Saturday morning, I made some espresso and was looking forward to sitting down together to catch up and make some plans for the weekend. I could tell from the moment he came down the stairs that something was "off" with him and I couldn't figure out why.
We talked at length about his work, some exciting things going on with that, some stresses, and he told me about how he found another musician to have mini jam sessions with on the weekends. He then asked me how I was doing. Naturally, I filled him in on some work projects, some stuff about the kids and I started to tell him about a poem I was working on that I was going to read at a spoken word event in-world.
This is when our conversation took a bad turn and my husband, in my opinion, flew off the handle so to speak.
My excitement about the poem, and the fact that I as being supported by an experienced poet/writer, was completely kicked to the curb because of two words...Second Life.
We ended up spending the next 20 minutes arguing about how he was missing us so much and that he has to be all alone all these weeks and when he comes home to visit us, I'm talking about Second Life. I mentioned it one time, which was really a moot point anyways, since Second Life just happens to be the venue for reading my poem, and not the actual point. If I could go to the "real" poetry readings at the cafe across the street from us, I would be there! But it's hard to do that because I work full-time, I'm caring for our two children, and I don't feel like paying a babysitter so I could go out and do something that I could do from home for free with my laptop. I swear, in those 20 minutes, he said "Second Life" at least 15 times, while in the same breath telling me he didn't want to come home after missing us so much and talk about Second Life. Hello!!! You're the one talking about it, not me!
I don't want to paint a bad picture of my husband. He is a beautiful, creative person with a hilarious dark sense of humour. I know it's been hard for him to away from us these past two months, but I felt that he went a little overboard with his argument.
I was surprised by all of this because under normal circumstances, he is happy to give me my space to do what I do in SL and it has not been an issue. One time, he even hooked up my laptop to the big tv so I could watch the Avatar Repertory's production of Alice in WonderSLand with our kids.
It all ended ok, and we ended up having a good heart to heart about what was really bothering him. I totally understand that he misses us, we miss him too. But I admit that it never occurred to me that it must be very lonely for him without us, and missing your family and being lonely for an extended period of time is enough to make an emotional wreck out of anyone. I have our children with me to keep me occupied, so loneliness is not such a huge factor for me. I also have my blind spots too and even after 12 years of marriage, I can't read his mind.
And after I pointed out to him that his quick dismissal of my poem and writing hurt my feelings, he apologized for snapping at me.
He still may not completely understand what I get out of SL, and maybe he still thinks it's a silly game. But don't the vast majority of people misunderstand Second Life?
Perhaps I could go on a mission to present Second Life in a different light to the masses, to make them understand that it's not just a stupid game that is full of adultery, weird sex fetishes, sadness, discontent and people who are generally unhappy in their lives or that it's just a big old waste of time. But I don't feel like being a SL ambassador because I am here to have a good time and to find and do things that fulfill and enhance my mental/emotional/spiritual well-being in my Life. It's not my job to change other peoples impressions, and ultimately, I just don't give a shit what they all think.
I do however, give a shit about what my husband thinks and how he feels. So when I first received his text message last friday afternoon saying he was on his way home, the first thing I did when I logged in that evening was let my friends know that I wasn't going to be in-world over the weekend, that I couldn't work my SL job, attend any meetings, the items I received for review would have to wait, and I definitely wasn't going to have time to work on that poem for the open mic at Blue Angel Poet's Dive on Sunday night.
I didn't think twice about dropping all those plans because it was the right thing to do, and because I love my husband and want to spend time with him.
I wonder if he realizes how much sacrifices I make in my SLife for him?
I'M KIDDING, I'M KIDDING!