21 January 2013

Who am I?

I can remember a time when a very dear friend of mine actually laughed his ass off at me for picking out floor tile, carpet, and paint colors for my home. He laughed himself silly at how domesticated I had become. That was in the early days of a period in which I didn't try to keep up with the Joneses; I was the Joneses.

My second husband and I had all the accoutrements of a young, suburban family in the consumerist explosion that was the 90s. We owned three homes, more cars than I care to count, several Harley-Davidsons, and all of the latest technology that could be had for the home. We had an active social life, an extensive gun collection, closets filled with clothes that never got worn, and a CD collection that would probably rival my girl Dawn's envious music hoard.

Somewhere along the way, I have become the antithesis of all that I once was. I don't know when or where it happened, and I doubt that it is something that I could pinpoint on a map or timeline anyway.

I realized just how different I am yesterday. I've told you that Sunshine has it in his head that we must buy land and build a house. He has grabbed on to this idea and it has become a bit of an obsession with him. So yesterday, we went out to the place he has decided he wants to buy and took some measurements. He couldn't understand my lack of enthusiasm, and asked me why I hadn't expressed it before yesterday.

Wait, whaaaaat? Have you not been listening to me for the last few months? I DID fucking tell you I didn't want this. I also told you that since you were so determined that this is what we were going to do, I'd do it. I made it clear that I was doing this because it was what YOU wanted. What part of my weeks and weeks of "I don't want this" did you fucking miss? Did you really think that I was seriously focused ONLY on the part about "what the hell am I going to do with this shit if you keel over dead on me" and think that I would suddenly want a house and acreage if you quit smoking and got healthy?

Whatever, it is what it is. Now, what do I want to do about it?

And there is my problem. My favorite superhero says that this is something that he wants to do for me, something he wants to give me. There is surely some truth in her statement. Yet it goes deeper than that for Sunshine. Somewhere along the way, his dream was to own land and build a house, and now he is determined that he is going to do this thing.

Somewhere along the way, I quit wanting all the things I was raised to believe were good things to have; I quit buying into the idea of "the American dream" and the rampant consumerism that goes with that dream. Somewhere, I started wanting less, and to me that is a good thing.

But where's the compromise? How does this end for myself and Sunshine? I would imagine that it ends exactly where he wants it to end, in a house that he built on land that he owns. Because who the fuck am I to deny him his dream, right?

In the meantime, I sit here crying in despair. Literally. The laptop is a giant blur right now, making me grateful for all those years of typing classes I took in high school that have left me knowing when I have committed a typo even though I am looking at neither the keyboard or the screen.

I don't want this. This is his dream. Somehow, I have to make my peace with it, because I don't see myself leaving him behind this. Somehow, I have to figure out how to get OK with living his dream in something I do not want. And I don't know how to do that.


  1. Oh, Cindy! I don't know how to make peace with it. I don't know how to compromise on it. I don't know how it ends for you and your Sunshine.

    But I'm sure you will find some way for peace and compromise for you and your Sunshine because you love each other.

    Obviously there's something deeper in him that wants this land and this house, but as I said, it would seem that it's something he wants for you and himself and something he wants to give you. A home. Whatever that means. Wherever you are together. Lots of stuff or no stuff. With a good perspective on stuff (like yours), a place that doesn't in fact end up owning you. A place made of love, kindness, and trust.

    Whatever happens, know that you are loved and supported. Some way, you'll BOTH find a compromise.

    Please email or call or whatever me if you need anything. No matter what. I'm here.

    (Also, a smallish house could be nice. More storage? No nosey or asshole neighbors? More stable interwebz connection? A place for Molly to run around? Purple flavored walls? Pantsless parties? You could totally walk around without pants and not have to worry about it. #justsaying)

    1. I do believe that Mollie would LOVE LOVE LOVE more space to run. That little doggie of mine loves to run. Somehow, I'll figure out how to make peace with this thing I don't want.

      I'm hoping like hell that we have some spare cash real soon. I could use a day trip to the metroplex to hang out with a superhero!

  2. Oh honey, that's so difficult. Teala makes some good points. I think - and this is just a theory I have based on having been unhappily married - that maybe it's not so much the house you don't want as it is what owning a home means to you emotionally. Just because you two have a house doesn't mean you'll turn all consumerist and stuff-obsessed and unhappy and whatever again. Or I could be on the wrong track, in which case I say think of Mollie and counter space in the kitchen. Hugs.

    1. It's less about fear of becoming consumerist than it is about all that responsibility that comes with home ownership.Owning a home comes with property taxes and maintenance and insurance and all that shit. When something breaks, you have to fix it, which takes MORE money, which means that the house DOES end up owning me.

      However, you do have a point: Mollie loves to run, and she should have a place to run. Also, counter space is very good, and I DO get to choose the finishes, which means marble floors, granite counter-tops, and Spanish tile on the fireplace (among other things bahahahaha)

  3. I didn't want to get married, no scratch that I didn't care if I got married. I didn't and still don't believe that a gold ring and a marriage license makes a man or a woman a good partner/spouse. My rather unhappily married parents certainly didn't paint a rosy picture of marriage and I had no illusions about a wedding transforming anyone into anything.

    My husband (then boyfriend) wanted to get married. It meant something to him and I loved him so we had a wedding and got married. He's a good guy and he'd be a good guy with or without a ring and a legal document. It was what he wanted and I love him so said yes and had a wedding.

    Thirteen years later when I unexpectedly fell ill he wouldn't have been able to make the decisions he did if we were not married. Sometimes things happen for a previously unknown reason.

    I say make peace with the land and build the house your way. Make sure that the building you are living in makes you happy. And I know this is cliched but it's true, for me home is wherever Chuck is, the building in which we are living doesn't really matter much to me. (((hugs)))

    1. I guess you have a point. We both feel like the ring and paper aren't important, so we haven't bothered getting legally married. Thank you, Carol Anne, for helping me put it in perspective!