This week, Spike has been attached to the computer in the evenings, working on a paper and a PowerPoint presentation for class. While he was thus occupied, on Monday and Tuesday evenings I busied myself with watering flowers, refilling the bird feeder, baking apple cider cookies, straightening up, cleaning the kitchen, and taking a lovely bubble bath. Last night, though, I decided to take a trip to Ross and shop. (I have to say that this was prompted by the shocking revelation that the area around Fort Riley contains no Ross, TJ Maxx, or Marshalls. Horror of horrors! At least there is a Target.)
So, after dinner I went outside and climbed into the truck. And as I pulled out of our neighborhood, I felt...weird. Then it hit me--during all of my visits to Oklahoma and for the duration of our fledgling marriage, I have never driven anywhere without Spike, with the exception of another shopping trip that was undertaken during an overnight field trip Spike's class went on.Which really isn't the same, since he wasn't here to leave behind in the first place.
When this realization hit me, my brain told me for a brief second that I should beware of becoming too much of a "we" with Spike. After all, I do not and never have wanted to be a Stepford wife whose identity is totally tied to her husband. Thankfully, the voice of reason chimed in soon afterward and quashed that first line of thought (which is probably a result of being exposed to piles of feminist theory in college literature classes).
The fact is, I am my own person...a very quirky, unique (some might even say eccentric) one, at that. Spike values me in large part because of of my individuality, and I can honestly say, to borrow a cliche, that he brings out the qualities of myself that I most like. He's also one of the few people I feel totally comfortable letting my guard down around. And so--while the hardened cynics might write my feelings off to the newlywed glow--I'm glad that I feel odd leaving my husband. I enjoyed my shopping trip, and I certainly won't shrink from going off to do my own thing in the future--but I like that I instinctively felt he should be included. We're Team Butters, after all. And especially given the nature of his job, I'm going to enjoy every single morsel of time with him that I can.