We were fortunate enough to have my wife get her old job back within a month after I lost my job. I can’t tell you how classy her old co-workers are, and how they helped us out. I began my job search, and I was thrown into the role of being a stay-at-home mom. I’d walk my daughter to school (what I would learn to call “the MILF run”) and then Junior and I would hang for a while. My son went to the YMCA for daycare three days a week.
Like most people, I never thought I’d lose a job, but I did and had to deal with it. The search proved frustrating, and it’s hard to enjoy time with family when you’re on unemployment and a little concerned about your family’s future. We made the best of it. I made some great casseroles, and tried to keep things in order.
I was the helpful, caring husband who would have dinner on the table, and patiently listen to my spouse complain about traffic. My days would be filled with working out when possible to get out of the house, leaving my son in the basement while I went to the store (hoping none of the nosy mom’s would see me), and cooking dinner.
Finally, after about six months on the unemployment line (being bridesmaid for several gigs), my wife suggests, “You should go out and play basketball with the boys tonight.” While I was getting in decent shape, and actually could play a bit back in the day, I reluctantly agree to lace up the basketball shoes for the first time in over 10 years. I go through about two or three games and feel awesome. “I can do this,” and I’m on a roll. I reach up for a pass that was a little over my head, and POP! I felt like someone took a hockey stick and hit the back of my foot. I fall and I know it’s not my ankle. My foot flops like I’m Sideshow Bob and I think it’s my Achilles.
I call my wife, tell her I think I blew my Achilles, and I begin to walk home. Being the loving wife she is, she pops out the door, hands me a Gatorade, and I feel like Bruce Jenner hitting the home stretch as I continue the Walk of Lame to the hospital right by our house. The x-ray confirms that I ripped my Achilles and my leg is put in a temporary cast.
I get surgery, they roll the tendon back down my leg and staple it to my heel. I am in a cast for six weeks. Like every man over 40, I have to piss twice a night. Without fail, the freaking crutches fall down, and I army crawl to the can every night at about two in the morning. My wife complains that I am waking her up and she is tired at work.
My wife suggests I get a scooter, which in all honesty was a Godsend. I’m now moving around kicking one leg on the ground, while the other rests on a “bench” on the scooter. The MILF run got more and more interesting, as I have chicks eyeballing me non-stop on this contraption. I even got a horn for it.
Hopping around the house was also great during this time. I’d slide on my ass down the steps to catch my son watching TV three inches from the screen so I couldn’t hear the volume. It was too much of an ordeal to leave the house.
I would go through the McDonald’s drive-thru it the morning to get my Diet Coke and have to sit in the minivan until I was done because I couldn’t hop and carry it at the same time. On a lucky day, I would spot a neighbor and ask them to carry in my drink.
I’d interview wearing the Herman Munster boot. Occasionally, my father-in-law had to drive me around. I’m unemployed, a gimp, and my leg itches like hell and I want to rip off this cast. I basically threw in the towel.
After weeks and weeks of rehab, I get out of the boot. (It was there I discovered that giving Junior an energy drink was a bad idea, although it was impressive how many laps he ran around that joint!) While my leg is still weak, I can walk, and even run. To top it off, that June, I got a J-O-B, and I’m back, baby.
That was definitely the most trying twelve months of my life.
Would I trade it? No way.
Would I wish it on anyone? The answer to that is “no” as well.
I found out who my friends are for life, and there are many that I hope I can pay back for their kindness.
We figured out our priorities really quick and the difference between “want” and “need.”
I have a new appreciation for getting up and going to work.
My wife admits that I am better at making casseroles.
The kids remember my time off as the good old days with fewer rules.
And I have the eternal Trump card of whenever my wife tries to say, “You have no idea what I have been dealing with” after she’s had a long day with the kids.