Is It Crying Time Again?

I’m not happy with our relationship. I’ve thought over this past week or two that I might dump P. There’s been a lot going on.

  1. P told his parents about our relationship about 3-4 weeks ago. It was the first serious one for both of us. But he’s 17 years older than I am. His parents are visiting from the UK, living with P, and originally planned on staying for 3 months. A couple weeks ago on Dec 30, the morning after flying back from halfway across the world and before a shift, I met them. His mother was initially lovely. However, the day after and since then, she has barely said anything to me. P talked to her the night after we met, and she said that I seemed “sweet” but she was worried that I would dump him because I’m that much younger than him. She also wants him to find (I presume) a much more age-appropriate female to marry and produce children. Ouch. We’ve agreed that it’s not me specifically, but she’s not used to the idea. Personally, I think I have a banging ass. And his dad is totally cool and lovely.
  2. Family Stress #1. The day after I met them, a water pipe burst in his house and flooded the washroom. P was out at the time and they didn’t know where the stopcock was to turn off the water. They spent 5 hours waiting for the plumber. The cat was frightened of the plumber. Everything was wet. (I can understand if his mother wasn’t very chatty that evening, but the no conversation thing has continued past that.)
  3. Family Stress #2. I got his mother a massive bouquet that included eucalyptus and lilies. I didn’t know lilies were toxic for cats and their kidneys. So initially, they tried to keep P’s cat separate from the flowers. But then the day after the plumber, P noticed that a bunch of the leaves were eaten. So a trip to the emergency vet ($900 for one night) and 4 days at the vet ($600) made up the rest of that hellish week.
  4. Family Stress #3. This past week on Wednesday night, his parents went away to the wine region to stay with one of P’s uni mates who’s moved here with her husband and children to work and live. I dropped by after work to sleep over. At about 10pm, he got a call from the UK to say that his best friend’s mother had died. P’s parents are good friends with them as well so they were all devastated. Although this is the weekend, they don’t know whether to stay and miss the funeral of their best friend, or go home, miss half of their holiday and have P pay another $1500.

So amidst all this emotional turmoil, why would I ever consider breaking up with P? That would make me a bitch. It would be a really really cruel thing to do.

There have been a number of things going on that have made me wonder why we’re together and if this will last. I do love P. I really do. But there are deal breakers and if nothing is going to change, then we’re just wasting time and emotional energy. It would be better to end it now than waste time and be even more shattered when we break up later. So what reasons do I have?

  1. Children. P has remained steadfast in casual conversation that he likes children, and he’ll work on them. He’s lovely with O&M, the two boys of one of his good mates. But he will regularly say that children are awful between 2-5 years of age as they have no self-control. Uhh…ride it out. They don’t know any better. They’re children
  2. Digs and pot shots. I dare say P ridicules Christianity. He is an atheist and that’s fine. But I don’t make broad sweeping generalisations about them and then brush it off by saying, “Oh, you’re not really an atheist anyway anymore.” Actually I resent that sentiment. I have pretty much sacrificed my faith when I stopped praying, going to church and serving. But you don’t get to judge my faith. And who makes their partner look bad in front of their mates in social situations?? What the hell. On occasion, he has said that maybe I should stay home and study as he didn’t want to get in the way of my degree when I’ve suggested coming over close to exams and mid-semesters. But what happened there was not ok. I don’t know if it’s teasing, but I’m not laughing. I don’t give it back as good as I get because although I talk like a confident bitch, I’m not in real life. I’m a mild milksop in real life.
  3. I’m bored. I like doing couple-y things like cooking dinner, sitting on the couch watching TV and going out to eat. But there has to be more to a relationship, to life than that surely. I can’t imagine doing only that in 5 years time.
  4. His stoicism. Show some goddamn EMOTION would you?? Other than happy, tired, horny, mildly sad, and mildly annoyed! FUCK!!!!!!
  5. His attitude to our relationship during this stressful time. It’s crap. You know, I was expecting tears when P got that call that his quasi-second-mother-slash-aunt-or-whatever had unexpectedly died. (…not that unexpectedly at 88 years old). But I don’t want to hear that you had a cry on your own. I was right here with you on the couch when you got the call, I was right there in your arms after in the silence. What am I, if not in some way emotional support?? And I get that you want to avoid awkward silence between your mother and me, but we’re adults here, we can deal. But when I get there, within minutes P says, “Ok, we can go!” Or tonight, when I dropped him after paella with his mates K&M at their house, it was a peck on the lips and, “I’ll see you tomorrow… maybe.” I feel marginalised. 

I give a lot of slack. I try not to rock the boat. But this has gone on long enough. We need to talk about things. I rang another one of P’s good mates, and she was a great listener. She actually helped me figure out that last point about feeling insecure and encouraged me to give him a little more slack and wait and think as it’s a particularly rough time right now. Ok, I can do that. It would be really awful of me to bring up another difficult conversation while there’s been a death in the family. I can wait. But it has to be said.

I do think I’m going to cry during that conversation. I don’t think he will. I don’t want to cry, I don’t look pretty when I cry. No one does. I’ve already run through how I’d react if he dumped me. I haven’t thought about it the way where I’d be dumping him though.

I need to go for a workout.


Respect, Regrets, Resolutions

Community is important. We need people. We can’t do it alone. When I was younger, I was willing to listen to anyone but my parents. But I find that as I get older, I’m much more ready to listen to what they have to say. I recognise the value in their experience. I had dinner with Dad tonight, just the two of us. It was nice. I asked him things. Things like,

  • Why did choose to immigrate to North America?
  • Do you ever wonder what it would’ve been like if you’d chosen Australia or Singapore or the UK like your friends?
  • How did you decide what you wanted to do with your life?

All fairly big life questions. The world is a big place and there’s an awful lot of paths you could take. I struggle to know, “Which one is the best one?” One of my biggest faults is that I can be quite obsessive. This translates to hours thinking over what might have been, rather than going out and doing. I’ve spent hours wondering what life would be like if I had questioned authority more when I was growing up, or if I had more gumption in high school, or had clearer goals of what I wanted out of my first degree. Sometimes, I try to compensate by acting on gut-feeling and without thought. This isn’t much better.

John Greenleaf Whittier wrote a poem about a judge and a maid who share a moment, but do not pursue that feeling. They each go on to live their lives the way society expects them to, with regret.

God pity them both! and pity us all,

Who vainly the dreams of youth recall.

For of all the sad words of tongue or pen,

The saddest are these: “It might have been!”

This is hardly the only quote on regret. (Kurt Vonnegut has one that is very similar.) I used to want to be original, or at least, be doing things the right way. Even in kindergarten, I can distinctly recall colouring assignments where much of it was brown and green. Why? Because wood is brown and grass is green. I have since taken a much more pragmatic point of view on assignments and life.

Get it done. No one is original. Everyone makes mistakes, but if you’re smart, you’ll learn from them.

Anyway, just some thoughts that have been rattling around.

P is away at a conference in Melbourne. It looks like a perfectly wonderful time. I’ve been bored witless for a week over this midsemester break. Some resolutions from this week of boredom and thinking:

  1. Continue New Years Resolution to do morning runs at least 3 times each week. This month has been excellent, with nearly one every single day. 
  2. Make a 5 year plan with specific, measurable, accurate, realistic and timely goals along the way. And some sort of rewards. like shopping.
  3. Spend at least 20 minutes each morning thinking about what I want to achieve for that day.
  4. No distractionary reading. Especially not fanfiction as this feeds daydreaming. (embarrassing!!) Speaking of which, no more daydreaming. If I absolutely must, then I will have a good idea from it that I can apply. And not for more than 15 minutes.
  5. At least 30 minutes before bed, start winding down. To exercise good sleep hygiene, no more bringing the Macbook or iPhone to bed. Find something to think about before bed. Other than what I need to do tomorrow. Because that’s what P does and I swear I can hear the gears in P’s brain ticking as I’m trying to fall asleep. Possibly reflections on the day.

Good plan. Now to do it. I wonder if this is the start of self-actualization.