Well, so this post will probably resemble more closely the stuff I was writing in the early months of the blog, and I’m sure it’s basically going to read like a page from one of my gazillion half-started journals. Pick a year, it’s all the same basically.
So it’s love trouble, of course. Here’s the situation: The Lady Friend and I have been dating for quite some time now, and I’ve gotten to the place where it feels like we should be living together. I can’t just say, “I want us to live together,” because I think deep down in my damaged child of divorce little boy heart I just want to be left alone in my room to feel sorry for myself and play with my toys however and whenever I want.
But really, we should be living together. I’ve done it twice before, and I know that there are some serious benefits that come along with and make up for the sacrifice of personal space and freedom. I’ve even convinced myself that her three cats would be fun to have around…comforting and such.
So, after Lady Friend had finished a slow emotional breakdown involving thinking she’s done with life in NY and wants to move to a different city nearby, coupled with the apparent anguish I was causing her by implying she should find people to give her cats away to (which had caused her to take it just seriously enough to enact in her imagination the heartbreak that separation would entail), I said: “Forget about all that shit, would you like to move in with me instead? You can keep the cats.” And she said “OMG yes, that would be amazing and fantastic, etc.”
And all this exposition here has got me marveling at how cynical and cold and inhuman I am, but it isn’t like that, really.
Not 30 minutes after we agree to move in together here at my place, she starts pointing out all the signs that I’m not really into it. Fast forward to earlier this week. We had a meaningless fight on the phone in which I was trying to describe some hipsters I had seen in the window of one of my favorite local bars, but she wasn’t quite following. And then she had no idea what I meant when I said that one guy had this cap on, you know, like The Irish stereotypically wear? An Irish cap? Sort of pinched in the front with the bill?
She wasn’t getting it (“Like in Lucky Charms?” she wanted to know), I was getting frustrated, and this was scaring her. She was shrinking/wilting like a violet. This is something she tends to do and I’ve recently begun to have moments in which I can’t deal with it anymore… It’s like reaching your arm through a fence to grab a ball you lost on the other side, but you accidentally push it a little out of reach. And then it slooooowly rolls back, only to slide away under the pressure of your extended fingers. Maddening when it happens a lot.
Anyway, she ended the call, I spent the night text-apologizing for being a dick. And I WAS being a dick. But at some point doesn’t a couple have to be able to relax and let it out a little? Like I wasn’t calling her names, my voice wasn’t raised TOO much; I was just excited and really wanted to share, and she wasn’t getting it… (some context: when we have conversations in person, or even when I’m answering direct questions, she has a tendency to stop listening, instead sort of glazing over and doing that thing where you get distracted by looking at someone’s mouth moving instead of hearing the words coming out of it. So I’m a little sensitive to her not listening). I’m not saying she’s the bad guy, but can’t a girl just go, “Hey, you were a dick, but I get it”?
Instead it evolved last night into her theory that I don’t really want her to move in with me. This in turn under my examination evolved into “Maybe I have some reservations, which are the normal guy reservations, but I think I’m not the only one, can you explore your own?”… To which her delayed response has been, “My reservations are that your reservations are making you a dick and I don’t want to be stuck with that.”
Reasonable? yes. A cop-out? yes. That most recent conversation didn’t end well. It didn’t really end at all. I clammed up because what i have to say to that isn’t proper phone conversation, and she took my clamming up to be seething rage or cold indifference or something else coming from me. So we said polite goodbyes and that was it.
Here’s the thing (and I’ll wrap this up because when it gets this long I feel like I’m imposing on the one random person who’s stumbled on this blog), I wasn’t a dick because we are suddenly moving in together and I resent her for it. I was a dick because generally that’s who I am right now and probably forever more. I can’t stand my job, my neighborhood is stale, and I don’t spend any time on friendships or creative projects anymore (like i ever really did?). I get punchy and spunky and sarcastic. I’m super good natured and really care about the people I care about, but I like to cut loose and be rough around the edges. And she doesn’t. I agree that her way is infinitely better, and I’ve been able to play along sometimes, and really feel how warm and great it all is. But I’m afraid I can’t keep it up much longer.
So this is more than a fight about how the thought of her two litter boxes stinking up my apartment has made me cranky, it’s something really close to deciding whether the differences in our personalities are more important than the similarities or not. That’s break-up level talk. I don’t think I’m up to that just yet. I still think deep down that Lady Friend is more like my style of rough quick banter than she thinks… and I’m less combative deep down once I get to a secure, rewarding place in life. I could be wrong about us, but if we take the present snapshot for the whole deal I think we’re gonna end up splitting. And I really don’t want to do that.