I had such a nice weekend with James. He came home early on Friday night with a suit case in one hand and a Starbuck's Mocha Frappucino for me in the other hand. For James, this is a rare "I'm thinking of you treat" on normal occasions. After a five day business trip, this constitutes nothing other than a miracle. I glanced over at the one crucifix I own, expecting to see Jesus himself give me a wink, but nothing angelic, Godlike or supernatural was at play. My husband was just happy to be home.
James is such an interesting creature, because he claims to be the most content when we spend time together at home. But often this togetherness constitutes him quiety watching tv, or slowly puttering with a car engine, while I ferociously write, demonically clean or race after the kids. We're hardly the super couple who can't walk, drink or use the toilet without consent from the other. And yet, after this period apart, it became oddly apparent that our individual lives have increasingly blended into no other than a whole, fulfilling life. Like a clock, the second hand runs circles around the minute hand (guess which hand is James and which is me?) but without both devices, time wouldn't be kept.
I always joked with James that if he ever left me for a hot chickie, I'd find someone else. My theory: there will always be some man fatter or older than me who will think I'm a hot number. And while I still adhere to this philosophy, I have to admit that I can see why people get so messed up when their parnter of many years divorces them, cheats on them, or dies. It takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears (and hopefully some laughs) to build a life together. And this life does not magically appear in the form of "I do." It's "I know James likes his Green Tea Frappucino without whipped cream." It's him knowing my beverage of choice is a large ice tea from McDonalds with extra ice, half Lemonade Light. A life is a glance from him that tells me whether he wants to eat, wants to be quiet, wants to talk or wants to do all three. A life is some times less a glance and shouting at the top of our lungs on the driveway "Stop acting like an selfish asssssssssssss.... you asssssssssssssss!" A life is a me promising to chat with him after the kids go to bed, only to fall asleep on the couch (which he is more than aware I will do, which is why he brings the blanket in from the office).
It's a strange realization and balance that partnerships of any kind must keep - this holding on to our own identities but being grateful, and working towards, whatever union makes us happy.
Did I think 10 years ago I'd end up with a computer guy? Hell no. But did I hope to have a house and kids, a writing career and a group of friends that enrich me? Yes. Did I think, during all my times of despair over career, relationships and family I'd end up in this place of relative perspective? Double hell no.
I guess when ex-boyfriends, ex-boss's and ex-friends told me to "Get a Life" I actually listened.