Love sick

So while I was getting laid off, Bear was busy interviewing for a new job. Life is a funny balance. And it happens all at once, sometimes.

He had to fly to Amsterdam on two days’ notice, and I was freaking out. My mind was a checklist, like, “Tiny travel deodorant! A towel, in case he has to wash his hair in the airport bathroom! Insulin and syringe prescriptions so that no one thinks he’s a terrorist or a drug addict! Gum! Tic tacs! Sunglasses!”

He was about to be under an enormous amount of pressure, and I was feeling it. I looked over the itinerary that the Dutch company had sent, the day of, and it was terrifying. Back- to-back meetings all day long. Everyone he was meeting with had a scarily important-sounding title. That’s how titles are supposed to work, I guess.


And then he was on a plane and I was standing in the checkout line at Whole Foods, and suddenly I was definitely going to throw up. It hit me like…um…a ball, hitting someone in the face. (OK, I failed there. Bad writer!) Anyway, it was extremely abrupt. I was unzipping my hoodie, remembering that I wasn’t wearing a bra and my shirt was not particularly thick and then zipping it back up halfway.

I was telling myself, “There’s no reason for you to throw up right now. Especially not here.” The automated voice was not calling a number for my line. She hadn’t in ages.

I did not throw up, somehow, but I did get a cab home, even though it is only three avenues and three blocks. I got in bed, my head blindingly painful now, and closed my eyes. I remembered my wedding night, when I felt just like that.

I had no idea what was happening to me.


But thinking about it later, I realized it was love. Something was changing. I was frantic with helplessness, across the world from Bear when he was going through something enormous. I could not meet those people for him, or remind him to hang up his suit, or anything. I had to wait. And I have never had to wait for someone like that. Because my life hasn’t ever been that bound to someone else’s life.

What was happening in Amsterdam was going to spread. It was going to come all the way back to me.

What a weird thing, to attach your life to someone else’s, so that everything they do impacts you in one way or another. I wanted this for him the way I want a major publishing house to commission a book from me. Except even more. Because I know myself, and I know that even if that doesn’t happen for me right now, that’s OK.

But I’m still getting to know him, and I’d rather just secure his happiness than chance it.

It’s a funny thing, still getting to know the person you’ve married. And of course that’s the way it works. But you don’t really think of it that way, when you’re getting married. You think of it like, “I know this person incredibly well, which is how I’m able to do this.” And you do know them incredibly well, but you are never done.

And it’s also a funny thing, the way I’m getting to know myself. I didn’t know I was a person who would feel sick for another person, out of worry, just because they had a job interview. Even if that interview was in Amsterdam, on very short notice.

But I am.

My friend Liane stayed over that night. We stayed up until 3:30 am, distracting me. It was a little embarrassing that I needed that much distracting.

“You know he’s going to get it, don’t you?” she said.

I didn’t know that. But I’m learning.

(does this make sense in any real way? I kinda like it even if it doesn’t. source)

*  *  *

Un-roast: Today I love the way my legs look when I wear high heels.

Please check out my piece on Modern Love Rejects. It’s about this guy I dated once, named Serge. He had a scar on his face. My bio over there still thinks I work for AOL, but you guys know better.

Also, I’m published in print! The last time this happened, I was fourteen, and had written a poem about a funeral for a teen poets magazine. Find the online version of an interview I did with Home Education Magazine here.



Kate on May 9th 2011 in Uncategorized

14 Responses to “Love sick”

  1. LIT responded on 09 May 2011 at 12:20 pm #

    Awesome!!! As we were celebrating our 2nd anniversary last weekend, I was trying to explain to my husband how weird I find the idea of marriage (even though I’m an advocate). Somehow I confused and weirded hubby out- but you summed it up so well…

    “What a weird thing, to attach your life to someone else’s, so that everything they do impacts you in one way or another. ”

    Thank you for being able to put into words how all of us feel- lovesick!

  2. San D responded on 09 May 2011 at 12:21 pm #

    Everytime I traveled and came to a particularly religious place, where you could light candles, or have a nun/priest pray for something if you left a note, I always left a note about my husband’s happiness. I knew that our lives and happiness were intertwined so intricately that if he was blessed, so would I be. While not a religious person, I figured, ‘what could it hurt’? We can not control what happens in our lives all of the time, and that is the vulnerable part. While you want to be there for Bear, and even perhaps make the interviewers see what you see, that’s not how it works in life. Bear will be ok and whatever will be will be.

  3. Kate responded on 09 May 2011 at 12:23 pm #

    @San D
    Yes! Whenever I do my sort-of-almost-but-not-quite-praying thing, at synagogue, I think about Bear’s happiness.

  4. Emmi responded on 09 May 2011 at 1:08 pm #

    YES. I am beginning to go through this as well. My husband is climbing the ladder at his company and was chosen as his store’s representative for their annual shareholders’ meeting next month. They’re flying him down, putting him up, wining & dining him – it’s crazy! I also have checklist brain for the flight. I consulted my mother on the best way to pack his dress shirts so they won’t get so wrinkled. I went through all the material for the meeting itself (64 page booklet of tiny type!), and summarized all the stuff he needed to know and pointed out the people he should try and meet. My sister told me that I have officially become the “woman behind the man”. And despite us never really having embraced “traditional” roles, I kinda love it.

    I am going to be on tenterhooks the whole time he is gone, but I know he’ll do great and enjoy himself, just as I know Bear will/has.

  5. Jane responded on 09 May 2011 at 1:31 pm #

    Been a big fan of your blog for a while. You wrote the piece in your maiden name, I’m curious whether you changed your name when you got married, and what your thought process about that was.
    Also, is it weird for you/Bear when you write about exes?

  6. Kate responded on 09 May 2011 at 1:35 pm #

    Here’s a post I wrote about just that!

    And yes. Bear is very private. But I’m a blogger and not very private, and he’s OK with that. When I write about an ex, I usually run it by him before publishing, and then he usually teases me about the post :)

  7. Gaby responded on 09 May 2011 at 1:45 pm #

    An un-roast for you today: You are capable of such incredible, all encompassing love for another human being. I find that so real and so unbelievable at the same time and it’s a beautiful thing :)

    Un-roast for me: I completely forgot about make up before leaving the apartment this morning. I was dressed but decided to finish getting ready after breakfast then was just enjoying my food too much to think about it until I got into the elevator. Then I thought, my skin still looks really nice, and while I may look a little tired, I think my face looks beautiful without anything on it. Also, I feel kind of important having to make a last minute super short business trip to NY. How many people get to do that?! It’s just too bad you won’t be there this time!

  8. Kate responded on 09 May 2011 at 1:50 pm #

    Your un-roasts always make my day. And yes, your face is stunning no matter what! Especially without anything on it.

    And not many people get to do that. And I’m really sorry I won’t get to see you.

  9. Kerry responded on 09 May 2011 at 2:15 pm #

    As a fellow Modern Love reject, that website you linked to is genius. Made my day.

  10. Kate responded on 09 May 2011 at 2:28 pm #

    I know! I wish I’d thought of it!

  11. Anna Thaler responded on 09 May 2011 at 3:37 pm #


    I love this post. My fiance has heard rumors that the high school where he teaches English may close, and when he told me, my only thought was, “I will support him no matter what happens, and it will feel amazingly fulfilling for me.”

    I am completely twitter-pated over what you wrote over at Modern Love Rejects. Amazing. It will be in my head all day. An un-roast for you: when I finished reading that post, I wished it had been longer because I enjoyed reading it so much!


  12. Meredith responded on 09 May 2011 at 5:19 pm #

    I liked what you wrote a great deal. My husband and I have been through this a number of times–but nothing career-wise is permanent, as you know. I do not think both people’s careers can be on the same trajectory at the same time. When my husband and I first married, my career was really just “a job”–my choice, really, as I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life–so we made a lot of decisions based on what would be best for his career. About five years ago we hit a point where it was my turn–and his career took a back seat. We’re now hitting a new transition: my husband went back for his PhD, and was laid off this month (it was expected). I know that when he finishes in a few years then my career will take a back seat to whatever great opportunity he may find. We are both professionals with high profile jobs so it can be done. If you’re good at what you do and work hard at it, you will do well in your field, whatever it is, and even if you take “breaks” for a spouse to get ahead.

    As long as you go into it openly and knowing that there are many, many years until you retire, the transitions aren’t as scary any more. (It helps to live below your means, too.) Plus I think it helps you approach things as a team, rather than two individuals.

    You and Bear seem to have great communication and are on the same page, so it will all work out in the end, I’m sure. I love reading your blog.

  13. Anna responded on 11 May 2011 at 2:21 pm #

    thank you for writing this! the increased anxiety of loving someone is something no one ever warned me about! my husband recently started a new phd program, and i swear i feel every criticism he gets, on papers, on teaching (and he doesn’t get many), on everything. and you are right, it’s worse than if someone was criticizing me! if someone’s criticizing me i know i’ll be fine. i know he will be too – i try to remind myself that he is a big boy and can certainly function without me hovering over him. but anyone who hurts him, even in a professional capacity, i find i just want to hit them with my car. glad to hear it isn’t just me. :)

  14. Eat the Damn Cake » Meeting Bear’s Work People responded on 22 Jun 2011 at 1:00 pm #

    [...] remember how Bear got that new job? He’s been working really, really hard since then. Sometimes he’s at the office until [...]