This goes back to an earlier post I had made about a funny church sign, but moreso putting one's wife first in any situation. To make a long story short, Jen tested my resolve this morning. To make a short story long, read on.
The first thing that went wrong was my phone's earpiece went out. Jen's psuedo-brother's (a story for another time) girl and baby-mama called me - or rather, her phone did, so it could have been him, as he hasn't got a phone - but when I picked up, I heard nothing. No voice, no dead air - nothin'. So I hung up and called back. Again, nothing - no dial tone, nothing. I then blamed her phone. Lack of signal or a carrier other than US Cellular, who are the only ones who serve the rural areas out here. Then I called Jen after she got off work and the same thing happened, but this time I hit the Speaker button, and sure enough, I heard what I was supposed to over the speaker. My handsfree kit also worked, which is what I ended up using.
OK, so anyway, I got ahold of Jen, and we decided that we'd have to take the phone to US Cellular later, after we sleep. (Which is now, but while I'm up, she's still out. C'est la vie, or however the French say "such is life".) She went to Wal-Mart, had to pick up some stuff. We got off the phone when she reached the checkout lane. But my phone's battery was going out, so I called her again a while later - long enough for her to have gotten home - but no answer. I was just going to tell her that I was putting it on the charger. When she didn't answer, I just took this "fine, then" attitude and put it on the charger, in the car, without informing her.
My phone takes about 2½ hours to charge, but after an hour or so, I wanted to talk to her, ask her a few questions, like what time we wanted to be up and all that. So I go get the phone early, and it's only halfway charged. The way a phone charges is funny, it'll charge most of the way in almost no time - like half the time, or a little more. It takes the other half of the time to slowly crawl to a full charge. That and the fact that experts recommend you let the battery die so it doesn't forget its "zero point" are just too weird. Anyway...
I try to call... 5 rings and voicemail. Being the smartass that I am, I hang up and try again. Same thing. In a not-so-common display of arrogance, I decide to call over and over until she picks up. I didn't think she might be taking a shower. Instead I thought she'd be watching a movie (Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back was in the DVD player - I'd watched it before work, and she said she might watch it) or perhaps doing the dishes with the music up, and was hoping, at some point, she would be able to hear her Taproot ringtone ("You're cuh-cuh-cuh-calling, but I can't hear you, I'm not listening anymore; you're subject to falling, but I can't save you..."). After a few tries, I left a text message.
This went on for a while. 2-7 calls, then a text message, repeat - with the occasional voicemail thrown in. At first I was getting mad. I'm not obsessive and I don't expect her to answer my call on the first try on the first ring and drop everything she's doing to come talk to me, but we're paying well over $100 a month for these phones, so I figure we ought to be able to communicate. If not, something's wrong. Well, after about an hour (when I had dropped down to calling every few minutes) I began to worry. Though I can't imagine why, had she been arrested or something? Had she been harmed on her way to the car or whatever leaving Wal-Mart? (I was accosted by a very insistent crackhead at that same Wal-Mart a couple months ago.) Or had she been in a traffic accident? (A couple weeks ago some idiot almost hit her after swerving at her.) So finally I sent her an ultimatum in a message. Contact me by 3AM (it was about 2:30AM) or I come home and find out what's wrong. I figure, if she's playing a joke on me or whatever, with her work ethic (it's actually stronger than mine) she won't let me leave work. But at the same time it's messed up, because if she's dead and dying on the side of the road, that time could mean the difference between life and death. But dammit, I'm at work and we live in the real world, and I had to give her a warning and a grace period.
Oh yeah, and this punk I work with (yes, you D) starts suggesting she's got another man, is cheating on me. Of course I only mention this for the sake of knowing he reads my blog, so I guess this is also a shout-out to that Umaga-lookin' dude. I know Jen would never cheat on me, but she's not answering the phone, so I can't entirely discount it, either. Y'know, like the Sammy Kershaw song, she don't know she's beautiful and doesn't see how I can sometimes, in stressful situations, suspect some lucky SOB might have picked her up (although I do trust her faithfulness to me).
So anyway, I go clear it with the boss man and get ol' stool sample (the Big D, and I don't mean Dallas...) to cover for me, tell them I'm leaving at 3. It's all good until she calls at the last bloody minute. No joke, nothing's wrong - she just left the phone in the car.
And the moral of the story, folks, is that even though nothing was wrong, I had to put my wife ahead of my job. I had to make sure she was alright. And I would have risked losing my job (even though it wouldn't have come to that) because she's more important than any job. (Although the guy who oils up the Divas on the WWE shows before they come out has got it made.) So everything's alright, except for the fact that I had to finish out the last three hours of the night. If she would have waited just 5 minutes to call me, I would have been punched out, in the car doing 90 down the streets of Greenville getting home. Well, maybe not - I would have done about 50-55 down Charles (45mph zone) until I hit Firetower (also 45) where I'd bump it up to about 60, and then on the back roads, it'd be no less than 60 all the way home, except in turns, the sharpest of which I can take at 50. And we'd have gone to sleep 3 hours earlier, and be both up and doing something right now. But that's OK, it all worked out.
The second moral of the story - communication is everything. If you don't have it - well, you're up the old creek.