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Cornelius News


MODERN DAD | By Jon Show

Jan. 7. The Mother of Dragons is returning to her office this month at 550 South Tryon Street. Because of COVID she has been working from home – or WFH as we apparently now call it – since March 16, 2020.

That’s 22 months of WFH. Not that anyone’s counting.

When she began WFH 95 weeks ago—not that anyone’s counting—we transformed a corner of our bedroom into her office.

Her desk is the vanity that she bought in the winter of 2020, back when she used to need a mirror to get ready for work. She sits on a decorative wooden chair that is augmented with two couch pillows. Her WFH isn’t what you’d call ergonomic.

The cushy lounge chairs where we once sipped weekend coffee to get away from the children now serve as a filing cabinet of sorts. It’s more of a filing stack. Her WFH isn’t what you’d call organized.

I tried a few times to improve her WFH situation. I mounted a docking station and second monitor on the vanity to try to replicate her regular office workstation. I also added some zip ties to corral the birds nest of cords at her feet to ease my OCD.

Loud talker

Over the last couple years I offered numerous times to turn the downstairs guest room into her office—I’m not really into having guests, anyway—but she declined each time. Besides, there are only three walls separating my office from the guest room and I’m not sure that would be enough to dampen her volume level.

You see, she talks loud. Very loud. Deafening might be a strong word choice but it’s close. Think I’m exaggerating?

I have been on multiple video calls where I was asked to mute myself because my wife, located on the complete opposite corner and on a different floor of the house—was talking so loud that she was disrupting our call.

She’s on video calls most of the day and her webcam faces the door, which makes it difficult to gain access to our bedroom or bathroom during the day. I repeatedly requested some form of door notification to inform me she was on a video call so I wouldn’t enter the room until it was over.

I was never granted that request for the proverbial dress-sock-on-a-doorknob and, thus, I consider it a crowning achievement that I only walked shirtless through one video call during her WFH time.

School daze

Having both of us WFH has been easier this year with the kids back in school.

At some point last school year we decided that—due to my more flexible work schedule and her sanity—the Mother of Dragons would have no formal involvement in the logistics of the children’s schooling during business hours.

In order to help facilitate that I spent two weeks touring office spaces, but the only affordable spot I found was one corner desk in a very small, very serene, triangle-shaped co-working space.

When I toured the space the listing manager asked me if my wife worked quietly because the other two occupants worked quietly, and I just lowered my chin and thanked him for his time.

So the Mother of Dragons remained at home but was confined to her office, which was off limits to the children. We came to refer to her office as the Ivory Tower, a metaphor used to describe the workspace of a leader who is blissfully secluded from the outside world.

For the rest of the school year she descended from the Ivory Tower only for exercise, lunch and the occasional errand, and I was left to run our home school as I saw fit, like Joe Clark patrolling the halls of Eastside High.

Gym and salads

There have definitely been some nice parts about having both of us WFH.

We go to the gym most days together around noon and I make us salads for lunch. We never eat together because she usually has a video call, but whatever.

She’s also been walking the Blonde Bomber to the bus stop and then walking the dog in the mornings. I just lounge on the couch and drink coffee and wait to bid good morning to Future Man when he descends the staircase drowning in 13-year-old angst.

Ending and beginning

But this month that all ends. No more lunch workouts or salads. The morning bus stops and dog walks are over. I will be free to wander, shirtless, into our bedroom at any hour of the day.

The Mother of Dragons will wake up early and go to the gym. She’ll come home and get ready in front of her vanity and emerge from our bedroom wearing something besides the same black stretchy pants she’s been wearing for months.

She’ll pour herself a cup of coffee and cue up her news podcast for the ride to work. She’ll wave to me and the Blonde Bomber as we head left to the bus stop and she heads right to Charlotte.

Thirty five minutes later she’ll take an elevator to the fifth floor and sit down in a real office chair behind a real desk for the first time in 665 days.

Not that anyone’s counting.

Jon Show lives in Robbins Park with his wife, who he calls “The Mother of Dragons.” Their 10-year-old son is “Future Man” and their 7-year-old daughter is “The Blonde Bomber.” Their dog is actually named Lightning.