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.

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The C Word: Children

My parents always made sure we ate dinner together since we were little. It was a time when everyone at the table had a chance to share what had happened that day. It was probably mundane and dull for them, but those experiences added up to a certain kind of closeness. In a family with four children with 6 years between the oldest and youngest (poor Mum), a variety of personalities, and different activities (again, poor Mum who drove us around!)… it was actually quite nice, looking back. Now, two of my siblings are married, with the third wedding scheduled for this summer.

This wedding and naturally, conjecture as to who would be the first to produce a grandchild has been on my mind of late. I mean, really, with uni on and my dad here, it’s not like I have much to talk about. (Discussion of autonomy in my life with my parents alive is a wholly different post.) So, grandchildren. I posited the first child would come from L&C, whose wedding will be this summer. One sibling is frightened of episiotomies and tearing, and the other has career constraints. I have accepted the opinion that there is no good time to get married and/or have babies.

Something of note was the topic progression at dinner. Mind you, just me and Dad. So, it goes: siblings -> wedding -> married siblings -> grandchildren -> my status as unmarried -> grandchildren (again) -> grandparents -> desired number of grandchildren -> realistic number of grandchildren -> age -> mutagens that affect eggs -> age to have children -> relatives without children -> adoption -> surrogacy -> Bertold Weisner: a scientist who replaced sperm samples with his own and fathered approximately 600 children.

Right. That’s not awkward.

Yes it is.

~

P knows I want children. I love kids. I will readily admit I am clucky. I have some babysitting experience with a range of ages, from barely out of diapers to about year 6. I’d like to think I’ve seen not just the pleasant afternoon visit side of them, but the snotty, wailing, peeing-themselves side too. I know that while I don’t quite have rose-coloured glasses on, there’s still more I have yet to see and experience.

But there aren’t any prerequisites to having babies, aside from introducing an egg to sperm. I mean, just look at all the teenage girls who pop them out easy as anything! Case in point, one girl in my friend R’s graduating year who said,

“Oh, I’m not going to uni, I’m going to have a baby and go on the dole.”

Lovely. I would like to say I do support socialised medicine, I just don’t support entitlement and taking advantage of the system.

Despite my cynicism and frustration, I want kids. I’ve said it to P before. P said, “Why do you want kids? They’re just a prop for you, an accessory.” Paring away the prickles of the question, what are my reasons for having children? I didn’t and don’t actually have an answer.

  • It’s not to give my parents grandchildren (though free babysitting would be nice.)
  • It’s not so that I won’t have to go into a nursing home when I’m grey and wrinkly (though that’s not a guarantee anymore.)
  • It’s not for social acceptance.

What about the reasons do I have? They are small and fragile. Some people would readily interject, “That’s stupid. You’re being selfish. You have unresolved issues.”

But so what? Why can’t my answer be: “because I want to”?  Who ever said you needed approval from a selection panel made up of all and sundry to procreate? This isn’t defending a PhD thesis.

I don’t have original rationale for why I want babies. P doesn’t even want children. It could be a deal-breaker for us. I know P likes children. I mean, hello, if P didn’t, P wouldn’t have a job! But working with children and having children are completely different. This will have to be a discussion, probably spread over multiple occasions. Just having the discussion isn’t enough. There must be logical and pragmatic conclusions.

I wonder if there’s a handbook or something out there. Probably.

Bedtime, ahoy!