I am worried about her. Part of it is habit. For nearly a decade, it was my responsibility to take care of her.
She came to this country, even though she had less than five acquaintances on the entire continent, because she trusted me. Despite being a less than stellar husband, I did not betray this trust. I took care of her.
Along the way, I did my best to help her learn the language, laws, customs and traditions of my country. My home. She learned quickly, and she learned well. Granted, she still has a noticeable accent, and has moderate difficulty with spelling and certain rules of grammar. But she no longer needs me to help her to communicate.
She still asks for my help with some things. She is to technology what antimatter is to matter. So, on the rare occasions that ubuntu doesn’t do as she commands, I help her fix it.
For the most part, though, she can do for herself. She cuts her own grass, and changes her own oil. If I happen to be around when these tasks are due, I will do them for her, but not out of a sense of duty.
She has a good job, making approximately the same wage as me. This is more than enough to meet her needs and all but the most extravagant of her wants (a house overlooking Malibu Beach in Kalifornistan).
I guess my point thus far is that she has become as independent in her adopted homeland as she is/was in the country of her birth. She doesn’t need me, or anyone else for that matter, for everyday life. For the most part, I find this a relief. She is here because of me, and had she had difficulty acclimating, I would feel both guilty and obligated.
At the same time, no longer being needed makes me a little bit sad. I still love her, despite not having been in love with her for several years. Many times, I want to smack the shit out of her, but I would not hesitate to kill to protect her. Not that I would ever need to. That crazy bitch almost choked hubby #1 to death after he made the alcohol-fueled mistake of hitting her.
But none of that has anything to do with the first line of this post.
Then why bore us with all that information, Grumpy?
Fuck if I know. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
I am worried about her because she has a forty minute commute each way, works a twelve hour overnight shift, and is seldom able to sleep more than three hours per day on days that she works.
Normally, this wouldn’t be a huge problem, since she only works seven days out of fourteen, never works more than three days in a row, and sleeps twelve hours or more her first day off to make up the deficit. Normally.
Her employer is much more generous with vacation than FaucetCompany, and she works in a small lab with several high tenure folks who get truly massive amounts of vacation every year. Vacation time is use-or-lose, and staffing so tight that any absence must be covered. As a result, overtime opportunities are plentiful.
Since she is the junior member of the team, she wants to make a good impression. Also, in an effort to curry favor with her co-workers who have to cover for her when she takes time off, she seldom turns down an extra shift.
This results in her working nearly as many hours as me most weeks. In addition, she misses additional sleep opportunities taking care of non-work responsibilities.
I have encouraged her to refuse some of the shifts, since she has the luxury of saying no. She thanks me for my concern, but continues to do as she wants. She is a grown woman, and is free to make her own decisions. Which she does. In spades.
I guess that means I will continue to worry about her.