It’s a rare week that I commence with a grumble. But, Mr. Frugalwoods is on a business trip in San Francisco, which means I’ve been shoveling a lot of snow… I mean, missing him terribly! In between knocking icicles off our roof with a broom, I’ve been thinking about the nature of our relationship and why it’s so disruptive for one of us to be absent from the home front.
Being Apart = Bad
Mr. Frugalwoods and I were long distance the year before we got engaged and it was awful. He was in Cambridge, I was in NYC and I took the bus to visit him so many times that I can barely look at a charter bus without feeling waves of mild panic. Do not invite me on an hours-long bus ride. I will not join you. I honestly don’t know how people survive prolonged absences from their partners. I’m not trying to be melodramatic, I just think it would seriously stink.
It’s not just that he’s my chef, snow shoveler, chief cuddler, and confidante. It’s that I choose to spend my life with him and we’d always rather be together. I know that some couples prefer to take vacations separately, go to the grocery store alone, and even live apart, but for us, we most enjoy life as a team.
This preference is one of the big motivators behind our homestead goal–we want to work together on shared projects. We’re so pathetic we actually miss each other during the weekdays while we’re at work (ok that sounds even more pathetic now that I’ve written it down… ).
Business travel is, for us, the worst. It’s like a cruel joke because we love to travel together, but there’s nothing to love about traveling alone while working. The traveler has it especially rough since they’re greeted only by an empty hotel room at the end of a stressful day of work. At least the person at home has Frugal Hound! Despite these gripes, we’re grateful for Mr. FW’s job. Big time. He is well paid, he is extremely good at what he does, and–for the most part–he doesn’t dislike it.
We see our jobs as a means to our homestead ends. Since we didn’t inherit money or win any lotteries (and Frugal Hound’s modeling career is somehow not taking off…) we’ve gotta do what everyone else does in order to sock away our mega savings. I don’t talk a whole lot about the earnings side of our equation, though I touched on it briefly Monday in The Privilege Of Pursuing Financial Independence. But clearly, our j-o-b-s are a rather necessary aspect of our financial independence goal.
Better Together (and with fewer cookies)
In missing Mr. FW, I realize I’m a better person when he’s around. I eat fewer cookies*, I go to bed earlier, I’m more upbeat. All in all, he makes me happy, which in turn means I treat myself better. Funny how that works! His absence also brings into sharp relief how very much our plans and our future depend on the two of us working in concert.
This morning as I shoveled yet more snow at 6am with a near-wailing Frugal Hound inside (she was totally fine, she just had a touch of the dramatic), I noted how very spoiled I am by the fact that Mr. FW usually shovels snow while I make our coffee and oatmeal. Or, when it’s not blizzard-apocalypsing here, I take Frugal Hound out while Mr. FW mans the coffee/oatmeal/kibble station (not to worry, we generally don’t combine the three).
And I spoil Mr. FW by washing all of his clothes and helping him pick out his outfits (no, he’s not three years old, he’s just wardrobe-ally challenged). I’ve mentioned before that the holes in some of his clothing could constitute indecent exposure in some states… fortunately Cambridge is pretty liberal on the matter.
Basically what I’m saying is, the Frugalwoods ship sails much more smoothly with a full crew.
*I tweeted about making these cookies with applesauce instead of butter at Cupcake Project’s recommendation. But I’m pretty sure the fact that I’ve eaten about a million of them negates the fact that they don’t have any butter… Baked goods should take out a restraining order on me. I should be embarrassed. Yet I’m not.
Our snow mountain (affectionately known as snountain) on the back patio has not succumbed to gravity, which is a tremendously good thing. As absurd amounts of snow continue to rain down on us Bostonians, the gargantuan piles of the stuff are beginning to shift and move, not unlike tectonic plates.
I’ve taken a stance of trying to simply maintain while Mr. FW the snow architect is gone, and I’m a bit concerned snountain is going to avalanche while he’s away. Let’s hope not folks, because seriously, that’s a lot of snow.
And with that, I’m off to hack away at some nefarious and determined icicles. By the way, we’re up to 8 feet, which is three Frugal Hounds worth in case anyone is keeping track at home.