Posted by: angelnorman | June 28, 2008

Assumptions are no good.

Last night I went down to Hooter’s in southeast Nashville/Antioch to play designated driver for my husband, who had went out with his work buddies to celebrate his last day as an IT specialist for the Nashville office. I went in to say hello- or more like goodbye, because technically since Mike will be working for the division office based out of Atlanta, we won’t really be involved in any of the goings on at the Nashville office anymore.

It was a very sweet thing, which is probably not the proper terminology to use for a mostly male event but I don’t care about that. I had to bite my lip once to keep from crying. No, they weren’t all sloppy drunk and boohoo-ing or anything. They were just saying some of the nicest stuff I’ve ever heard anyone say about him. For instance, everyone kept saying how much they’d miss Mike, and how Mike was a great guy, and how they were thankful they had him for this and that. I thanked one of the men who had worked with Mike the longest for all those Tuesdays and Thursdays that he took the on-call responsibilities for Mike while he was in school. The gentleman joked about it at first but then he said, “You know, I love him like a brother and I am sad to see him go. But I am so glad he is doing something more with his life.” I swear I had to bite my lip to stop it from quivering.

I was really proud of my husband in that moment.

What I never see in him is the desire to bond with another male, to make friends or whatever. I’ve always just pushed the husbands of my friends upon him and never really seen those relationships go anywhere, figuring my husband was too antisocial and introverted to form bonds like I have with my girls. But I’ve always known that he was a great guy, and that’s why it never made much sense to me. Mike is the type of person that genuinely cares about people but has a hard time showing it. He is slow at progression in his relationships, but he has the kindest heart and a great attitude most of the time. I just assumed he preferred to be left alone though, despite his kindness, if that makes sense.

Last night though, I saw him in a different way. These people were his friends, albeit through work. For the first time, I realized the implications of Mike leaving his office and not seeing as much of these people any more. He’s always just blown it off in his macho way, saying, “Ah, but it’s not like we hang out much anyways so who cares?” But when you see people almost every day for 8 years and you get to know them and their families through stories or conversations over lunch or whatever, I guess that’s sometimes enough bonding. Because last night it sure seemed like all that bonding at work had made an impact on all of them, Mike included.

One of the coworkers was saying, “You know, you should push him to go out with us at least once every few months. It’s not good for him to stay in the house. It doesn’t have to be every week or every month even. Just sometimes. It’s best for him… and for you!” I totally agree- I’ve been saying all this since he decided to take the position and work from home-, and I suggested that they even go to lunch once a week if they could. They made jokes about Mike buying because no one else got a raise but him. Mike’s former (omg, that is so weird to say) boss was there and everyone gave him a hard time about getting raises. We all laughed.

Then another coworker, the one with the monster zucchinis, invited us to have a BBQ on July 5th at his house– he even threw in a chance for me to go through his garden myself and get what I want! Ha. He and Mike talked a bit about playing racquetball together some, too. So you know, maybe he won’t be staying in the house so much after all.

I’ve never seen Mike so sad about this new job he’s taking. He didn’t cry or anything non-manly like that- ha!, but I could tell that he was touched that they had made such a fuss over him. And I can tell that he misses them already. All the way home he was quiet and when he did talk, it was about his former coworkers, how they appreciated the Patron we bought them, how they said nice things to him, or how he wishes he could have said something non-awkward but kind in return, especially to his former boss who had been so great to Mike when he made his decision to go back to school. “You know how it is though, with two guys trying to play it cool,” he said on the way home. “It’s not easy to say everything that needs to be said.”

And all this time I was thinking I was married to an antisocial guy who didn’t care about his relationships. Boy was I wrong.


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