The New Normal

Today is different. Today is not the same.

Aside from being a line from Peter Gabriel's "Family Snapshot," the above indicates that things are changing chez Cashwell/Dalton, and I figure you nice people might be interested in the nature of those changes. Especially since there are, I feel fairly sure, people out there in a quiet panic about them. That said, I suppose the first thing I should tell everyone was said best by Douglas Adams:


Really, even mild anxiety is out of order, because Kelly and I are fine. She's fine, I'm fine, and the third entity that is Our Marriage is fine. Better than fine. We're at 28.5 years of wedded bliss and counting. Honest.

But for the next few months, we're not going to be spending as much time together as we'd like. After finishing her Master's in Library and Information Science in December of 2012, she began searching for a full-time librarian position. And kept searching. She kept her part-time job cataloguing at the public library in Orange, and even acquired additional part-time jobs in Culpeper County and at WFS, but it soon became clear that every full-time library position in this vicinity was already filled by a librarian who was clinging to it like a barnacle to a hull. After months of searching, she started looking further afield, hoping to scare up something within reasonable commuting distance, which for her was under an hour. And the months continued to go by. Eventually she decided it was time to spread her search area even wider, and finally, in early 2015, she got an offer: a full-time professional librarian position, with all the rights, benefits, and privileges thereto.

But it's in Chesterfield County.

Therein lies the reason for the abovementioned change. The library where she'll be working is south of Richmond, over 90 miles from Woodberry's campus, and the shortest route Googlemaps lists is nearly a two-hour trip. Basically, to live here and work there would involve spending three and a half hours in the car every day, not to mention putting almost 200 miles a day on a car that's closing in on 200,000 miles already. Kirby, the aforementioned car, is a total stud, and if any of y'all are considering the purchase of a Subaru Forester, you may accept our enthusiastic recommendation, but no sane car owner wants to put a ten-year-old vehicle through that kind of wear and tear.

The alternative would be for me to move, but oh yeah I teach in a boarding school where I'm on call every day and do a weekly dorm duty from dawn to midnight so no. The school requires me to live on campus anyway, so I'm committed to being here at least until our year-end faculty meeting in June. After that, we'll look at our options and see what we can do that will allow us to live in the same place. What will that be? I'll let you know.

But in the meantime, Kelly's staying with a friend in Henrico and driving Kirby a much more reasonable 20-odd miles to her library. She'll be back here on Friday and will spend the weekend with me, and then on Sunday it's back to the RVA. It's different. It's not the same. Yes, she will get to see a lot of our friends there, not to mention the boys, and their girlfriends, and an advisee who's attending VCU now, and she does get to hang out at Richmond's fantastic restaurants and clubs and theaters and shop for groceries someplace other than the Orange Food Lion, but it's not ideal. Mostly it's not ideal for me. At least I can take some solace in the fact that I'm about to enter a two-weeks-with-no-breaks period of preparation for our production of Don't Drink the Water, which goes up on February 12th, but by the time Kelly gets here for Valentine's Day, I suspect I'll be more than ready for a few hours off.

But that's how it's going to be for a month or three. I'm hoping to get to Richmond a few times myself once the play closes, but it's mostly going to be me hunkering down in the trenches here while Kelly makes conjugal visits on the weekends. And yes, I'm hoping that my use of the term "conjugal visits" doesn't mean I'm already viewing this as a prison sentence.

And that's the new normal. For a given definition of normal, anyway.

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This page contains a single entry by Peter Cashwell published on February 2, 2015 2:11 PM.

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