Diary of a Marriage: When the Wife’s Away, the Husband Will Play

Turns out J. is looking forward to some all-by-himself-guy-time when I’m away.


When J. and I were out with another couple last weekend, we mentioned that I’d be leaving for a getaway with some girlfriends in a few days. Our friend Joe’s eyes lit up.

“You’re going to be alone for four whole days?” he asked J. incredulously. J. nodded. “Yup.” Joe looked excited for him, like the world was suddenly full of possibility. As soon as J. and I got home, I wheeled on him.

“So.” I said to my husband, who’d seemed mostly disappointed when I reminded him of my four-day trip a few weeks back. Had that all been a farce? Did he secretly have a keg in the garage and plans for some all-night rager while I was gone? “Are you deep-down really excited that I’m leaving for a little bit?”

“Of course not!” he answered earnestly. I studied him quizzically, tempted to peek in the garage to see if he’d ordered a stripper pole and black lights. “I mean, I’m going to miss you most of all, and worry about you.”

“But there has to be something you’re excited for,” I said. “Like, having the bed all to yourself. Or being able to leave your crap everywhere without me nagging.” J. thought about it.

Here’s the thing: J. isn’t a normal guy. He’s generally pretty neat and clean; letting the dishes pile up isn’t his thing, and he’d rather watch ESPN than go out to a crowded bar. I don’t have issues with him leaving the toilet seat up or trailing dirty sneakers through the house. And he really likes spending time with me. But there has to be something he’s looking forward to. For instance, when he’s away at a tennis tournament, I can watch reality TV without his commentary, I can set the volume up way too high, I can turn the heat up until our house is blissfully warm, and I can eat entire blocks of Cracker Barrel cheese without his “helpful reminders” that I’m actually lactose intolerant.

He finally cracked. There were some things that would be nice, he allowed. They started out as a trickle—“Well, I guess it will be nice to…”—and ended up spurting out on top of each other—“Oh, wait! I forgot to say that…”. Here, in no particular order, 10 Things My Husband Is Looking Forward To While I’m Away.


  1. Sports. Lots and lots of sports. “I can turn our TV into the center of the sports universe—all sports, all the time. Like Bristol, Connecticut.” [Ed. Note: J. informed me that ESPN’s headquarters are located there.]
  2. Quiet. “You won’t be stomping upstairs in your heels, and your jewelry won’t be clanging around all day. I will have peace and quiet.” [Ed. Note: Hmph.]
  3. More pillows. “I’ll get four pillows instead of two.”
  4. Easier mornings. “I can listen to the radio and make noise when I’m getting ready in the morning. Normally, I have to be so quiet because you’re still sleeping.”
  5. No bed-making. “I don’t have to make the bed, but I’m going to do it anyway. You’ve messed with my mind.”
  6. Punctuality. “I’ll be able to actually be on time for stuff. I’ll get back to my schedule: Five minutes early instead of ten minutes late.” [Ed. Note: This is completely true.]
  7. Saving electricity. “No unnecessary lights will be on. Who needs lights in rooms where no one is? It’s so dumb. I like to keep a low PECO bill. I don’t think you realize how much we pay each…” [Ed. Note: The rest of his sentence has been edited out because it’s boring.]
  8. Folding his way. “I can fold things my way. No more of this folding towels into three quarters stuff. I’m going on the Internet and finding a cooler way to fold towels.” [Ed. Note: There is not a cooler way to fold towels.]
  9. Productivity. “I’ve got a lot of work to do, and I’ll be able to be super-productive. No distractions.”
  10. Unfunny jokes. “I don’t have to be worried about you coming home when I’m with a ‘female friend,’ if you know what I mean. Babe? Babe?” [Ed. Note: J. laughed hysterically after saying this. “That’s so funny,” he said. “You know it’s so funny!” I did not laugh.]


And then I asked him what he’ll miss when I’m gone, because after the above list, I was feeling a bit dejected and wondered if perhaps I am actually just a very annoying, loud-jewelry-wearing, chronically late, OCD-towel-folding person.

“Just all of you,” he said simply, and planted a kiss on my forehead. “Now please stop bugging me for your blog and go to sleep. I want to finish watching the game. Oh, and why was the heat up to 78 degrees?”

What kind of alone-guy stuff does your groom do when you’re away? What do you look forward to when he’s gone?






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