Oh my goodness. Sorry to leave you, unintentionally, hanging.
Ian called sometime yesterday afternoon, just home after a long day in Paris. The process took three hours, most of that waiting in the embassy waiting room for his number to be called. Long story short, he's been "approved."
What they call an "interview" consisted of standing at a counter, just like you do at the Department of Motor Vehicles, and answering questions. Talking through a hole in plexiglass. This means Ian, I'm sure, said, "I'm sorry?" a lot because he doesn't hear all that well. Too much ear-plug -free nail gun use.
He did hear the interviewer ask him the one classic Green Card question, and that was...
"When is your wife's birthday?" He miraculously came up with that date then the woman had the, I don't know, lack of imagination, to ask him "What did you give her for her last birthday?"
I'm afraid I laughed out loud when he told me this because if there is anything Ian and I don't do in any sort of traditional, consistent, or over the top manner, it is birthdays. What usually happens is I treat myself to something, usually clothing, and tell him it is his gift to me.
"See what you got me for my birthday?" I say, spinning round and round in my new green wool overcoat from Mark's and Spencer. Or kicking up my heels in yet another pair of boots or clogs I don't really need.
So Ian's answer to the interviewer was just that, "I don't remember exactly, because she probably bought it for herself."
Now he's waiting what is meant to be "seven to ten days" for them to send him his passport with the visa stamped inside of it. Once he has that in his possession, he is free to board a plane bound for the United States.
No plane ticket yet, that I know of, but we're sort of incommunicado since we've skipped town and headed to Burlington to watch a Women's Hockey World Championship Game.
We saw Switzerland beat Russia this afternoon and seeing how excited Esther was to see all those powerful women out on that ice was balm for my chapped soul. Now we're in a hotel with a pool, my parents are with me, and we're going to the state capital tomorrow so Esther can attend the award ceremony for the state-wide poster contest she placed in. Her poster won second place. Clever girl.
Funny thing, perhaps this is textbook, but after all this, neither Ian nor I felt overly elated at the news that he could come home. Shock? Distrust? Bureaucracy fatigue? PTSD? I don't know. But both of us admit to feeling kind of empty, tired, drained of any and all energy or capacity for emotional reaction at this point.
I assure you once we are back in each other's midst, in the flesh, not just voices over a wire, or faces on a screen, and I and Ian's girls are securely in his arms, the source will renew itself. The flood gates will open. I'm sure of it. And I'm looking forward to the cathartic release. This stoicism shit is getting old.
But until that day, I'm not sure if I will feel anything but apprehension.Yeah. And the last vestiges of lingering, festering, anger.
So.... Ian is coming home. Still don't know when. I would type "Hurray" but that feels fake. Bear with me here. This is really quite strange.