Monday, March 3, 2008

The Need to be Needed

I need some advice tonight.

How do you working, active artists balance it all, a professional life and a personal life, and living artistically?

Maybe this is normal, but I feel as though I suffer mild and constant guilt over neglecting Domestic Partner while trying to stay true to my artistic pursuits.

Domestic Partner is my stability, as I have said before and as I will always say. I will always be grateful to him for contributing that otherwise sorely lacking element in my life. That is one of my main Domestic Partner Benefits.

I'm not sure what good I do him. I can never quite put into words why he keeps me around, other than I was his first pug's favorite. I'm mildly suspicious (but not paranoid!) that it's easier for him to put up with me now, than to have to start all over again and go looking for someone else.

What good could I be doing him? What does Domestic Partner want? What he wants, I jokingly tell people, is for me to be home with him at night so he can fall asleep on the couch in front of the T.V.

Even when we are both at home, he'll claim feelings of neglect if we're in separate rooms.

"I have to work in the office, on the computer," I'll tell him.

"Awww, but then we won't be in the same room," he says, practically pouting.

"But all you do is fall asleep," I point out.

"But we should want to be together."

Later, after his evening nap, he'll wander into our office.

"What are you doing?" he'll ask.

"Trying to become a writer," I'll answer.

"Whyyyyyyyy?" he always asks. Always.

"Because I can be," I'll reply. I learned that handy answer from one of Shannen Doherty's lines in 'Heathers.'

I had a fun dance audition this past weekend for "Pippin." I told Domestic Partner that I'd really like to be part of this production, even though I know it will make me physically exhausted for three months. With rehearsals and performances, he will once again become the Performer's Widower for most of spring if I get cast.

Sometimes I wish I were still single so that I could get involved in any show or project that strikes my fancy without having to constantly consider how it will affect someone else. But the grass is always greener. I remember being alone and feeling wretchedly lonely. I know that I don't really want to be single. What I want is to have my cake and eat it, too. I guess that would mean being with a guy who wouldn't mind being left alone constantly and never seeing me.

Is that what I really want?

My friend Linda had survived a nightmare of a divorce. "You're lucky he wants you around," she tells me. "Don't take that for granted."

I'm lucky she pointed that out to me.

So. How do YOU do it all, those of you out there who are paired up (or used to be)?


thelastnoel said...

I am not the person to talk to about this. I've been single for years. However, when I'd been involved with someone, I try to include him in the process. Thank them publicly as much as possible.

golfwidow said...

I write when That Man of Mine is sleeping. Then I go sit with him and read while he "works" (scans pictures of baseball cards and uploads them to his eBay store), because he can get his train of thought back more easily than I can if I have to tell him something. (Also, he doesn't listen very well anyway, so I can blather away, secure in the knowledge that I'll have to repeat it later regardless.)

We eat together, and we watch TV together. We don't go anywhere because we're broke.

That's pretty much it.

Quin Browne said...

i came to the realisation after my Great Choking Event that i actually want to be needed.

i like being needed.

i miss being needed.

one of the nicest parts about my time with the weather guy is when we chat about what is going on with our lives... i love when i suddenly get a text message that his day is gargh! and he chooses me to tell that detail to.

need is good.

Brenda said...

Life is in stages to me since the girls came along. I fit things in as I can and devour them while I do them and then put them aside while life calls.
I think your love 'gets' you Peter and if he didn't moan about wanting more time with you then I would be concerned.

Peter Varvel said...

N, those are two excellent suggestions, and I will remember them.

GW, we don't go anywhere because we're old. Well, he is, anyway . . .

Q, I need you.

B, honestly, I don't think he 'gets' me, but he is pretty damn good about just letting me be who I am.

Quin Browne said...

you made me cry.

Brenda said...

sounds like love Peter:)

Erin said...

It is important to feel like the person you are with "gets you". I know, Peter. There are so many different kinds of love.