Those are the men who are partnered with those whose devotions are divided. At times, it seems, they love their academia more than they love us. Long hours are spent at the computer composing articles or, less likely, syllabi, or even in the classroom (and the occasional office hours), while the academic widowers are left to pine, and wonder about their partners' loyalties.
I made a dinner consisting of foie gras, cheese, Ritz crackers, and a box of the finest wine I could locate. For dessert there would be scones. At 6:30 pm it was ready.
But where was My Professor?
My Professor returned from the academic conference stumbling drunk and questionably stained at 11:45. I said nothing, only crossed my arms and sighed.
"Well, the wine'sh shtill good," she slurred, pouring a glass. "And you got my fav'rite kin', too. How shweet."
"I thought you'd be back in time for dinner," I said, as dignified as possible.
"You know how theshe confrenshesh get," she said, between gulps. "I'm shorry. I'm shorry you went t' all the trouble."
"You're my partner. It's no 'trouble'."
"You sheem troubled." Hiccup.
"I'm troubled, but it's no trouble."
"You and your shentimental idiom!" Three more drinks.
"Stop using your vocabulary on me. You know I hate it when you use your vocabulary."
She examined her glass. "The volume is troublingly low," she said, to herself (not to me, no not at all), and refilled the glass. Then she turned her head in my direction and almost looked at me from below her heavy eyelids. "My vocabulary, ash you call it, ish th' only way t' deal with you when you get catachrishtic. Ooh, I'm not sure I ushed that properly--"
I sighed again. It was the only appropriate response when she got like this. This was my burden. For I loved her. I loved my academic.