Thursday, August 27, 2009


Living alone. For me that means I don't do anyone's laundry or dishes. I don't worry when he is getting home. I don't worry about when Im getting home. No one eats my leftovers. I don't have to wait at the door when its time to go out while he searches for his keys. I don't have to consider the question, "Have you seen my phone" at absurdly short intervals. And I wear my softest and least sexy flannel gown to bed, watch tv till I fall asleep.

Which is a more natural state? Living alone or being with someone everyday? If I had the money, I would keep a place to retreat, a place not to be tangled up in someone else's consciousness, moods and daily emotional upkeep.

I would like that arrangement in part because it's a constant reminder that nothing is permanent. When people get used to a living situation, we get used to thinking that its always going to be that way.
Striking the same routine year-round allows us to wear those filters that prevent us from dwelling on all the things in life that don't happen, until they do.

Im supposed to be writing about how long distance relationships add excitement to a relationship. But as I watch him pack, all I could think about is neurosis. Because when I see my partner dump his entire sock drawer into the suitcase, I feel anxious and insecure. No matter what the facts may be, it certainly looks like someone is leaving me. So its a fraught scenario, watching him prepare to leave.
The 2 of us tend to be morose at this time, but we don't fight, we do that when we get back together. These fights occur on a larger canvas when a couple moves in together.

Most couples, though, tend to settle in for the long haul, choosing their battles and compromises as they go along, often with remarkable patience. this balancing act gets thrown out of whack when you're apart for a while and you get used to a certain amount of freedom. A partner tasting freedom speels fights. And they can be nasty.

After the fighting, there's the good part. The frisson created be absence, the thrill of sleeping with someone who is slightly unfamiliar (and not too unfamiliar). You get to reintroduceyourself. When you haven't seen someone for a while, you notice those things you wouldn't notice when you live with that person, or you feel them. The way tyou have dinner with a friend and she looks much more exhausted than she did the last time you saw her and you talk about what has happened between then and now. You see your spouse more clearly with a little distance. Being apart and then together is a reminder that time is passing, that you'd better take note of it. And that's always a good, if bittersweet thing. Suddenly the need to attend to another person's oddities don't seem as onerous as it did when you were alone.

All told, I have to say our arrangement works out well for us.

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