How Busy Was My Thursday, or, Why I Didn't Post Anything Yesterday

Friday afternoon. Well, after being slammed by the cold bug Monday through Wednesday, I returned to work yesterday to get slammed here, too. Man, I don't know what it is, but each year it hits me again how tough, how detailed, how organized I have to be to do my job properly during product release season. I suppose, to the untrained eye, it might look pretty simple to do what I do, but I think that's because this is my eight season doing it. There are so many little pieces that have to be attended to, things that only I, seemingly, remember. I suppose that I could write them all down, but what would I call it? "Things You Can't Forget (unless you want to lose your job and/or be sued)"? Not terribly catchy. Today, for some mental relief, I actually did the departmental filing for about 20 minutes. [Note that it takes our actual assistant anywhere from an hour to two to get it done and that it hadn't been done since Tuesday.] It's sort of soothing: put files in alphabetical order then slip into appropriate sleeve in filing cabinet. Nice, neat, orderly. I wish my own job were more like that sometimes.

I haven't said much about it, but my heart is sort of breaking. I am in love with a wonderful, caring man. A man of character, a decent and loving man, a man who is, remarkably enough, equally if not more in love with me. Life would be so perfect if it weren't for these things in California: my parents, my brother and his family, my friends, my job, my childhood, my entire life, me. On the other side of the world, we have these things in Virginia: his parents, his brother and his nephew, his (huge!) extended family, his friends, him. Let us not ever forget these two things in Alabama: daughter #1 (aka Tabitha, as in Tabitha Stevens from "Bewitched") and daughter #2 (aka The Scamp, mentioned before on this site). We've been playing the long distance love game since early May, and I've kept myself convinced that things would, one day, work out so that we could be together, and, suddenly, that faith is starting to slip.

I am so afraid that what we have isn't enough, that even love isn't sufficient to bridge 2,600 miles and the difference between a small town in southwestern Virginia and the urban sprawl that is southern California. After months and months of telling myself that what I really wanted was to leave all of this behind and live a simpler life, I'm starting to realize that I'm not really cut out for the simple life.

I like my $150 haircut and coloring. I like being able to choose from several hundred coffee shops for my daily latte. I like having tons of healthy choices for take out. I like the hustle and bustle of the holiday season spent with over a million other lucky souls in one of the most beautiful places in the United States. I like working for a company so large that the only place we can hold our Holiday Party is in the convention center. I like high speed internet access. I like self indulgent, spur of the moment day spa visits. I like being able to decide that a weekend in San Francisco sounds like fun at 4pm on a Friday and stepping off of a flight at SFO at 8pm that same evening.

I don't want to live 400 miles from the nearest international airport. I don't want to live among people who have no idea why I love lattes so much or why I would conceive of paying $3.50 for a "cup of coffee". I don't want to live in a city without a Nordstrom's, a Bloomie's, or a Tiffany's. I don't want to always be called "that girl from California" by people who have never been here but are absolutely certain it's nowhere they'd ever want to be.

I'm supposed to be getting on a place Wednesday night at 10:30pm PST, bound for Atlanta and a four hour layover prior to getting on the little AeroProp plane that will carry me to the very small town in Tennessee that has the only airport for 100 miles. I made my reservations back in August, confident that things would work out so that I'd have the day after Christmas off and be able to spend four straight blissful holiday days with the man that I love. About a week ago, one of our product release deadlines moved from 12/31 to 12/29, the morning I'm supposed to be flying back via Cincinnati, which pretty much put the squash on my plans. I broke the news to Chris and, after a lot of back and forth, we decided, together, that my trip was off. I felt a lot of relief, actually, because I had made up my mind that things between us were never going to work and being there at the holidays would just make it that much harder to do what needed to be done. That was last week.

Now, I'm feeling this terrible pain inside me when I think about being without Chris for Christmas. I have bought the girls' (Tabitha and the Scamp) presents, including the most adorable Gap outfit for the Scamp, I have listened to Chris and his mom talking about plans for the holidays, I have shipped Chris' lovingly wrapped present to him, and, well, it just hurts. Part of me knows that this is for the best, that this pain is temporary and that I'll get over it and move on. That's the logical part of me. Then, there's the part of me that comes from my wild and crazy mother. That part of me wants to throw caution to the wind (I think I actually might have work sewn up, so that's not too much of a consideration), reschedule everything at the last minute, get on that plane Wednesday night, and run headlong into my lover's arms Thursday morning, damn the consequences. I still don't know who will win and, honestly, the decision really might not be made until Wednesday night. I have until 8:30pm Wednesday to decide, and there's lots of time between now and then.


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