My handyman has disappeared.
Tim is a very talkative, sweet, interesting man but he’s unreliable. When he shows up, he’s full of ideas to make my home better and best of all, he works cheap. To augment what I pay him, I’ll cook him dinner. But, he hasn’t shown up for months, and that brick pathway and woodland garden thing he designed for my backyard hasn’t even been started, the promised brick, nonexistent. Right now, my backyard looks more like an overgrown field with a hammock strung across one corner. It’s depressing.
I went into the office this weekend to try to catch up on some paperwork. During the workweek, I spent the eight hours a day that I’m there answering questions and reviewing everyone else’s work. I have an awesome team of people working with me, and they’re all fantastic at what they do. But everything comes through me; everything gets signed off by me. It can be a tad overwhelming, especially when I have my own projects to complete.
While I was in the office, Josh called. I debated whether or not to answer it for two rings and picked up on the fourth.
“Hey, Miss Paige,” he said. “What are you up to?”
“Just catching up at the office,” I said and tried to make my voice sound friendlier than I felt after our last conversation.
Then he told me all about the cross country, once in a lifetime trip he’s been taking the kids on. He’s got two of his and his girlfriend’s daughter with him on a Wally World adventure from Portland, Oregon to New Orleans, LA.
“Have you stopped to see the world’s largest ball of twine?” I asked when he paused to take a breath.
“Not yet, but we did see Mount Rushmore,” he said.
“Very cool. Kids getting along?”
“Not as well as I’d like. And I keep wanting to turn the car around and go back to Portland,” he told me.
So I gave him what he called for, “Don’t worry so much. It’s going to be great. You’ll get there, and in no time, you’ll feel right at home. You’ll wonder why you ever left New Orleans in the first place.”
“You’re probably right.”
I told him I had a lot to do and to have a safe trip. When I hung up the phone, I realized that I probably wouldn’t hear from him again for a while. Once he’s back in New Orleans and with his girlfriend full time, he won’t need me like he has. She’ll be his best friend. And that’s how it should be.
It made me think about that show “Will & Grace.” Do you remember that one? The woman who lived with her best friend who was gay? At the end of one of the seasons, they came to the realization that neither of them was able to have a successful relationship because they were getting everything they needed from one another. Well, except sex, I guess.
Josh may not be gay, but he’s been my “Will.” And I’ve been his “Grace.” We love each other, but we can’t love each other. We’re always on slightly different paths. I really do believe that there’s a time between two people of the opposite sex when things can go one way or the other. And once that time’s passed, it’s gone forever. And it’s okay. It becomes a different sort of relationship.
The problem is that I’m in that different sort of relationship with all the men in my life, and I’m able to put off the real stuff. I do it, because I’m too busy. I tell myself that all the time. I don’t want a commitment. I don’t want the complications. I haven’t found the right guy.
The problem is that I’m starting to worry that I find the right guy all the time. I’m just the wrong girl. I’m able to keep myself detached from any encumbrance because I have such a full life otherwise. I’m not involved. I don’t do the work. Just like I do with, Tim, my handyman, I keep a bunch of guys around to make my life better for a little while and then I send them home until I need something fixed again.
My friend, Sharon, said it the other day while she was doing my facial, “You don’t need anyone, so why bother?”
But don’t I? Need someone? Someone who’s not involved with someone else? And I swear Sharon said that just to make me think, because she’s the one always trying to fix me up with all these guys…
So, I sat there at my desk staring at the phone for a minute before I picked it up and hit Sharon’s name in my contacts list. It rang twice.
“Hey, it’s Paige. You know that guy you’ve been trying to get me to go out with? The one with the restaurants? Go ahead and hook it up.”