Driving to the airport at 11pm to drop Mike off for a four week and one day trip to Indonesia. Mike has been making fun of Lisa for being sure to be exact on that front every time it is referenced – four weeks and one day, precisely. Lisa maintains that when it comes to separation misery, precision is important lest the magnitude of the anguish fail to be grasped – four weeks and one day seems a lot longer than just four weeks.
Lisa: “I hope you have a really good trip – good work time, good seeing new things time, good thinking time.”
Mike (sighs): “I think it’s more likely that I’m going to get there and everything will be a giant mess – what tsunami project wasn’t a mess on some level? – and I’ll just have to do the best I can.”
Lisa (trying to strike a balance between encouraging and realistic): “Yeah, I think so too.” (Then, realizing she has utterly failed on the encouraging front, if not the realism)… “But I’m being an optimist.”
Mike: “It’s good of you to take that role occasionally, but I just don’t have a happy feeling.”
Lisa: “Me either, no happy feeling. But…” (still scrambling to find encouraging) “I feel hopeful!”
Mike: “Hope.” (Sighs again). “That’s nice.”
Goodbyes. We love them.