Our story takes place a number of years ago, in a land far far away, known as The Blackhole (or Nacogdoches for those of you wanting a more geographical basis for this story).
So for those of you who do not know me well, I went to college in Nac, which I soon discovered was actually a giant blackhole that would suck in unsuspecting individuals and keep them in East Texas small town hell forever. It was not all bad mind you. Actually Nac was a nice place to live, if it weren't for the fact that it is in the middle of nowhere.
Being three hours away from all of my friends was horrible. Every year I would watch more of my friends graduate and move away, and I was still stuck there in the same rut as always. Worst yet I was doing faire in both the spring and fall, and I would make more friends that were three hours away from me and I could only see on weekends 10 to 16 weeks out of the year. It was incredibly disheartening every time I had to go back to Nac and leave them all behind.
Life in Nac was stagnant to say the least. I had a great job that was only great because it allowed me to work from home and pretty much do nothing. I was working the business end of online chat support for Verizon DSL. Turns out that businesses looking for business level DSL support have these tech departments who actually know what the hell is going on, and so in an 8 hour shift I normally only took a dozen chats on a busy day, and most of those were pricing questions answered in under a minute.
This allowed me lots of time to watch Buffy reruns, and chat online, and do a bunch of nothing around the house in my pajamas. It did however mean that my actual social interaction was cut to almost 0. After I got married and our roomates moved to Houston the only person I saw was the husbeast. When we went to eat, or I had to go to the grocery store I saw people, but that really is not much of human interaction.
There is this weird phenomenon that happens when you work from home and have no reason to leave the house. You stop dressing first. I mean what is the point of changing from your pj's if the only person who will see you is the cat. Then inexplicably taking a shower every day doesn't seem all that necessary (and yes this happens a lot. I have talked to dozens of people who have had this happen, so stop giving me that look). In fact a couple days without a shower doesn't seem like a problem. I mean you aren't going anywhere and you aren't doing anything to get dirty. Then next thing you know you have been inside in the same pj's for a week with maybe one shower thrown in there. You become incredibly lethargic. You get all pasty from lack of sunlight. You really become not the best version of you.
Then the cabin fever sets in.
I am here to tell you, cabin fever is a very real condition. Going slowly mad inside your own home...not fun.
So there I was, mid January, probably wearing three day old pajama's, making ham for dinner. I had to that point never cooked ham for the husbeast in the 5 years we had known each other. Ham always seems like a waste to cook for two people. His little brother was staying with us at the time, and so I found justification for it (well that and I wanted to make homemade mac and cheese and ham was the only thing I wanted to serve with it).
We had been in Dallas for a week over Christmas and New Years, and when we had left it was really hard on both of us. There were actually tears when we left our friends standing at the curb waving at us. I kept hearing my friend Dan say "You will be back soon." ringing in my head over and over again. It was more than a little depressing because I knew it was not true. Sure we would be down for Faire starting in February, but that was just taunting us with being someplace we liked with people we loved.
So it is reasonable to say I was not in a good mindset. Cabin fever + depression = More than a little off.
I was standing there prepping the ham when suddenly it occurred to me how ridiculous ham was. It was a revelation I had to share out loud (whether anyone was listening or not). I started questioning (mostly rhetorically mind you) why it was that you had to cook a ham. Ham's come to you precooked. I can not recall ever seeing a non pre cooked ham. Hell half of them are even presliced. So you are not exactly cooking the ham. You are more or less heating the ham. If you are one of those sick twisted people who likes fruit or sweet glazing on your ham then sure you need to apply that, but seriously now, ham is not some great culinary masterpiece. The ham is a lie. You can't really say you slaved over a ham for hours. No you didn't. The damn thing was already cooked. All you did was reheat it without burning or drying it out. It doesn't take a genius to do that.
Yes I said all of this. Out loud. Mostly to myself. While preparing the ham.
The husbeast was just outside our little one butt kitchen, sitting at the table on his computer, listening to this small exercise in hysteria happen. Apparently my state (both mental and hygenic) had been a concern of his for some time. He had not really mentioned to me the fact that he was fairly certain I was actually going insane, but he had been thinking it. A lot.
Suddenly I am startled out of my ham rant by the sound of the husbeast's large meaty fists slamming into the table top, causing his computer to rattle around a bit. I turned to him, quite startled, as he rose from his chair and loudly declared "That's it, we are moving to Dallas!"
I just blinked at him and meekly said "We don't have to have ham..."
The ham rant was the final straw. That night he called some friends in Dallas who had offered to let us stay in their spare room for mostly free until we found jobs and got on our feet. The next day he put in his two weeks notice and brought home a stack of boxes. Then two weeks later, we pulled into Dallas with our world packed in the back of a Uhaul truck, ready to start our lives fresh.
All because I find ham absurd.