Saturday, November 27, 2010

I Understand, I Think, Finally

My parents - Dr. T and Blind Betsy - separated for the final time when I was about 12.

I'm not sure they called it a separation. My dad just decided one day to move 150 miles away from us.

It's possible they'd discussed all of us going. I don't know. I suspect they probably did. I suspect too that my father made the decision to go all by his own self and then was surprised upon making the big announcement that we were all moving, once again, to BFE Wyoming when my mother said, ""

I'm also fairly certain - I have a vague memory of it - that he was surprised too when my mom filed for divorce...finally...when I was 14. Seriously, Dude? WTF?

Anyway. That's not the point.

After the divorce, my dad wasted no time jumping back into the dating pool. He's never remarried but he's had serious relationships with three women - this last one having spanned nearly as many years as he was married to my mom.

My mom on the other hand, never did date much - as far as I know - after the divorce. She was involved with a man who lived clear across the country for a few years. I don't know how serious it was...I think, pretty serious, on her part, at least...but beyond that, there's been no one of consequence.

She's told me several times that a man would have to be utterly extraordinary to get her to consider giving up her own bathroom again.

Up until now, I've always taken her to mean literally.

And there's truth to that in the literal sense. Having only one bathroom in the Grotto, I've had to learn to compromise on the duration of my bubble bath soaks. Luckily, Lex is extraordinary. So I really don't mind.

Thanksgiving night though, I had an epiphany.

Metaphorically, my mom's desire to have her own bathroom has little to do with the actual room itself. It represents, instead, her desire for her own life, her own friends, her own activities without having to blend them with someone else's idea of what that life should look like. She answers to no one except herself. She doesn't have to compromise at home for the sake of keeping the peace or keeping someone else happy.

She did an awful lot of compromising for 20 odd years and still neither of them were happy. So, she exchanged compromise for happiness...and her own bathroom. And what a bathroom she has (metaphorically speaking...please pay attention)! She has an amazing life!

I haven't been in a serious romantic relationship - one where I gave up my own bathroom - since N8 the G8 left back in 2002. Sure, there've been a few people here and there - people I had strong feelings for - since then. None of those relationships made it past the 6-month mark though. Certainly none of them required me to share a bathroom long term.

And since I de-constructed my life, figured out my priorities, and re-built my life into something I am immensely proud of and fully enjoy, the search for a serious relationship has gotten relegated to the storage space in the back of a large cargo van.

I've got a crazy amount of crazy friends! In fact, planning Church o' Brunch or Beaujolais Nouveau supper parties, or Thanksgiving is actually quite difficult because I can't invite everyone I would. My heart has room for everyone but the Grotto and my wallet have strict limitations.

I am busy nearly all the time. It's a rare week indeed where I've got nothing at all planned with several someones somewhere. I pack it (and them) all in and I am content.

So, Thanksgiving. There I am, working with Lex to get the house in order, so that the Third Annual Thanks In and For the Grotto with the Duck my Puppy crew (and a few that've been added over the years) can commence - Thanksgiving is reserved for them is Christmas - and I am happy.

The guests arrive one by one and there are hugs, kisses, gropes, laughs - ginormous belly laughs, incredible food and fellowship.

And I look around at all of the lovelies in my home and I wonder...would I give this up? Is there a man so extraordinary, I'd be willing to compromise away the annual Grotto Thanksgiving?

That isn't to be taken lightly. Ever.

And the answer, right now, is I don't know.

But it makes caution and conversations like this one that much more important to have.

Are we even in the same car?
A year ago: Gobble-de-gook

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