John is on a 5 day motorcycle trip on his dual sport, so it’s just the boy and I this week. I’m trying to keep myself busy cleaning house, hanging with friends, baking, writing, and so forth. All the same, it’s an adjustment. Warning: Lovey-dovey gush ahead.

John is … amazing. I feel incredibly lucky to be married to my best friend. He’s incredibly intelligent, he’s got this subversively hilarious sense of humor, and he’s sexy to boot. We share the same values and enjoy (most) of the same activities, like riding motorcycle and trail walking and crabbing and outdoorsy stuff. It’s a rare activity we don’t enjoy doing together — for example, I hate fishing, but I like going fishing with John.

Why? Because while John is casting for fish, I’m wandering around photographing the river, flora, and fauna. I make tiny little leaf boats and race them in the current. I wade in the river and find the smoothest stones I can, then try to skip them in the river.

In other words, I amuse myself.

Likewise, John is not a fan of art museums — he likes natural history or science museums — but he’ll wander through art museums with me. He’s not someone who enjoys writing (or reading fiction), but he’ll still read my stuff and offer critiques and edits on it.

It’s like somehow, just being together makes activities we might otherwise find boring or irritating fun. I think it’s one of the reasons we pretty much always go grocery shopping together. It’s a stupid, boring chore … unless you’re going with your best friend.

We’ve been married 13 years, and I can count on one hand (literally) the times we’ve been apart for more than a night. There was our separation. There was the time I took a 3-day trip to Seaside, OR with Kidling. There was the time John and Kidling flew out to the midwest to go to his brother-in-law’s graduation. There was the time I took Kidling up to Monroe to stay with friends for a weekend while John quit smoking. And there’s this week.

Five times, and I feel kind of stupid for missing him, especially when we’re having fun and we’ll see each other in just a few days. On Sunday, Kidling and I rollerbladed/ bicycled through the neighborhood, visited some friends, and went on a motorcycle ride to B&N. We bought some books for Kidling, and I bought a hollow book that I plan on ¬†stuffing with goodies and shipping to a friend of mine. On the way home, we stopped at Pho Hoa for dinner. Later that evening, I went to a film with a friend of mine.

Monday, Kidling woke up with swimmers ear. So I took him to the doctor, then to Fred Meyers for some legos I’d promised him, and then to Costco to fill his prescription. Back at home, we made hash browns and bacon-cheese omelettes together, played with the dogs, and watched some Red vs. Blue (this tv show dubbed over Halo characters … surprisingly funny). Then he went to a friend’s house to go swimming for a bit and I worked on some classwork for a bit, then started a book I’ve been meaning to read. After dinner, I cleaned up the house and started the laundry.

Tomorrow, we’re meeting with friends at a park in the morning, and I was thinking of maybe going to the library in the afternoon, if Kidling was interested. In the evening, a friend is coming over to hang with us, play with the dogs, and get into a Settlers of Catan marathon with us. Kidling and I also have movie tickets to use this week, and we’ve been tossing around the idea of finding a spot to take the dogs swimming. I’ve also been considering taking Kidling on a quick trip to Yelm, just for fun.

The days are just packed, and there’s lots of fun stories and news to tell John when he gets home … but it still feels a little melancholy without him, no matter how short term. I guess this is the downside of being married to your best friend. Every activity is improved by their presence … but on the flip side, their absence feels so strange. Like when you have a tooth pulled, and it feels so strange to have this sudden new space in your mouth, so you keep probing the spot with your tongue, wondering at the oddness of it. John being away is like a pulled tooth.

I’m sure there’s an analogy in there somewhere about John’s presence being like a toothache, but I assure you, that’s unintentional.