Thursday, October 1, 2009
I live in a dream world. I found my prince and I lived Happily Ever After.
But I’ll tell you a secret. Domestic Partner is not my soul mate and I am not his.
‘Compatible’ is not the most appropriate word for us. ‘Peaceful coexistence’ may be a better description, but that sounds too pessimistic to me. What we have is rather unremarkable and conflict free, on a day to day basis, different as we are from each other.
He is so introverted and I revel in being extroverted. Where he is practical and pragmatic, I am impulsive and emotional. I prefer variety and spontaneity, while he likes things organized, orderly, and under control. People perceive him as the quiet type. I talk too much, all of the time.
And I need him. He is my stability.
How many different ways can I say that? He is my anchor. He counterbalances my foolishness. He is the thinking brain to my bleeding heart. He grounds me, seemingly against my will. But truly, I wouldn't let him do that if I didn't want it.
“If we were not together,” I told him, “I would not have even gone back to school. I would still be trying to work as a performer on cruise ships and in Japan, as long as people were still willing to hire me - and my pending retirement and future would be more pathetic than it already is.”
This is not the type of man with whom I thought I would end up. I keep thinking about Chandler's ex-girlfriend, Janice, on 'Friends.' "This is movie love," she told him when they had gotten back together, briefly, one season. That's the kind of lifelong relationship I had imagined I would be in some day, the complete fairy tale.
But how long do those fairy tales last? I also think that if I were with someone who was more like me, it probably wouldn't last very long. We might even come close to strangling each other (as BFF Kathy says about us if she and I had ended up marrying each other).
Domestic Partner and I may not have the bright, flaring flame of passion that I used to think I wanted in a relationship. But I have learned from him to appreciate how steady and long-lasting a low burning flame can be.
We are not at all alike. Some days it seems as if the only thing we have in common is our love for our dogs. Do I wish he was more emotionally open and physically affectionate? Yes. Does he wish for me to be more sensible and to contribute more to house cleaning? Oh, yes! But he is very good about just allowing me to be who I am, so I can usually remember to do the same for him.
This month, it will be thirteen years that Domestic Partner and I have been together. I feel extremely lucky to have him in my life, and I sincerely hope that we stay together and grow old together.
Domestic Partner is on my list of a dozen items that I am grateful for on a daily basis. He is second on the list. First on the list is the dog he had when I first met him, Caesar, who was the First and Best Pug, Ever.
Happy Anniversary, DP. Here's to thirteen more years together and beyond.