Monday, September 30, 2013
One thing I'm good at is being complicated...
On the couch (his), in front of the TV (mine), he watches Sons of Anarchy, a show I’ve never been fond of. I sit at the kitchen table (his) and log mileage into my training log.
I am living with the roommate who watches tv entirely too loud, except the roommate happens to be my ex-boyfriend.
This was not how it was supposed to work. I never set out to be half of that couple you hear about. The ones that because of high rents or long leases or the great dysfunction are forced to live with each other long after their relationship has expired. Yet here I am. Twenty- eight and a half (if you still count ½’s, clearly I do, this could be part of the problem) and living with my ex. We have always been private with our relationship downs. When we first broke the news to a few people in our circle they seemed shocked. Well-some friends said they weren’t surprised. Some understood entirely what was going on and why we had progressed into this “type” of a relationship. So here we are.
W came into my life as I was settling down after a horrendous break up. Happy, Nice, Stable, Fun, Good looking, Hometown old friend. The opposite of the guy who made me one of his gf’s while he went out and screwed other girls, the guy that nothing was ever good enough that I had to offer, or the alcoholic who couldn’t go a day without getting wasted, types in my early twenties. We fell in love quick and moved in together once we felt like we should do the logical money saving thing. The idea, at first, was to save money, perhaps for other things we might want in the future. I would eventually find out that we did not want the same things for our futures.
Within a year of moving into our new place, I had grasped the possibility that it could be over. There were certain issues that weren’t easy to overlook and it started to seem like a big bad cycle of unhealthiness and we were unable to break that cycle. It didn’t seem to work just because one of us, but BOTH of us. We aren’t bad people, we had both made mistakes. Some people have a baby that helps glue a relationship back together. He and I used real estate. The last year has been spent making excuses as a couple. We can’t break up because we have too many great mutual friends that we might lose/my family liked him/we were both native american and you just don’t see that anymore/my niece and nephews/the dog/the Internet needs us. (Maybe not the internet) We can’t break up because we made the table that sits on our patio together, the table belonging to me, the pictures I cut out of HIS rolling stone magazines. We can’t break up because then who would we have to go the gym with. We can’t break up because who would we go grab breakfast on a Saturday with. We can’t break up because Louie’s too is one of our favorite places and that means one of us has to stop going there. We can’t break up because we are quite possibly the two most stubborn people alive.
A year ago I signed “I love you because” hallmark cards from CVS or wrote “novel sized I love you because… ” text messages to try and keep the flame burning. I did everything to avoid writing “it’s difficult living with someone who doesn’t love you as much as you want or need them to” letters. We stayed together for about six months after that, I’m guessing, I’m not good with time, I just know a year ago today, I wasn’t feeling any different than I am right now as I sit here typing this.
Lately, we sit in our bedrooms separated by a short hallway and a living room, each of us typing on our respective computers, iPhones, producing different tones at odd intervals of time. Chime, Tweet, Horn, Motorcycle.
He will sit on my bed before he goes to his room to go to bed. We talk about the people we know. Work. Working out. The dog. He brings me left over pizza from his lunch outing. I think we each have our own ways of apologizing to each other. Mine just happens to involve saying “I’m sorry” late at night on the way to the kitchen to get a glass of water. Barefoot at his bedroom door.
My living arrangement is entirely complicated by the fact that we are moving on from each other for the first time in a long time. At first, we fought the idea of it, now we aren’t arguing our situation, because if we were it would still make itself known. I’d like to know how people have adequately conducted our living situation without ripping each others heads off in the past..
The part that is complicated is that I do not think that W is a bad person and he doesn’t think I am either. (at least I hope not) We know that we were happy at one point, but we also know that we are not happy anymore as a couple. Yet, we still live together. I do not think that he will never make a girl happy, he did make me happy for a long time. I have full confidence in him dating someone and marrying the right girl one day. I believe in him, I think he is a successful guy who works hard and has a good heart waiting to explode with all this love to share with someone he believes is worthy of it.
We leave the porch light on for each other. We yell that we will text each other or stay in touch with one another when we leave. I’ve gone through the last few months feeling consistently displaced, biding my time. I’ve been feeling like it’s finally “time”. We’ve discussed this situation in person but I think we could both agree, that we are not doing each other any favors by sticking around and having to deal with the added stress.
About once a year, I sit down with one of my best friends (and it’s never certain who the chosen friend is, and aren't you lucky for getting chosen...haha, if you aren't said friend, be happy because it's a lot all at once) and describe the details of my situation whether it be my relationship status or living situation. Despite all of my natural instincts, this is actually comforting. I don’t like to talk about it all at once and I definitely do not like admitting when I’m wrong. Yet, I’m not perfect. I’m actually very far from it. I do not recommend this behavior (the behavior where you hold it all in until you feel like you are about to explode with emotion) to anyone. It is one of the more depressing things I’ve done since realizing a future isn’t happening with him.
One of my jobs when I decided college wasn’t really my thing was working at Bath & Body Work. I always liked working there, I thought/think it’s always kind of a unique thing when smells remind you of memories and believe me, I can take you in that store and let you smell the different scents of different memories in my life. A lot of people asked me how I worked around that smell all day. I just said, “After awhile, you just get used to it.”
If you live with someone long enough your scents mix together. You use the same detergent. Sleep in the same sheets. When W and I first broke up I used to stand in the living room and spray this air diffuser he had a bajillion bottles of, because I was missing what it smelled like to crawl in bed with him every night when we were happy. (It was scented the same as his cologne by the way, it wasn’t just febreeze) maybe it’s just time to find a new smell. Like chicken nachos, I'll just date food for now.