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I don’t like to call to order food for take out or delivery.

It’s not that I can’t. I lived alone for 18 years and enjoyed many types of food long before online ordering became ubiquitous.

I just don’t like to.

I can call doctor’s offices. Handymen. Insurance agents. Lawyers.

But, food ordering. . . nope.

I can make announcements over PA systems.

Getting myself nourishment. . .I’ll just make a sandwich.

Reading scripture or doing a monologue at church? No problem.

Having pizza brought to my door? Is there a website I can click?

Talking to a customer rep about a problem with my purchase? I’m polite and delightful.

Getting my orange chicken fix. . .

Honey, I’m hungry!

This boring life

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Are we boring?

“What do y’all do for fun?”

An innocent enough question.

As we drove home from that dinner we realized we never really answered it.

Which, of course, lead to a discussion on, “are we boring?”

Neither of us is a spring chicken. We had done a lot of living by the time we started dating. Steven had done college and Marines, complete with two tours to Afghanistan. I had been teaching for nigh on twenty years, taking students on European tours for the last ten of it. We had seen things. We had done things.

Philadelphia, 2019

Now, we are completely content to sit at home and stream a movie or play a few rounds of mahjong or take a bike ride on the greenway. Every once in a while we take a trip. . .San Antonio, Savannah, Williamsburg, Washington, DC, and Philadelphia over the course of our marriage. . .some of those long weekends, others “traditional” vacations.

All of those were great trips, but we were happy to come home and land.

A rare out of the ordinary date swing dancing.

After contemplating all of this we tried to recall what kind of dates we did before marriage. The truth is, it was mostly the same. We rented movies. Went out to eat some (we actually had a pretty regular date at the local burger joint). Sometimes, when Steven lived in Boone, we’d hop in the car and see where we ended up. . .once it was Tennessee. We walked trails.

Mostly, we just enjoyed each other.

It’s what we still do.

So, society may label us as boring. We’re ok with that. We’ll be boring together and have an exciting life.

My Life with a Vampire

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countOk, so my husband isn’t drinking O negative cocktails, and he loves garlic, and the holy water at mass and confession isn’t leaving open sores.

BUT. . .he does work a 12 hour night shift as a paramedic.

Which means he sleeps during the day, and we had to make some adjustments to our lifestyle.lazy smurf

It’s difficult sometimes to explain to those who don’t live this lifestyle what it’s like and how those changes impact your day-to-day living, much less when you want to do something special.  Our culture is set up for day walkers, not night walkers.

When we first got married, Steven struggled with what to do with himself in the middle of the night on his off days.

{you see, it’s a strain on your physical and mental well-being to reset your sleep schedule every two days.}

I had to remind him that when I’m home on the weekends or the summer or the holidays, I don’t do nothing all day to avoid waking him.  I still use the kitchen, watch television, and if I need to, go in the bedroom.  Things around the house still needed to be done.

So, within a few weeks (or months. . .I don’t remember) we settled into the nice rhythm of him doing the laundry in the middle of the night, running the dishwasher, and feeding the worms (yes, we have pet worms). When it’s warm, he may take Daisy for a run near dawn or start mowing the grass at 6 in the morning. He also does things for himself like reading and devotions or playing Atari or Nintendo (yes, we have retro video games).

But what does that mean for our date life or social interactions? Well, date life happens at night when most dates would happen.  And social interactions are much easier in the evenings.  If you ask him to do something at noon, even on his day off, that’s like asking me to do something at midnight on my day off. And we’re not in our twenties any more so all nighters do not sound appealing!

We do, on occasion, decide that an activity is worth the task of resetting his sleep schedule.  For example, we wanted to participate in a Remembrance Walk for our babies in October.115.jpg  It was on a weekend he was to work.  For him to participate, he had to take one of the nights off–either the night before or the night after–so he could be awake during the walk and make sure that he could get his sleep back before working again.  No one wants a less than well-rested paramedic! When we go on vacation, the first day of it is him re-calibrating himself to a day walker and the last two days are calibrating back to night walker.  And if too many of these calibrations happen too close together. . .well, then it’s a mess.

I’m at least an 8 hour a night girl for sleep.  If I go too many nights without that or have to adjust the when I go to bed or get up, I start to get grumpy.  It’s the same with Steven.  If he has to stay up past about 9 a. m., you don’t really want to try to talk to him.  Or if he has to get up before 4 p. m., well, for me that’s like getting up before the sun. . .just no.

Lots of people in our young marriage have questioned this lifestyle for us.  How do we make it work?

First, Steven LIKES working nights.  He enjoys the types of calls he gets for the most part; he enjoys his co-workers; he enjoys that some nights there’s nothing. ambulance It’s reminiscent of the military for him where he always had to be prepared, the adrenaline bubbling just beneath the surface.

Second, Steven isn’t really a morning person, and if he were a day walker, he’d have to leave the house before 6 a. m. which means he’d have to get up at like 5 a. m. Makes me shudder just to think of it.

Third, it’s our reality, so we make it work. In all honesty, it’s probably best for us.  If he worked days, our interactions would be even less.  He would leave for work before I even got up and get home from work after supper time (and that’s without a late call).  This schedule means that on his days off, he’s just getting up when I get home from work, and we have the whole evening together.

It is a balancing act, as any co-habitation would be, I suppose.  We weigh what’s worth a change in our routine, just as any other couple does, I suppose. Does it mean that sometimes I do things alone in our day walker culture that I wish he were a part of? Of course! But I also know that he is providing for me and our home, and I love him for that {and for many other things}, so if sometimes I have to say, it’s just me today, that’s ok.