inexplicable events, and then there are the OTHER weekends. You know, the ones where you wake up Saturday morning and you have no social functions to attend, no concerts or films to see (because you’re on a budget so spending money on fun is not within acceptable parameters) and there is nothing on TV worth watching. That sort of weekend. We have a process emerging for these kinds of moments. We wake up, hubby buys paper and maybe croissants, we drink coffee and read the paper until mid-morning. Then we go to half a dozen open houses to do our house purchasing research – my parameters are becoming more defined now. By this time the coffee has worn off, the car air conditioning doesn’t work any more (something to ask my motor mechanic about….) and it’s time for the shopping. Grocery shopping. But somehow, amongst all our declarations of non expenditure due to no money, we still manage to buy business equipment (for the business, it’s a business expense, I need a home binding machine for all my music and reports, I really do, and I’m sick of people not bringing water, so I need a water chiller in the foyer, yes I really do). Oops. This is alongside the $200 I spent on an accounting package I don’t know how to use, and the Australian edition of Bookkeeping for Dummies, 2010. I should never be let near Officeworks. My husband now realises it’s a sickness for me. I am heavily addicted.
Saturday evenings are now a wasteland of me trying to get Accounting software to work, and my husband writing more grant proposals and answering emails and putting out spotfires. And occasionally I give up, and play Sims3, which unfortunately is now more boring than real life. Just when you think academics don’t do any work, you find my hubby putting in 14 hour days, 6 days a week. He wades through and corrects his students’ PhD or DMA work, he reads or plans operating manuals for the university, he answers a thousand emails. He goes to retreats and important meetings. He told me this morning before heading off on a 3 day management retreat that it was expected he would change for dinner, because wearing day clothes at an evening function is not a good idea.
We have ceased to function as a unit. We are now working machines. So, as I say, Saturday has become about buying stuff. Houses to buy in future, groceries ($170 – down to a dull roar); office furniture, and GIFTS. Who knew gifts were the killer? Trying to buy a gift for my little sister Nell’s wedding is impossible – we may have to go for the gift voucher like everyone else – and then there are the children. My stepson is turning 13 this Saturday. Of course, he had made no plans for a party so it will be a pretty ad hoc sort of affair, I’m afraid. I think they want to do the go kart racing thing. Fine by me. But what to get a child who has everything he needs? (except War Hammer, and neither his mother nor his father are getting any of THAT! Overpriced plastic crap) I thought a phone might be a good idea. He is attending high school now and what with all the travel and the too-ing and fro-ing, I recommended it. Also because his mother won’t let him call his dad and his dad is sick of having a gatekeeper monitoring his calls to his son. So, without revealing what we finally got for this child, let it be said that here now begins the lifelong commitment to communication of an electronic nature.
So Saturday and Sunday become about shopping, getting out of the heat, and working. Because when we get home from the shopping, hubby goes into his room and I go into mine, and we don’t see each other again until dinner. And that’s the weekend.