Sunday, July 4, 2010

Alternate Reality

The danger of painting a picture in your mind of how something is going to play out is that 9 times out of 10, things don’t go the way they were scripted. Now in Chuck’s well orchestrated and carefully managed sphere of influence that ratio would likely be reduced to 5 out of 10 times. No matter the ratio, you’re often dealing with less than favourable odds. Successful people dream of the ‘best case scenario’ but always have a contingency plan (and often multiple contingency plans) while anal-retentive people have contingency plans for every possible scenario.

No matter who you are, the old adage "The best laid schemes o' mice an' men / Gang aft agley" (often paraphrased in English as "The best-laid plans of mice and men / Go oft awry") tends to hold true.

Never has this been more the case for Chuck than this past week.

You see Mrs Long had her last day at work last week in preparation for the arrival of the first Long spawn. You’re likely sitting at your desk with a steaming large skinny latte wondering what Chuck is going on about? Well Chuck had a very clear plan for how things were going to be when Mrs Long took her leave of absence from work and within 48 hours it was plainly clear that not only had the best laid plans gone awry, they had in fact gone down the shitter.

This is how Chuck saw it:

The 4 weeks that Mrs Long was taking off before the arrival of Long spawn was an opportunity for her to relax and mentally prepare for A) delivering a baby and B) keeping it alive. Aside from that, it was also an excellent opportunity to dote on Chuck and provide 100% attention as in the coming weeks that attention would obviously drop…to about only 50% (this was after much haggling and haranguing with the Long legal team who originally argued that it should be a 40-60 split in Chuck’s favour).

The 4 weeks would also enable Mrs Long to indulge in her culinary passion and create wonderful meals and deserts that would coincidentally be available for consumption upon Chuck’s arrival home from work each evening.

This time away from work would allow Mrs Long to get a solid 4 week gym program in place to ensure that she was in tip top condition for the child birthing process and more importantly follow in the footsteps of Heidi Klum and be back to her modeling weight within 6 days of delivery.

The down time would allow Mrs Long to prepare the spawn’s sleeping quarters and as an offshoot of that, also clean and rearrange the entire Long household, including but not limited to the bathrooms.

4 weeks with no work is also a great period to organize all finances and to ensure that the family has sufficient funds to sustain life and meet all repayments.

This is how it really is:

With 4 weeks to go Mrs Long is shattered and has to battle herself to get out of bed at 8am when every fibre of her body wants to sleep in to whenever the hell it pleases. A key factor in the tiredness (other than lugging around a 3 kilo spawn) is that her bladder is the size of a grape and requires emptying at least 5 times through the evening. Additional distractions like the random dude who decided to have a web conversation with his overseas tart at full volume on his laptop at 1.15am outside the front door of the Long home don’t help. (Chuck was forced to regulate on that one and made sure to keep his shirt off and flex when he angrily insisted that the guy keep it down please)

The reason for insisting to herself that she gets out of bed at 8am? In order to drag herself to the gym where she can only sit on a stationary bike or one of those machines for lazy people where you sit down and basically spin your legs around. While doing this she has to ensure that her heart doesn’t explode (since her heart rate now leaps while thinking about exercise let alone doing it). In order to get any sort of benefit from this type of exercise, Mrs Long has to spend at least 60 mind numbing minutes performing low intensity movements that a lesser person would ditch after 10 minutes.

Even though she is performing low intensity exercise, it is still enough to sap any and all energy from her body.

Mrs Long then needs to spend at least an hour per day researching and determining the ways in which having private health insurance is akin to having a bull with tits. In other words, it’s useless. Well Chuck shouldn’t say it’s useless but thus far lots of money seems to flow out of the coffers with very little returning. This is a taxing exercise in futility although Mrs Long is able to take some comfort from the fact that the obstetrician appears to be very nice and knowledgeable… oh and he has warm hands!

Mrs Long then busies herself with numerous chores in preparation for the arrival of the spawn (such as banking, finances and cleaning) before taking an hour to sit down and read voluminous amounts of literature on childbirth, child rearing and child survival.

By the time that Chuck walks through the door, Mrs Long is often too drained to rise from the couch to greet him let alone have a 3 course meal waiting on the table.

Ok, that last part is a bit of a lie, on day 1 Mrs Long did have a masterpiece bubbling on the stovetop upon Chuck’s arrival home but all of Chuck’s preconceived notions came crashing down the next night when Mrs Long suggested that perhaps Chuck should cook. Chuck glared at Mrs Long and proceeded to rattle off a number of his go to quotes:

“What have you been doing all day?” (Of course said with tongue in cheek)

“A man has to eat”

And Chuck’s favourite, “You know Chuck’s the primary breadwinner right now don’t you?”

Of course everyone of those were summarily ignored and Chuck had to trudge into the kitchen and throw something together, especially after Mrs Long finally countered with “I’m carrying your child”

Ok, that’s a pretty good reason and the best kind of reality!

On another note, Chuck was thrown completely into a bout of jealousy at the heartfelt showings of Mrs Long’s colleagues as they bid her adieu for her stint on maternity leave. People genuinely liked and appreciated her in the workplace, which had Chuck taking inventory at his office the next day, of the people likely to even notice that he wasn’t there, let alone who enjoyed his company!

Make sure you’re back here on Wednesday. Why? Because Tuesday is breast-feeding class and after 2 hours of swollen titties, you know Chuck will have some thoughts.

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