There are some real pros and cons to working together with your wife in the same company. The big pro is that there’s nothing we can’t discuss when it comes to work without failing to understand what the other is talking about, because we know each other’s work, each other’s colleagues, each other’s bosses, each other’s styles, we know pretty much anything that happens to each other during a 9 to 5 weekday. The big con, of course, is that when we get into a fight at home, everybody in our 9-to-5 world knows.
But despite the clues that you think you might have garnered from my last few posts, I’m not writing this because my wife and I had a fight and our entire office is looking at us funny. We’re hoping to take a vacation next month, and the psychological planning of it is getting pretty complicated. For one, we don’t really want to tell anyone where we’re going for this vacation, largely because our bosses are also tied to us by blood, and they are inclined to ask for work favours despite our constant reminders that we are not working. The lines that we try our best to draw when working for family inexplicably get blurred despite our best efforts, and the “taking for granted” results in a lot of inconveniences for both parties. I get bombarded with questions from my bosses/sisters asking “Why can’t you tell us where you’re planning to go?” when they don’t seem to get that the last three years I’ve tried to take a vacation with my wife, it becomes a work trip precisely because I tell them where I am going and they ask me to do stuff for them and tell the entire world I am coming to their local offices to save the day for them and ruin my own holiday plans.
At this point, I have already given out a lot of hints as to where we want to go. Perhaps I want someone to see this, not so much to clue my bosses in to what I want to do, but to remind them, even if you are family, sometimes we need the break from everyone. It’s the reason why annual leave is compulsory in the Manpower Act, and in a company where the line cannot be drawn between being colleagues and being family, it is all the more important that this “everybody” entity get out of our hair for these few hard-earned days a year.
Another reason why next month’s vacation is important (perhaps the most important one since our marriage) is because it will be one of the last times my wife gets to fly out into another country and enjoy herself as herself. Zany (my wife has taken to shortening our son’s name to a point of marking him for the rest of his life as eccentric) will be out, and everything’s going to be different come Christmas. We are holding on to the last vestiges of our so-called youth and giving it one last burst of fire before the big stork visit.
Imagine after Xander arrives, if we are to plan a trip again, we’ll both need another photo in our passport that isn’t our own face, ticket bookings will no longer be only 2-to-go, 3/4s of our luggage won’t be our own clothes and toiletries, we’ll need to find out about infant accommodation when doing our hotel bookings… and that’s if we’re bringing him along, which I am determined to do for most if not all our vacation trips because we are a family now, and we are holding our own, and no one in my family should have to miss out on the rose-smelling if I can help it.
So please, let us have our day in the sun, our time away from our lives, to live our own life the way we want to, to be able to enjoy each other the way we know how, if only for a few days.