Thursday, January 10, 2013

Little Things

I hate to brag (no, really), but I truly am one of the luckiest people alive. One of the reasons I feel so fortunate is that it's fairly easy for me to realize why I am lucky, even when things are at their worst (such as when I lose my full time job).

Most of the time, I can feel grateful for having Domestic Partner in my life. There are times, though, when I feel like he is always in the way when we're both at home, especially in the kitchen. And I don't even cook and clean that much. Is this how married people feel? How can only two people get in each other's way so often in a three-bedroom house?

He's always right there, too, when I want to brush my teeth at night. It's as if there's a magnetic tracking device in him, even when he's in the middle of watching TV. I've tried different times before bed. It doesn't matter what time it is or how silently I try to start brushing my teeth in our not-so-spacious bathroom. Whether it's before 9:00 pm or after, there he is, my pre-bedtime shadow, cutting in front of me to take out his contacts and start brushing his own teeth.

My life is a constant trial.

I've learned to put my frustration aside and just wait the paltry two or three minutes before I resume brushing my own molars.

Loud sneezes - he sneezes at a high volume, directly towards my eardrums it seems, when we're sitting next to each other on the couch or in the car. I've told him that it is possible to sneeze without employing your vocal cords. But I've since become resigned to the fact that I'll probably have to live with the unexpected explosions for the rest of our lives.

It's little enough. At least he covers his mouth.

Apple stickers. Those little decals that are stuck to every individual piece of produce from the supermarket. Those are always in the sink's drain catcher whenever Domestic Partner washes an apple, even though it's just as easy to stick it to the plastic bag lining the trash can under the sink.

Bright green loogie flecks stuck inside the toilet bowl when he uses the Crest mouth rinse. It's better than having them stuck inside the bathroom sink. But still: the toilet has to be flushed right after spitting so that the green loogie flecks don't get attached.


I'm sure there are several things I do every day that annoy him, too, things I'm not aware of. We tend to hold things in, Domestic Partner more so than me, even though we know it's not a good habit for couples - letting resentment build up.

But we rarely fight. We have a peaceful home atmosphere, which I usually remember not to take for granted. It's not worth expressing my petty irritation over the little things. I don't even to need to give much thought to picking our battles.

And so, I feel lucky.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Bitchy Boy

Jalen (not his real name) was so bitchy. I met him in rehearsals for one of the shows I did this past year. Sometimes, he complained about the rehearsal process. And he was critical of everything in the entertainment industry. But he adored Britney, so we bonded over that.

Actors and performers who were not la Spears, though, were subject to his immediate criticism and disdain, whether on stage or in the media. He had an opinion, usually low, about anyone's and everyone's performance.

Jalen, himself, was a marvelous performer and rather awkward looking. He was a good "character type." You just knew that adolescence must have been absolute hell for him. It was easy for me to forgive him for his bitchy attitude, once I surmised that it must be a defense technique, built up over the handful of years of his young adulthood.

We shared a brief, memorable moment. On opening night, Jalen and I answered our call to places, squatting behind a set piece before revealing ourselves in the first number. In the dark, just before the curtain and the lights went up, I whispered to him: "Magic!" Jalen responded with a friendly, brotherly squeeze to my shoulder.

Before rehearsal one afternoon, I saw that I was right behind Jalen's car when we had both exited the freeway. His car was closest to the homeless person holding up a cardboard sign. I saw Jalen's hand reach out of his car window, a folded bill in his hand.

I never told Jalen that I had witnessed his act of kindness. But I am inspired by him to continue giving what I can, when I can.

Bitchy Boy has a soft spot.