I'd only been home for four hours or so ... but when a man's DVDs are not alphabetized, his books not sorted by height and category (Fiction, Non-Fiction, Reference and "Hers"), that man must act. And so I abandoned unpacking and set out to re-organize the life that I left behind. Doing so, I stumbled upon an old appointment book that belonged to my 2E's -- a dusty, spiral bound journal from 2006-07...
...and no, to answer the question that's already percolating in some of your minds, I did not snoop or skim or whatever you wish to call it. I was a perfect gentleman about it. I presented it to her and kindly asked her to throw it away.
"I can't throw this away!" she gasped, snatching it from my hands like an under-appreciated artifact. "This is like a time capsule."
Troubling, I thought. If an academic calendar is a time capsule, what else is she inclined to keep around the house? I pictured the halls of our future home, decked with receipts from dinners we had long ago, tax returns in standing picture frames, our tables and chairs and armoires all decoupaged with Post-It notes and grocery lists.
"Look! You're my emergency contact," she said, flipping through the yellowing pages, "and next to Relationship, I wrote yes please."
The calendar -- a crude collection of handwritten names and numbers, hours and locations. And past the October due dates and December vacations, the March meet-and-greets and June reminders, there was the address book, an area designated for contacts and fax numbers but never used for that purpose. Instead, 2E's took the lined, vacant pages to list life goals, spending budgets, "Places to See," Christmas wish lists and (of course) a detailed account of our (her) ideal wedding.
That's right, it's got color schemes and themes ("tropical? colors of fruit?"), food stations ("sushi"), to-do lists ("rent tent" and "make own invites"), drawings of the kids who will be in the processional, the schedule for portraits, a 200-person guest list (featuring teachers from her childhood and every classmate either of us have ever known), SEATING CHARTS, song suggestions, entertainment ideas and a complete day-of schedule, something we don't even have for our actual wedding.
In fact, the only thing not included in this tome is a wedding budget. Better check the 2007-2008 academic calendar.