Saturday, September 15, 2012


Last night as we were laying in bed, JP asked what I was thinking. He never asks that- mostly because I tend to give him a running monologue of whatever is going through my mind (generally to his great amusement, sometimes not so much), but I've discovered that we've been asking each other that question a lot lately. I've also discovered that for the first time ever, I don't always want to tell him. There are two facets of your response when your spouse loses his job: (1) the emotional- the I'm so sorry this happened, I want you to know there is at least one person who always, always thinks you are awesome, and I know this will work out in a way we'll be thankful for one day, even if we can't see it now; and (2) the practical- the calculating of expenses and payments and worrying about both. There's also the personal emotional- the fact that I too find the whole situation sucky and occasionally need to wallow in it, a wallowing I can't exactly ask my husband to join since (1) he doesn't have a lot of emotional support to give and (2) it just makes him feel guilty and responsible for causing the wallowing. In his words the other day, "it's only been a few days; I can't handle thinking there's problems with us too." True, and neither can I. And there aren't, we just occasionally catch each other in the wrong segment of our reeling response circle. Which is why I sometimes lie silent in bed for a few record-breaking minutes in a row, prompting him to panic about what could possibly going through my head that I'm not telling him, but what I was thinking at the moment he asked me last night was simply, "I can't believe Friday was only a week ago."

Because it feels like a lifetime. The ups- it's going to be fine! The downs- ohmygod this sucks I can't believe you have to do it again. The middles- really, it is going to be fine. There were events- a UChicago law alumni reunion in Dallas that I am SO glad I dragged myself to Wednesday night. It was lovely to meet so many alums from the DFW area and I nearly cheered during a rousing speech by the Dean. UChicago law is a special place. Hard as hell, and 1L is still something I wouldn't voluntarily do again, but special. Thursday was a securities conference we co-host, so I got to be in my suit like a real lawyer, although given the FBI presence in the room with their shiny badges and conspicuous guns, I didn't feel like much of a law enforcement agent. Friday was more of the conference and an early release time because the golf outing was canceled for rain (yay for rain; I would never have golfed anyway- I don't do land sports). I got to spend the whole afternoon with JP, feeling no guilt for leaving the children at daycare until nearly close, while we sat together, talked together, and even, in a moment of insanity, went on a run together. After about half a mile JP looked back at me and said, "ready?" Um, ready for what? "To get started." You guys, I was already running at top speed. I lasted 0.5 more miles before using Tex as an excuse to slow down. JP took off and lapped us and then walked with us the rest of the way home.

JP goes through his own ups and downs, but his direction is always forward. He's had call after call with co-workers, contacts, contacts he's been recommended to by co-workers. He's sent resumes and cover letters and applications. He has his down moments of course- who wouldn't- but he's rather convincingly optimistic about the whole thing. Part of it is that he only has the occasional flash back to "oh yeah, the last time I looked for a job it kind of sucked didn't it?" Most of the time he just remembers that it worked about and he got a great job. I remember the whole damn thing in all its suckiness all the damn time, which is probably why I felt like I fell down a deep hole the moment he told me the news. Luckily I can always, always be the positive party when it comes to him personally. He IS awesome; he WILL find something; I believe absolutely that any party rejecting him is the one losing out. And, as he's already noted, he doesn't get weighed down with worry about the practical financial aspects of things because "I know you're doing that non-stop for both us." True that, but he feels it lightens his load, so at least it's doing someone some good. Teamwork.

That pretty much sums up the last few days. Circles. Cleaving to each other whileoccasionally processing things apart. Marriage. Circles.


  1. LL, having gone through this and survived, I look back and in those clear moments of retrospect only wish I had more firmly stood by my husband rather than waste that energy worrying. It would have made such a difference to him, and I'm ashamed now of having failed him as a partner in that way. Not saying you're doing that at all, but just offering my perspective in case it helps.

    1. Thanks Gretchen, I appreciate your perspective. I remember feeling the same way last time JP was job searching and feeling the same shame later, it's good for me to remember that.

      I realized with this post, when I read it later, that I didn't really get out what I'm feeling the right way. Partly because writing is what helps me distill and clarify my feelings, so you all get to read the jumbled mess that leads up to my mini epiphanies (i.e., it really is going to be fine; stop stressing; hug your husband), but what I'm actually struggle with the most right now is worrying about how much it's all going to suck and how hard it's going to be on JP. The money worry is very much secondary once I did my number scribbles at work and realized we were solvent for longer than I originally thought. And I think if JP had never job hunted before I'd be handling it all much better- once I moved aside the money concerns, I'd be all in "Team JP" for the job search. Instead, I feel like I have PTSD from watching him get so excited and then so crushed last time-- and I didn't realize last time how hard the experience was on both of us until close to the end-- and now this time it's like I fell down a hole right back to that moment. I feel like I'm constantly bracing myself for weeks of rejection and then I feel bad that that's what I'm thinking about, like I'm planning for failure, when I'm not, I'm just dreading those "down" days so much. Because I remember scrambling and trying to think of what to say to make him feel better and not coming up with anything because how many times could I say, "you're awesome; it's their loss," even if I mean it?

      But we're on day 8, not 108, so I need to stop expecting the experience to be the same as it was in Austin. (Funny enough, when I told some of my closest friends, two of them said, loudly, quickly, and verbatim- "This won't be like last time!") He has an interview tomorrow, I'm thinking positive thoughts :)