Spite and Malice

Last week my sweetheart turned 52 so I threw a birthday party for him. I have almost no photos from that evening because I was, I dunno, just enjoying myself. The best thing I have from that evening is this short video of Andrew’s 2-person ensemble that played.

Andrew is my sweetheart’s housemate. Why does he have a housemate, you ask? A grown man? Well, he was lonely after his marriage dissolved and Andrew needed a place to live and it worked out. Plus Andrew is great.

The party wasn’t a big affair, maybe 15-20 people at the most, definitely not all at once. All vaccinated.

I’ve learned so much about myself in the last year and I’ve been working on figuring out how to move forward with all this new knowledge. It turns out that …

  • Parties and gatherings stress me out
  • I get overwhelmed easily
  • I cope by being “busy” and cleaning up
  • I often feel resentful of having to work so hard, even though the work is self-imposed

My sweetheart wants me to hang out with him and his friends, to not constantly disappear into the kitchen. He isn’t the type of person to willfully look the other way and then ask if there is anything he can do once there is actually nothing left to do. But he also isn’t going to clean up during a party, he wants to do it afterwards with me. This is very nice but it forces me to check in with myself.

I have gotten so much better at speaking up before something bothers me. I let him know what is up with me, what I plan on doing, and what I would do if I got stressed or tired. We agreed that I should say goodnight go upstairs when I’m feeling done. That wasn’t so hard …

As it turned out, everyone was gone by 11 and we got to wrap the evening up together. It was perfect. The next day we went out and got an electric bike for him (he has been riding mine non-stop) and had a lovely day of riding around town.

That night we decided to get dressed up and have dinner at Cafe Vino and then drinks at Social. I love being able to put on a nice dress.

There is a beautiful lightness to us, it is hard won and I feel proud of where we are. A friend characterized it as “three steps forward, one step back” but I see it more like two people being very real with each other, revealing our flawed selves, and then responding with curiosity and compassion.

Do I ever feel this quote. I’ve posted it several times already but it sings to me.

This weekend we went for a nice mountain bike ride at Lory State Park which isn’t far from home. Surprise, surprise, my mountain bike had been stolen from his garage! We knew that someone had stolen some things about a month ago when he noticed that his power tools and batteries were gone, but we didn’t notice that my bike was missing.

Sonofa …

Nonetheless, we persisted. I rode his old bike which was a much nicer ride than my 18 year-old bike, but still.

Then onto our regularly scheduled programming of a nice lunch out and some savage card playing.

I’ve been wanting to get matching tattoos. I don’t know why except why not? But it’s hard to find something that isn’t cliché. I thought it might be cute to tattoo our favorite card game on our inner elbows. I would get Spite and he would get Malice.

Would it be evergreen or would we one day come to really regret that decision, or worse yet, find the words to be emblematic of the decline of our relations? I’ll keep looking … but I still kind of love it because when we met he wanted to play cards with me and I don’t like Gin, so I taught him this game and it quickly became our game. The only person to ever play that game with me, or any games for that matter, was my grandfather.

Then we went home, napped, and then got Thai food and watched The Other Guys with the dogs.

I brought Bartleby with me this weekend because the boys were camping and climbing with the Scouts. Casey likes having Bart around so I leave him, but I think Chief is happier with his buddy around.

Micah rappelling down from a climb

I attempted to mediate and do yoga this morning but the dogs immediately rolled in and ruined everything with nonstop dogfights until I gave up.

We have been talking a lot about moving … well, my sweetheart moving. He’s expressed an interest in building his own home since we met and it has become very clear that Fort Collins is on a similar trajectory as Boulder when it comes to real estate. Prices have shot up but still are a deal compared to my town.

But it’s a huge step and his house has a lot going for it, namely location and all the work he’s put into landscaping. So now we are trying to decide whether to move and start over, or just invest the money in his house to update it an address some issues we have with it. It’s fun to dream together but I’ll be honest, I love our lazy weekends and even just getting a house ready to show, much less moving out and coordinating a home purchase/renovations, sounds like a bitch. I’d rather sleep in.

I have my place in Boulder, which I intend to continue living in which makes my life with my kids possible.

Speaking of, I got into town after the boys got back from their camping trip. Casey was too tired to get together but Micah was up for getting food so we went to The Rio for nachos. We had the nicest conversation; he’s grown up so much in the last year and is this lovely, measured, and gentle human being. Word already got back to me how he shepherded a new scout (and child of our very good friends) through his first campout. My heart swells with pride.

So far as rollercoasters go, today I am on a gentle joyride and I’m really happy.

You know what else makes me happy?

Pamcakes, if you are reading this, I think you will appreciate the awesomeness of this saga of workplace pettiness.

OK, two things.

  1. Why would you buy fried rice at 11:30 and think it needed to be refrigerated for the 30 minutes before it was to be eaten? People are so dumb.
  2. “My blood is on cocaine!”

I remember working in an office and getting all good and worked up over some kind of inter-office pettiness. I remember how excited we would all get at the drama. I kind of miss those days but not really. I do miss Don, though.

At least we are still in contact even though it’s been exactly 20 years since we’ve worked together at Film Studies. I really loved our daily chats, especially when we were in Hunter and I was just outside his door. We talked about everything. He and I did some really meaningful childhood trauma work together a couple years ago when Lonny and I were separating and I didn’t know which way was up. I still try to have lunch with him every six months. I would have for sure shared this with him, maybe I will anyway.

2 thoughts on “Spite and Malice

  1. Not that you should care about anything I think but…

    1) You seem to be getting more and more beautiful.

    2) I visited Sweetheart’s house once a long time ago. I thought it was amazing. I’ll be really interested in what you decide between moving and modifying it.

    3) Seeing the two of you together so happy makes me happy too. Whenever I read one of your posts like this I feel like something is right with the world. So thanks!

    • I heard about the wild parties that went down at that house. I probably would have really enjoyed them, especially if I wasn’t hosting! I’ve thrown so many ragers in my day, ones that took two entire clean-ups (as in clean up and start over and do it again) to recover from. Perhaps that is where my OCD about cleaning during parties comes from … the memory of what it was like to wake up to that disaster! Anyway, life is a lot tamer right now, which isn’t to say there won’t be opportunities to go there again. These days I prefer to buy a ticket to a show, have a wild time there, and then return to a quiet home and hot tub instead.

      His home is amazing in many ways, it’s just really big and the garage is a little too small. In a perfect world we would have a smaller house and a larger garage, perhaps with a MIL unit on top to rent out and a really nice courtyard style yard that felt private and enclosed. And more light, lots and lots of light, which is really my main complaint. However, there are lots of ways to address the light situation and we could make his house – if not smaller – and garage – if not bigger – feel newer and more suited to our taste. We shall see. Either way we have a whole lot of upheaval in our future, unless he chooses to do nothing … also an option. All of it makes me want to go back to bed but I really love how he wants to make a place for us.

      I’m glad that my relationship journey brings you some hope and levity, it doesn’t always feel that way but I embrace the challenges because I see how we emerge from each one stronger and happier. I hope we will continue feeling that way.

      I wish you still lived in FOCO, we would for sure be hanging out.

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