Monday, March 14, 2011
The 10 year plan
M- said this to me the other night and it's not as scary and stalkerish as it sounds. I forget the context for the conversation, but suddenly we were talking about What If we hadn't met. Maybe the conversation was prompted by my long trip in DC and the distance between us.
He said, 'Meeting you was..my chance. Before meeting you, I was fine with the idea of being alone; I had pretty much decided that finding someone wasn't going to happen for me.'
I said, 'Aww. I don't know if I was exactly there but if I hadn't met you, I think I would have stopped dating in any serious way. It was getting too gross and pathetic.'
Yay, me and M- found each other, but it made me think about how getting older perhaps means a closing of the fan of possibility. Not that getting old means love is dead but that the willingness, the hunger, for the whole process of seeking out and falling in love just peters out. It's exhausting.
Finding the One Right Now took 39 years; I don't have the stamina or optimism to go through finding The Next One. It's not like my relationship skill-building would be that much better. (And frankly I won't have the hormonal urge to, anyway.)
M- recently found another job and it has us thinking, and talking, about cohabitation again. It's another step toward permanence and I am more receptive to things becoming more...settled. The idea of melding our households doesn't fill me with immediate panic; it's a logistical problem to be worked out between now and Fall. I think I'm also taking my cue from M-; he's in a much better thinking space. Because he rid himself of a toxic work environment, he's much less depressed and sad about where he is, and that makes me more comfortable with the idea of living with him. I think we'll be looking at neighborhoods this summer.
This increased comfort with the idea of permanence has also been prompted by thoughts of my aging father who is going through a period of not being able to pee because of typical old guy problems; of my sister, who is now more interesting to me; of my work (which might change in a few years); and of M-'s new job which has an office in Los Angeles.
He said to his new boss, 'Me and the girlfriend might get married and relocate out there since her family lives in LA.'
When he told me the story, for once I didn't get all huffed up and defensive ('How dare you make plans for me!'); the thought made sense. I could imagine myself back in LA with my family, taking care of my dad, being reunited with my friends from the Old Delia, driving badly across all the freeways. For the first time, the idea of returning home made me think of the possibility of long-term happiness.
Being One of Two is an act of will; I've said so before and I believe it more firmly than ever. I don't think I'd have the will again for this path I'm walking with M-. Rather than making me afraid of what I want, this relationship is making me more sure of it. I want permanence. (I still don't want children. And I could take or leave a wedding.) But it's making me work for it, man. None of these decisions about my future, or our future together, come easy. All sorts of negotiations need to be considered.
(For instance, my relationship with Girl Island. Unfortunately, I don't think M- or certain of my friends will ever be comfortable around each other; this might be a necessary price to pay for what I have with him. Or it's karmic payback for being a raging bitch toward my gay best friend's partner for a few years.)
But this is me putting it on the record: there's a vague 10 year plan moving forward and I might be ok with that.
God I'm getting old. What's next? Sensible DKNY walking shoes?