Tuesday, January 29, 2013

End of the Day Conversation

“How was your day?”  It’s a normal question at the end of every work day across dinner tables all over the world.  Sometimes, it happens on the car ride home if I’m playing taxi and the girls use that ten or fifteen minutes as a vent session about the people they work with or some project they are handling.  I know more about what happens at their jobs than some of the people who actually work there.

“They won’t listen when I tell them something won’t work.  No, they have to go about it this whole other way which takes more time and costs more money that they will only bitch about spending only to find out at the end that it doesn’t work and we have to go back to what I said in the beginning but now they make it look like it was their idea which doesn’t matter now since we’re already late with the project and we’re going to get yelled at for it anyway and it pisses me off that if they would have just listened…” The car ride home is one continuous run-on sentence.  I don’t think they even breathe when they are talking.  Still, I listen, giving sympathy or praise where needed, sharing in their outrage at the insensitivity of the average consumer and the ineptness of the idiots in management.

And then it’s my turn.  They’ll take a deep breath and then say, “Thanks for letting me get all of that off my chest.  How was your day?”  My answers are never quite like theirs.

“My day was okay.  Pretty ordinary, actually.  Rhychard had to kill three dark elves to protect Buttercup from the fortune teller that was trying to suck out her soul.  Faith had sex with her boss in the warehouse on top of some wires.  Oh, and I met some sisters today who both seem to have the hots for this mechanic and are fighting over him, and Toby, the squirrel, got really pissed off when he lost the shell game and the fox kept his gold coin.”

“And you never left the back porch?”

“Only to get coffee.”

The 8-year old now wants to skip school and hang out with me because she’s never seen a dark elf.  She also asked which of the squirrels in our backyard was Toby and why she has never seen the fox.

The girls are just as eager to hear about my creative adventures as I am to hear about their work day in the corporate world of insanity.  We may have done our check-ins throughout the day, a text here or there or a brief call to make sure I remembered to feed myself.  Still, it doesn’t compare to the one-on-one face-to-face communication, which helped to not only decompress each of us, but also brings us closer together.  We need that.  You need that.

I know some have the policy of not bringing work home, but the ones you live with need to know what’s going on in your day to help you find the solace you need to balance it.  They are your safe haven to be able to share your frustrations with and not have to worry about human resource repercussions.  They are your sounding board as well as your shoulder to cry on.  Furthermore, they are the pat on your back that means the most.

The majority of us spend a minimum of 200 hours per week at work.  Many of us spend much more than that and to me that’s too big of a chunk of my life to leave the girls out of the loop.  I want to know everything that goes on during their day because I want to know whose ass to kick for sending them home grumpy.

People who share their day stay close and grow stronger.  You live with a support system you should not ignore.  We need someone to remind us that there is more to our lives than the office and I need someone to remind me dark elves aren’t really attacking our city.  Of course, sometimes, the girls think they work for demons.

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  1. I'm with your 8yr old, can I skip school & come and hang out with you and the dark elves?

  2. Love this.

    My daughter called only a few minutes after I started the sequel, so of course that was the only thing I cared about at that moment. I broached the topic with a bit of hesitation - because she's brutally honest with me, and I didn't want her to tell me that the plot wouldn't work.

    So I gave her the overview, and waited. She loved it. (She even named the antagonist, which was the first issue I was struggling with.) And I started to reveal the details of the story, and it suddenly came fully alive in my head.

    I was thinking about it, how so many of the good things in life take their shape and form only after they're shared with a loved one.

    Great post, Robbie. :)

    1. Thank you :)

      And that's how it works for us, as well. We sometimes solve our own problems just by talking it out and I do figure out tough plot lines by running it out of my mouth to someone else at times..lol.

      I hope you were able to get some Messing in!

  3. Great read, Robbie and I too would love to meet the dark elf, fox and the squirrel. I often let the dogs know how my day went, not that they miss a second of it because they sit and stare at me from under my desk. : ) I do enjoy it when Laurie's girls tell me about school adventures and I make it a point to go for dinner a few nights a week, simply because I enjoy the chit-chat within the group. I have lived alone for so long that it's easy to become cut off from routine updates. Funny, I find Laurie's girls to be better listeners than most of my adult friends and it's a great feeling when they are genuinely interested in reading my silly stories. I try to offer them the same support and attention for their teenage issues so it makes for some nice conversations. I agree, it's difficult not to become the side-seat driver, especially when you know they are about to go wildly off course but I manage to bite my tongue. : )

    1. Some great girls you two have there! We as a human race have lost the craft of listening and it is truly sad because there is so much to be heard. I have to force myself out of the house when I find I haven't left it in days, lost in some project or other. By the afternoon I am dying for someone to come home. Keep protecting them. They'll appreciate it. :)