Sunday, December 21, 2008

I Do ... I Don't

Okay, this whole togetherness thing is waaayyyy overrated. It appears that one of the major precepts of marriage, critical to the Judeo-Christian way of life, is a lie.

You know that whole "till death do you part" thing? That whole walking into the sunset, holding hands, with maybe a Viagra moment or two to break it up thing? It's a lie, a damned lie.

That stuff works fine if you have a job and go to work, oh, say, 40 hours a week. With commute that brings it up about 50 or 60. Throw in sleep, knitting groups, book groups, a trip to the grocery or two, and maybe an hour or two in the pedicure chair every so often, and that brings time with your spouse (or in this case, semi-spouse) down to about 49 hours a week, or really the time spent on another job. Hell, you can blow most of that playing solitaire on the computer or blogging or some other useless task.

Do-able, right? Well, yes, in some parallel universe, I guess.

In the olden days, when men had prey to hunt, crops to plant, animals to feed and milk, trees to chop, they were off doing things most of the day. The wife could go about her business of keeping the house and children without too much interference. In our own time, men can go out into the woods with other men to kill defenseless animals or hit balls around a golf course or ride motorcycles or attend sporting events with other men.

This is the glue that holds relationships together. Apart time.

I really do understand why the gays and lesbian groups are fighting for the right to marriage--civil marriage or religious marriage, who cares? I get that you need legal connections and some of us need spiritual connectivity to another person. But we still need apart time. We may need our spouses attached on paper, but the bottom line is, we need space, room to breathe, quiet time, whatever you want to call it. Or I do.

No, I'm serious--I do! I have had a man--Mr. Pug--joined to me at the hip for over a week now. It feels like he's joined to my jugular vein, and he's bleeding me dry.

Where I go, he goes.

What I do, he does ... or at least he comments on.

If I eat it, he wants some too. Or wants to tell me why it's not worth eating. Or how he could have made it better on the grill.

If the phone rings, he assumes it's for him. On the rare occasion it's for me, he wants to know who I'm talking to, what's going on in that person's life, who they voted for, and what their view on the auto bailout is.

If I take the trash out, he reminds me to keep the lid closed and that it really shouldn't go to the street until Thursday morning and that it needs to be brought back to the house promptly on Thursday afternoon. It wouldn't hurt to wipe it off with a damp cloth.

If the dogs seem fussy, he advises me on how to properly feed them (open can, dump, add dry food, put food bowls down and get hands out of the way).

If, God help me, I read a book, he asks questions about what I'm reading. If it's the newspaper, he has already read it and left it crinkled and crumpled.

If the mail has come, he wants his right away. If it hasn't, he's fussing about why the mail lady is 17.3 minutes later than she was yesterday.

If I'm knitting, he wants to discuss the intricacies of the pattern (what is that curved implement and why are you pushing it into the yarn--it's a cable holder, for God's sake! Shut up!) or the dying process that causes the yarn to be different colors--it's a miracle, I say, a miracle!

I have received helpful critiques on my driving (wow, you really hug the right side of the road, don't you? watch out for that red light! there's a cop up ahead--you might want to slow down), laundry techniques (if you fold the towels in thirds, you can get more onto the shelf), cooking (that last bunch of cookies was a little crunchy, hon--maybe if you took them out earlier?)

The one place he's uninterested in is the computer. That's why you'll find me here--blogging and knitting and pretending I'm single and live alone. I'm not hiding. I'm in here breathing all by myself in blissful silence. Ahhhhhhhh ....

Is this what retirement is like? If so, I'll be working until I'm 90 (or in woman's years, 75).


Becca said...

You have my totalsympathy. My husband is now home for leave for the next few weeks. Honestly, I fear for retirement, too.

ddknits said...

Well actually it could be worse. I know an older couple from my hometown who are lovely people, but the husband, Henry, is in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's. He constantly follows his wife around and even sleeps with his head on her pillow. I don't think he comments on her cooking or reading, just requires her constant presence. Except for one saving grace. He loves to mow the lawn. Needless to say she's constantly buying gas for the lawnmower just to have some space. I'm sure she'd send him to all the neighbors' houses if she could get him to go.

Have you tried giving him more painkillers so he will sleep more?