After February’s office turnover, my Boss hired his wife. Boss Wife assists me in teacher recruitment. When I first got wind of this staff addition—four people work here, so wind travels fast—I started cruising Craigslist, hedging my employment bets. I couldn’t understand why you’d ever want to work alongside the person you go home to. I came up with a few examples, like Lost’s Evangeline Lilly and Dominic Monaghan, but they film in Hawaii, and I tend to think anyone can get along in Hawaii. It’s hard enough for me to date another writer let alone sit at adjoining typewriters. Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes didn’t end well. What if they ran a start up together?
I contemplated two scenarios. In the one, Boss and Boss Wife would fight all the time, take thinly veiled jabs at each other about missed carpool pick-ups and forgotten Fresh Direct deliveries. In the other, they would make-out. Who hasn’t worked in an office where people meet in the copy room? Only we don’t have a copy room. I pictured them giggling at any mention of fax. I pictured them team-loading a stapler. It doesn’t take two to load a stapler. That is not the expression.
Then the unexpected happened. I befriended Boss Wife. I really, really like her. There is neither cursing nor kissing in the office. She and Boss could double date with Josh and Amy Sutterer.
I am not one for boat analogies, but I’ll make one here. Boss is like a misbehaved (albeit precocious) toddler in a rowboat. He sees a hole in the bottom, but rather than plug it, he’s wiggling his finger around trying to make it bigger. Boss Wife is in the boat, too. She has a charming brightly colored pail. And ever so often, rather than slap his hand away from the hole, she empties out the leaking water. The boat is the office. The rest of us are in there too, sunning ourselves and snapping the occasional picture. Where are we rowing to? No one knows.