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.