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)?