Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Love is Not Petty

Which is why I am out of breath from having quickly made the bed after having left it unmade all day out of pettiness.

See, I have no need on my own to make my bed - in case you haven't figured that out yet - but it is important to someone else.  It makes her day start orderly. 

When I sleep in - after she's left - I have made the bed.  I have written in here how it is an act of love.  But, I have learned to get out of the bed quickly when she does, hoping, expecting that since the making of the bed is important to her, she will make it before she goes. 

Which she has.

Until this morning.  She gave me an evil laugh as she walked out the door and said, "Yeah, I'm leaving it like that..."

To which petty me responded, internally, "Well, then, won't you be surprised when you come home and see that so did I?"

Luckily, I didn't say it out loud.  And she's not quite yet home.

Remembering that I had stated only last week that making the bed was a way of saying "I love you", and given that she said she started her day feeling bitchy, I decided it wouldn't be particularly nice of me to leave it and have her wonder, even for a millisecond, if I didn't love her...

And here she comes through the door... :)

The Other Voices...

When you live with someone, it doesn't take long, sometimes, to realize you now live your life under the microscope.  There is someone there to hear you (and, er, smell you) when you toot.  Someone who realizes that all you eat is cookies.  Someone who discovers that you have no idea how to use ______.  That you never ______.  That you always ______.  Things about yourself that you manage to hide from the world when you live alone. 

In really "fun" relationships, the other person will often share their observations... usually with a little derision.  And those observations stick with you.  If you're really lucky, you'll hear those voices long after you no longer share space with that person.  (Yes, that *was* sarcasm....)

Sometimes, even, these things end up being buttons.  Things that gnaw at your self esteem, things that are buttons that others might inadvertently trip over, things that create secretive behavior.


And this is the fun awkward point of the blog entry.  The point of the post where I know that if I don't admit it here that later I'm sure I'll be asked as to what prompted the post.  Well.. uh... there is a bag of cookies sitting beside me.  A half empty bag of cookies.  And well, to admit, that last week I actually put an empty bag of cookies back into the cupboard to make it seem as if I took an extra day to finish them off. 


It is funny, though, how those other voices stay in your head.  So that when your significant other comes home and asks, "__________" you suddenly hear a completely different question.  Suddenly that question is loaded.  And you find yourself already being defensive about a question that hasn't even been asked. 

It is important and yet impossible when you start a new relationship to leave the baggage at the door.  To give the person that you are with an opportunity to just be themselves.  To see them for them, and not for all the other people who might have come before them.  To enjoy the moment.  To not read more into "________" than a polite enquiry by someone who cares about you. 

And as I secretively nosh on a few more cookies before she comes home, I know that the voices I hear chastising me for eating so much sugar aren't hers.  They are the voices of others. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013


So, as we wind up the third month of the year, I have come to realize I have written less posts this YEAR so far than an average month last year. 

Kait takes the blame. 

But I don't know that I would blame her, although certainly, her presence in my life has filled up some of the holes that I used the blog to fill.  (Don't over-analyze that too much, I don't want to...)

Some of it, I will admit, is when I am inspired, I may be spending time with her, and it's not the same as spending time with oneself to pull away and write.  Like before I wrote that last sentence, which I had composed in my head, she put her head on my computer and smiled at me and suddenly all I wanted to do was close this window and kiss her.  Except she's been sick.  Or last night, when I was having this wonderful inspiration, but I didn't want to get out of bed to write it.  Not only didn't I want to wake myself, but I didn't want to risk waking her.

But frankly, that's as much an excuse as anything (except these last few days she's been home sick) because frankly I have five days - ALL DAY - when she isn't here.  When I would have plenty of time, to say, have a full-time job, let alone write a silly little blog like this. 

It's been two weeks, and I feel fairly at home here.  Kind of surprising but really kind of nice. 

Canada is still a foreign country, but I have lost track of how many hockey games I have watched - either in full or even partial while flipping (kindly) from some place else.  I am learning how to translate Celsius to get an idea - 10 degrees is now warm.  Still trying not to pay attention to the fact that there are 3.78 liters litres to the gallon and at $1.39 per litre, gas is OVER $5/gallon.  I have made it to the library.  Twice.  Getting a refresher in French by reading labels at the grocery. 

(Yes, by the way, there IS a Canuck's game on, so Kait is not paying as close attention to me as she might otherwise... Given the consolidated hockey schedule, I probably have EVEN more time to write, and there is even less reason to blame Kait).

But when I think about where I was a year ago... it is such a different place from where I am now.  I had no idea my life would change so much in such a short amount of time, but really, I give myself a break and recognize that this change was a long time coming.

I miss some parts of my old life.  Some people, mostly.  But I am happy here.  I am getting into routines (see my last post). 

Tomorrow - if she's feeling better and goes to work - I will try to reinsert this whole blog-writing thing back into my routines.  Because I still have things to say and share. 

Even if life (or Kait) gets in the way.... ;)

Friday, March 22, 2013


Hmm... as my hands dry from the third .. or is it fourth?.. time washing dishes today, I can't help but wonder how I became domesticated so quickly. 

Think of me - generally - as having more the habits of a guy (I know, guys, you're probably better than me, so forgive me the insult).  For the last three years, I've lived alone.  Answered to no-one, had few guests, and so chores were, well, optional.  Except laundry.  Don't worry, I did laundry.  Although I did learn how to make certain items of clothing last longer.... (I also own many, many, many pairs of underwear.. oops TMI)

Make my bed? Why? I was gonna be back in it later that night.. Aw hell, who am I kidding? If I was at home, I'd be back in it within a few minutes, getting out usually just to go to the fridge or the bathroom or something.  I was the only one using my toilet, and I had no pets (for the most part), so there was no reason to put the lid down.  My bathroom was spacious enough it wasn't as if I had things above the toilet waiting to fall in.  As long as I could get back and forth to the fridge and the bathroom and the front door, who really cared if there were clothes, or books or other things on other parts of the floor?  If I had plenty of clean dishes (and I had plenty of sets of dishes) what was the rush in washing the dishes?

Well, I wasn't necessarily that bad...

Oh, wait, that's right, my girl reads this, I can't get away with that...

But it's been just under two weeks here, and I have been quite domesticated.  If I'm still in bed when she leaves in the morning, I make the bed.  (Usually not until about 3 PM or so, but still...).  And if she's here, I often help her make it.  I've learned to put the lid down on the toilet because the bathroom is, shall we say, cozy.  I don't always get it right.  I've learned to pull the shower curtain shut before drying my towel, so that it won't get mildewy on the bottom.  And, I've learned how to wash dishes after every meal (or right before she comes home, whichever works...), and put the dishes away, even. 

I have been domesticated. 

It's not necessarily a bad thing.  I'm not sure if I ended up living on my own again any time soon (and I'm not hoping for this, understand) I'd probably quickly revert to my slovenly ways.  Because I understand very well what the motivation is for doing them now.  (Hopefully you haven't eaten any time soon, because I might make you gag....)  The motivation is "Love". 

Now, it would *PROBABLY* be more loving if I didn't point it out every time she came home, "Hey, babe? Look, I made the bed!  You know what this says?" She's started to roll her eyes at this point, and frankly, I can't blame her... "It says, 'I love you!'" 

I do these things because it makes HER happy.  And that's reason enough.  And that, my friends, is how I have become domesticated. 

P.S.  I'm sure I still have quite a ways to go... but I am a work in progress at least... ;)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

O Canada...

.. I need a router, away, you wired Internet...

(to be sung to the tune of O Shenandoah...)

Well, folks, here I am in... you guessed it... Canada.

We got Internet today, but despite having had my hands on three OTHER routers in the last three weeks, I can't seem to put my hands on one of them today.

Well.. the wire still works. 

And, here's the thing.....

If this is the worst thing that happens to me today? Not such a bad day.... :)

But for those who were wondering / worrying... and who didn't catch a few random tweets passing along the news, I made it the 2,600 miles to my new home. 

I'm working on learning the TRUE words and tune to the Canadian National anthem. 

Oh, and by the way, hockey IS as big up here as we joke that it is... eh? Eh!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Risky Business....

... and yes, you do show your age, if what you just thought about was a 16 year old Tom Cruise sliding along in his whitey-tighties...

The whole relationship business is a risky business.  I have just spent the last week with my family working on condensing some of my belongings that were in storage to a smaller amount.  Getting rid of some of the vestiges of my last long-term committed relationship.  And if that weren't enough impetus to send me down memory lane and throw up some red flags regarding the risk of relationships, the ex whom I hadn't heard from in two years decided to rear her ugly head. 

My family is concerned about this move to Vancouver - rightly so, in theory - because of the risk it may not work out. 

It may not work out. 

That's true.

A crappy possibility, but a possibility nonetheless. 

And here's the thing.  If it doesn't work out, the folks here in this small town have made quite clear to me that I am welcome back.  And Robin Sparkles, who also lives on the West Coast, could probably tolerate me as a short-term room-mate if it didn't work out. 

If it didn't work out, what I have learned from the last relationship, is that it isn't the end of the world.

Now, for awhile there, that wasn't clear.  My ex was a frightening mentally ill woman who made the last few months I was living in the same state with her, let alone home, hell.  Actually, she made hell look good...

Needless to say, I haven't really missed her.  I'd like to.  I'd like to have fond memories of the time we've spent together.  I'd like to remember the woman I did fall in love with fondly, and just think it was a shame that it didn't work out.

But it REALLY didn't work out in the end. 

I've spent a lot of time the last three and a half - nearly four now - years trying to figure out what I could have done differently.  IF I could have done anything differently.  IF I should have left earlier than I did.  Trying to solve the "problem" so that I could avoid repeating the mistakes.

I've been looking at that a lot more intensely these last six months as I've embarked upon this new relationship.

Because even though it may not work out, I know you'll be surprised to discover that isn't my preference. 

It is easy - perhaps even preferable - to blame it all on the ex's mental illness.  It's simpler that way, right?  But I'm not a person who can make things simple, sometimes. And, I am a person who tries to accept responsibility for my own actions. 

So what words of advice after all this reflection would I give my new love about living with me?  What can I do to prepare us for a good life?  And how can I enter this new life without the insecurities planted by the old one?

I think I've healed.  I'd like to think I've healed.  I hope I've healed.

But then she comes back, two years after the last contact, the last thrashing of me, and rears her ugly head.  Her e-mails start off sounding reasonable, normal, even pleasant.  Well-wishing, peaceful, still loves me and forgives me.  But it doesn't take long before the anger bursts forth. 

That's always fun...

Particularly fun to have dumped on you when you're excited and happy for new changes and new possibilities in your life... and trying to get a lot of stuff done so you can take that next step...

Particularly when you wonder when the next shoe will drop... what is coming next... if it will ever be over.  If she will ever just let go. 

It makes a girl pause about entering into ANOTHER relationship. 

I mean apparently I've ruined the ex's life.  Is it fair for me to do that to someone else? Will I do that to someone else?

And how can I make promises of "forever" again knowing that it didn't work out the last time...?

There are no guarantees.  There simply aren't.  Relationships are a risky business...

But if we're lucky.. more time will be spent sliding across floors in our underwear together, then worrying about replacing the precious crystal egg.