I’ve learned that it takes a while for him to answer, because, oddly to me, he thinks before speaking instead of thinking THROUGH speaking.
“Well, I totally agree with you, so go ahead and write it.”
As much as I love Steve and love our life, I really believe we could both be happy with someone else. Probably lots of other people.
I don’t have to look any further than my mother to see evidence to support my soulmate debunking.
After a 40 year marriage, and 12 dateless, celibate years of widowhood without a hint of yearning to be coupled up she has fallen again. Head over heels in love. So smitten that she says, without a hint of irony, that her boyfriend “has no carbonon footprint.” It is the modern version of walking on water, and to her he does.
She had a passionate and extremely close relationship with my father, and now she loves again, differently but completely.
I am told frequently how lucky I am to have Steve. And I feel happy, but not lucky. First of all, I was married before, and had figured out some characteristics that would set my next husband apart from my first. Little details like employment, and a substance light existence. So I set out to find him. At the dog park. At 5:30. Because that is when working people take their dogs to the park.
Like most really solid relationships the beginning was easy and blissful. The first date that stretched for days, the virtual move-in, the easy communication, and never having to guess what the other one was thinking. For those of you in the does she doesn’t she, what magical combination of actions/ulitmatums should I take to get him/her to commit stage of a relationship I submit to you that the great ones are always easy at the beginning. You start with a base of confidence.
After that it gets tricky. You load the dishwasher differently. You have contrasting sleep cycles. You think his music sounds like shouting. He thinks your music sounds like whining. You are used to getting your way, he is used to giving people their way. It seems like that is a good thing, but you realize this is not a partnership and you help him learn how to say no to you and then you regret it. Because its better when he says yes yes yes.
And each morning, sometimes many times a day you choose each other again. You choose to ignore the spark you feel with someone else. You swallow your nagging, and ask would he be willing…and realize that is just nice nagging and nag even less. There is something on most Y chromosomes that disallows the ability to see crumbs, but you remind yourself that other things are mapped on that chromosome- like lawn mowing, and light fixing. And although you both know he can see the crumbs and you can mow the lawn you just go about it like this. Your balance untested.
And he works, and cooks, and mostly patiently puts the kids to bed, and you stay home, and do less, and he never once mentions that. When you pull apart. Which you do, like everything else natural it is cyclical, one of you labels it and you grab lunch or find something to laugh about and really kiss on the lips instead of brushing the cheek. You try to look him in the eye when he says goodbye instead of tweeting and waving.
And you start it all again tomorrow.
I’m in a rush to post this today, and the other posts swimming in my head. The ones where the woman leaving the cafe looks up from walking down the step and catches my eye and it is as if she broke open. I can just see into her, and I nod and smile to show we shared this moment and she says “thanks.” And I think “thanks,” is there a better syllable that she could have uttered. Probably not, and her socks are pulled up really high and her skin is flaking, and I wonder if she is older than Robert and she probably isn’t. And remember how we are all finite and we shared that tiny bit.
I want to write these things, and about Leo singing and the boys negotiating smart food and Leo telling me how he asked god to be born and god made him come to earth and he hasn’t had god talk to him since then. I want to put them here so I remember them tomorrow.
This love, connection, and feeling that working to be in a committed monogamous relationship is not a grind, but a great gift is about to go. I am pretty much two people, and I am ovulating so I am about to be the person to whom cereal bowls say “fuck you” and the chirping of birds means a mother has died. And every time. EVERY TIME. I think that knowing it is coming and labeling it will protect me, act as a panacea agains the gloom, and sluggishness. But it doesn’t. So I will be her tomorrow with her thin skin, and pervasive judgement.
And I will choose again, to stay with Steve and stay with my life, and I will force lots of stuff until the forcing it isn’t hard and it becomes real again.
So this was supposed to be about how I don’t believe in soul mates. I had stories to tell about friends who thought they would be alone, couldn’t find that just right connection and then they did. Instead I will say, we have many possible lives. Look at yours. Choose it or change it, because tomorrow you may not be in a place to do either. And I mean that in the most optimistic way.