Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I have been part of a couple for a rather long time - we are, indeed, just embarking on our second decade. So I always wonder how much of pre-TOH me remains. The essential imprint is there, obviously, but it occurs to me that after a reasonable length of time one's patterns of behaviour might change. A qualifier: I'm not talking about values, self-worth, independence of character, or anything like that (as in I don't know how I survived before my man, as I'm so dependent on him). Instead, this is about domestic behaviour - cleaning up, eating, drinking, tv-watching, slobbing about - how much of that do I do with or without him. This only really applies to the last five years of living together, rather than going out while living separately.

My sense of self and choices are always tested when TOH or I go out of town. Obviously, that depends on the length of the trip - if he's away for a couple of days it's not quite the same as being apart for a couple of weeks. However, even the couple of days are useful barometers for what I'm craving, or choose first to do, almost in an act of teenage rebellion (apt given that I was a teenager when we first got together). He went down to DC on Monday, and is back home late tonight. What did I do? I ate aubergines and string cheese (he dislikes them both rather intensely); I played Wii; I played squash and am going to the gym tonight. I didn't really have any pants tv to watch (ANTM being on tonight) and my Netflix timing was poor, with my new tv series arriving today; otherwise that's definitely what I would have done last night. I also got up and arrived at the office increasingly late in the morning, preferring to slob around in my dressing gown in the mornings and watch Pat Kiernan and ESPN.

What to learn from this? Not sure, really. It's all interconnected with that year in BCN when I was apart from TOH for weeks at a time, and really had to learn to live for and by myself because there was no one else to whom I was accountable. Echoes of that feeling of loneliness and self-reliance remain, so I treat myself to "indulgences" because I don't like it when he's gone. It's just interesting to me that those "indulgences" are not merely being a slob, which is how I tend to think of myself generally.

However, slobbishness is DEFINITELY coming to town next week with Thanksgiving - hurrah for more food than a stomach should see in four days!


Anonymous said...

CONGRATULATIONS! MANY! I wish you more movies, more food, more drinks, more wonderful trips, double all of them in your next decade of LOVE!

I know that when Ch is not here, I am much more productive, I do much more light reading, and I sleep a lot and wake up earlier. I would like to be able to be on more regular schedule, the way I am when he's away, but, really, watching Jon Steward and The Colbert report every night with him while he scratches my head is the highlight of my day...I'd rather read less.

But the question is a good one and one I also ask myself from time to time.


pumpkin said...

Yeah, I sometimes think I'm more productive, healthier without him, and then I realise it's only because his absence shows into sharp relief his presence. I'd swap all and any aubergines for the time on the sofa at the end of the day.

TOH said...


Man beats Aubergine!

pumpkin said...

Don't get too comfortable, there - I didn't claim anything about courgettes...