November 1994

AOL Dial up (photo from You Tube)

AOL Dial up
(photo from You Tube)

Our new Nanny / Office Assistant, Leanne, seems to be working out well so far. She’s a bit high strung, but she has great experience from a daycare center. Jennifer, her predecessor, worked out great too, but she got a higher paying full time job, and couldn’t work with us any longer. It is crazy how many people we went through after Astrid and before finding Jen. At work, I mockingly call myself “Murphy Brown” from that TV show, because we can’t hold on to a decent babysitter / office assistant. Maybe it would be a lot easier if we could simply hire a qualified nanny, but in addition to childcare, the person has to also be able to handle administrative duties and work with Lou in his home office. Thank God for Astrid, Jennifer and Leanne, who stayed for a while. Nobody else has lasted more than a few hours, days, or weeks at the most, before there were major issues. It was always something different, but most of them just couldn’t work with Lou for one reason or another. One of the biggest nanny-duty complaints Lou had early on was that they didn’t change Anjelica’s diaper immediately when it was wet or soiled. I probably don’t change it fast enough for him, for that matter. He’s really uptight about the diaper thing, and may not understand that it is not like wearing an old, wet cloth diaper anymore. He’s only changed her a few times total, only on the rare occasions when he’s been home alone with her. He’s actually not home that often anyway, because he travels for work so much, and when he is in town, he spends a lot of time at the gym.

Frankly, he has been really frustrated, I’d say almost depressed, the past several months. He complained that he felt bored and stagnant, and wanted to do something different to expand or improve or grow in some way. He talked a lot about wanting to go back to college and get his PhD. I was supportive, and looked into a few programs for him, but nothing clicked as a good match. He wanted professors he could admire and look up to that could be mentors he could really learn from. But when he looked through the program materials and professor profiles, he didn’t see anything or anyone that inspired him. He still feels the loss of his father; not only from his death a couple years ago, but also from the fantasy image he carries in his mind about what a father is supposed to be, as a mentor and guide, and especially as a role model for his son. He has mourned that void since long before his dad’s death.

After much discussion with me about how to get him out of his funk, Lou recently started taking flying lessons, and feels a connection to his father that way. He says that it something that always interested his dad, and that if he were alive now, they would be able to spend a lot of time talking about together. But mostly, he feels like it challenges him, and that he is learning and growing because of it. I think it is good, since a pilot’s license will make it possible to do more things go more places as a family. We rarely travel because he has to drive so much for work that he never wants to go anywhere for leisure, vacation, or even over holidays to visit family. But in general, I support it because it makes him happy. If he’s happy, then I’m happy.

Maybe now, he won’t stay holed up in his office logged onto America Online for hours and hours on end. The money we would save from that alone would pay for the flying lessons. AOL charges for usage by the hour, and we’ve had hundreds of dollars in overage bills most months. If he is willing to pay that much, then I think he is addicted. Personally, I find AOL to be a boring waste of time. I am so sick of hearing the grinding wail of the modem connecting, then the exclamation of, “You’ve got Mail,” followed by the incessant clicking of the computer keyboard and dinging tones while he is responding to mail and trolling the chat rooms and instant messaging with strangers. Just about every time I walk in his office, I can see that he’s communicating with women. I don’t know which is worse, when I actually see the flirty messages on his screen, or when he abruptly closes down AOL completely when I enter the room. He says it is fun for him, that it doesn’t mean anything at all, and that it is just talk. But I notice the screen names, later look them up myself, and know they live either locally or in towns where he’s consulting. If it is just online fun, then why only select people who are close enough to meet in person? Sometimes I wake up to find that he got out of bed in the middle of the night to go back online. It’s as if he has a prearranged online date or something. He has no clue that I often screw him up by lifting the handset of the phone extension on my nightstand on purpose to break his connection; I pretend to be sound asleep, but can see through the slits of my eyes that he looks into our room from the doorway, trying to figure out why he got booted off. Once in a while, he’ll give up and come back to bed, but he usually keeps logging back on, and I keep picking up the extension and feigning sleep.

He closes the door to his office, and thinks I don’t hear him, but the modem makes so much noise that it usually wakes me up. It totally pisses me off, but when I complained about him being online with other women so much, he got furious, and told me that he’s got nothing else and does nothing else. He says he doesn’t have other friends to hang out with, he doesn’t go out drinking, or anything so I’m lucky compared to what most other husbands do. I tried to explain that it makes me feel bad when I’m sitting alone in the next room, knowing he would rather go online and chat with strangers than talk to me. I brought up the fact that it always seems to be women that he’s talking to, and that it makes me feel like he’s looking and hunting for other relationships. He said that he’s not, but that if I continue to accuse him of it, then it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy, and that I will be the one who makes it happen. I can’t win; I lose whether I say anything or not. The only difference is that if I keep my mouth shut, then I don’t have to hear that it’s all my fault.

I don’t know what else I’m supposed to be doing to please him that I’m not. We have sex whenever he wants, which is often, and he says our sex is hot. I lost all the weight from being pregnant, and work out with him at the gym to stay in good shape and spend time together. I support him with his business in all ways: emotionally, mentally, and physically, by helping him with all of his writing and seminars, as well as whatever else he needs. I keep our house perfectly clean. I cook good food. I have a great job with good income and benefits. I almost always get home from work at normal times, and save any overtime work I have to do on my laptop for after Lou and Anjelica are both asleep. I am a good mother. I make few demands on him. I actually don’t think I make any demands on him for that matter. Yet still, he isn’t happy just being with me.

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