When my husband quit travelling, I was thrilled – at first


One of my long-time students, Victoria O'Dea, was published for the first time last week in Canada's national newspaper, The Globe and Mail. I wasn't the least bit surprised. I've loved her writing since she first started taking my online writing classes. She balances fine writing with humour in a way that is very rare. I promise she will make you laugh out loud. She's published many stories here on the Momoir blog, but I wanted to share this story with all of you because it's so good and because I hope it will inspire you to get out there and start sending your stories out to editors.

If you have any questions for Victoria on how she got published or her writing process, ask away in the comments below.

I've posted just the first bit of her story here. To read the full version, click on the link at the end.

When my husband quit travelling, I was thrilled – at first

by Victoria O'Dea

“We’ve sold the company.” I actually gasped and clutched my chest when my husband, Mark, called from Toronto with the news.

I stopped my important business (scrubbing the dog poop out of the carpet) to hear his important business, and then I cried. Happy tears.

It was everything I had been asking the universe to make happen. For seven years.

As a geologist running a mining company, Mark was away for one-third of the year. Four months. We had three small children and no family in town. It was horrible.

There were many missed sporting events and dance recitals. We could rarely commit to a social engagement because Mark’s schedule was sporadic, and we never had much notice of when he would be leaving.

I would often hear on Monday, “I’m flying to New York tomorrow and Boston on Wednesday. I might be back Friday.”

Every kid ended up in ER while Mark was away. I had pneumonia. Holly had hand, foot and mouth disease; Lily had fifth’s disease, and Logan had leprosy. Okay, maybe it was just really bad diarrhea, but it felt like it was leprosy.

For seven years, Mark has been either preparing for a trip or recovering from a trip when at home. His jet lag left everyone exhausted.

We celebrated the buyout with dinner and champagne and talked about our new freedom. We made plans and shared fantasies.

“I can make dinner every night,” Mark said with wonder. “I can walk the girls to school. I can tuck the kids into bed. I can plant a garden. I can fish. I can set up my recording studio and start a band. It is going to be amazing.”

“I can get a Pap test without someone sitting on my stomach,” I said with delight.

Mark was planning on taking four months off before pursuing a new professional adventure. The universe had listened.

About a week after the big news, I had a dream. In my dream, I had 13 minutes to sit down and have a cup of tea before I had to wake up Logan from his nap before we picked up his sisters from school.

I had emptied the dishwasher twice, done five loads of laundry, read stories, played Lego, coloured a dragon, kissed countless boo-boos, played goalie with a Styrofoam sword, shopped for groceries with a two-year-old I was trying to potty train, and put dinner in the crock pot.

Mark walked in, looked at my cup of tea and said: “So, this is what you do all day?”

I woke up gasping and clutching my chest. He’s going to be home all the time.

To read the rest of this story, please click here.

5 Responses to “When my husband quit travelling, I was thrilled – at first”

  1. Sarah M says:

    It’s great to see this, Victoria! Congratulations on publishing it. It’s a terrific piece and I’m so glad it’s getting the wide circulation it deserves. Please do tell the story of getting it into The Globe and Mail.

  2. Colleen says:

    Great story – I love the real-life humor.  This is a writer I'd like to follow.  It begs for a follow-up – how does it work out with Dad at home?  Three children – a treasure trove of material!  At least 'til their tweens, is my guess.

  3. erin says:

    Awesome, as always, Victoria. Don't take any of the nay-sayer comment crap (on the Globe and Mail), some people have nothing better to do than try to bring you down, when all you did was write a humerous and honest glimpse into what many of us feel.

  4. Kristen says:

    Dear Victoria,
    Congratulations!  This is really fantastic!  Your combination of intelligence and humor is always breathtaking, and I'm thrilled your story is out there in the big world.  I agree–don't read the comments–somehow I don't think you have the time to read them anyway. Your story is out there, and that's what matters!

  5. erin says:

    I have to say again how much I love this piece, and have passed it on. I only remark about comments because I was agast at the things people said after I had a piece in the G and M. But my husband reminded me, some people have no lives…and are total jerks. He might have used a different word.

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