Please forgive me. Today I’m going to wax on with much sentimentality. If you are in a curmudgeonly mood, please come back again tomorrow. I’ll try to be more snarky then.
I have a partner.
This is big. Really, it is. What I’m saying is, I have someone to share my life with. Someone to face life’s ups and downs with. Someone to celebrate with. Someone to talk things over with. Someone to laugh, cry, and argue with. Someone to love, and someone who loves me.
Someone to help fold the laundry.
OK, well, I know that last part’s not terribly romantic. But it’s true. And although I love it, I can’t get used to it.
I’ve been separated/divorced for almost nine years. For all that time, I have been solely responsible for doing the dishes and the laundry, returning books to the library, getting the oil in the car changed, and, you know, about a million other things. For nine years, I have done all the grocery shopping, all the cooking, and have managed to answer the daily question: what’s for dinner, mom?
My kids do help, of course, more and more as they’ve gotten older. But in the end, the buck stops with me. Or, I guess I should say, the buck used to stop with me. Because now I have a partner.
One day, shortly after my boyfriend (known around here as Tiger) moved in with us, I was rushing off to work. As I was looking for my keys, he said, “I was thinking of making chicken with peanut sauce for dinner. I’ll stop by the grocery store to get the ingredients this afternoon.”
Someone else was planning dinner? Someone other than me had thought about dinner? I was stunned. I found that I suddenly had tears in my eyes.
And last week, as I prepared to leave town for a few days, I was a whirlwind of straightening up, running the dishwasher, watering the plants, making sure there were no wet clothes in the washing machine, and so on. I hate coming home to a wreck, so I always, well OK usually, well to be honest I try to clean up before I leave.
Tiger stopped me. He said, “it’s OK, you don’t have to do it all. I’m here, and I’ll help.” He’s so right. I just keep forgetting. I mean, I remember that he’s there, and I love that. But I forget that I don’t have to do it all.
Don’t get me wrong. Tiger’s dishwashing abilities are not his most important trait. He’s smart, kind, caring, silly, loving, sweet, and he makes me laugh. He has interesting thoughts and ideas and he keeps me on my toes. He adores his kids, and speaks kindly when referring to his ex-wife (a definite sign of maturity, in my book). He’s willing to change his opinion after consideration of new facts or ideas, a trait I find all too rare. I could easily go on all day extolling his charms. 😀
I love that man. I hope I am as good for him as he is for me.
And his cooking skills? Those are just a bonus. One I might get used to, but will never take for granted.