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The Season of Giving

December 15, 2010

December is known in the academic world for being more than the season of winter breaks and holidays; it’s the season for graduate school applications, and our household has had to deal with it this year.  I had completely forgotten how much time, effort, and stressing out there was on a given application, but B has been so kind as to remind me.  You see, B wants to be a theatre professor, and there are only a limited number of programs in his specialty around the country.  Strangely enough, one of the best programs in the Northeast happens to be at my graduate school alma mater, so this is one grad school application I knew very well once upon a time.  While some sections have changed (where did the alumni-family section go?  I wanted B to name drop HARD!), much has stayed the same.

But this post isn’t about the application’s components, at least not directly.  This is about the point of view a wife takes when her husband decides to dedicate many of his non-working hours to completing a tedious and time consuming document.  I could take the road where I moan and complain about how B never goes to bed at the same time as me anymore, how our weekends have sometimes revolved around having time for him to write, or how my husband’s gorgeous eyes have been masked under 80-year-old man puffy bags.

But I won’t.  Of course it has been hard on both of us.  I am quite fond of having my husband to cuddle with as I drift off to sleep, but if I complained, this wouldn’t be a marriage.  It would be me being petty and annoying and selfish.  When I took marriage vows, I promised for better and for worse.  This is no where near “for worse,” but either way, this is a time when B needs me to at the top of my nurturing wife game.  That means I need to be in charge of the domestic duties in order to give him time to write his (now at) 20-page academic paper and 4-ish page personal statement.  The plus?  I get to be in charge of what is for dinner and experiment.  (Trust me, this has turned into nothing but pluses for B too!)  The minus?  Dishes.  But as long as B doesn’t judge me by my dishpan hands, we’ll be a-okay.

This is indeed the season of giving.  I am a wife giving my husband time to create and put together the application that could launch him into the career he very much wants.  My husband is giving me a chance to have a different lifestyle, live in a different state (in which I have already lived), and appreciate what he does for both of us around the apartment so much more.  The application has given me time to explore (and take over) our apartment’s kitchen with my cooking and really have fun with it after I come home from work.  The application has given B, well, a few ulcers.  He could live without those.

The application process has been a pain for everyone in our small household, but we’ve gained from it.  I won’t be sad to see it sent off tonight, and God only knows how the verdict will come back, but we can simply appreciate what it has taught us in the process.

And that, Charlie Brown, is what applications are all about.

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