It’s nine pm on a Tuesday evening and I am absolutely shattered after a long, hard day. I’ve only just got the eldest of my three kids to bed, I still have school lunches to make, and all I can think about is sinking into bed. But my husband The Architect has wandered into the kitchen, and has begun to chat about work.
I very much enjoy listening to my husband talk about his job, and I am deeply interested in his career. It’s just that, occasionally, I find it hard to focus on some of the more technical details of his day. It’s not that I’m not fascinated by his working life. It’s just that… well… it can be a little dry.
“So I was in council today,” The Architect says, and I give him my attention. “You know that building I’m doing in Parramatta? With Roger?” He looks at me expectantly and I realise he is waiting for me to respond.
“Yes, I know the one,” I tell him. I have no idea which building he is referring to.
“Well, the client is this big Chinese property developer, right?” I nod. Big Chinese property developer. I look around for the salami to make my son’s sandwich. Where did it go to? I was sure it was on the top shelf of the fridge.
“…. which is ridiculous, as that’s never going to be passed by council. You follow?” Damn. What did he say? I must have missed something important.
I nod my head vigorously. “Obviously not.” This is clearly the right response as The Architect looks satisfied.
“So we’re going to meet on Thursday to discuss it…” Discuss, good. Now, should I put chopped strawberries or rockmelon in the girls’ lunches? Strawberries, I think. They had rockmelon today.
“What do you think?” he asks, and I jump to attention. Um… what do I think?
“I think it’s a tough one,” I say haltingly, “but you’ll figure it out.”
He nods. I exhale. “I’m very proud of you,” I say. And I am. There may not be room in my head for all the details, but there’s definitely room for pride.
Later that night we are sitting in bed when I realise I’ve forgotten to tell my husband the news. I poke him in the ribs.
“That editor called,” I say.
“Which editor?” he asks. I can’t believe it.
“You know the one I told you about? Who I’ve been trying to get onto for weeks?” My husband looks blank.
“I told you the whole story last Friday!” I say. “You said I should keep trying!”
“Oh yeah,” he says, though he clearly has no idea. “Well, it’s great she called.”
I feel cranky for a minute, but then I understand: my husband is proud of me and that’s all that matters. After all, he can’t remember every detail of my work; he has a lot going on in his own.
And deeply fascinating it is, too.
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