When I was in Richmond, I watched The Hills every day. Despite the vapid personalities and scripted fashionista drama, I found it comforting to join the cast as they cavorted around the streets of Hollywood. It was sunny in their world when it was raining in mine.
I tend to turn to TV shows for comfort like that. When I was single, it was Sex and the City. When Mr. Wonderful was away, it was Entourage (and Adrian’s hair).
The thing I realized since being back, though, is that the low-grade depression I channeled into boob tube watching while he was gone, and again when I was abroad, is still here. It hasn’t reached real fever pitch, but it’s enough to keep me not feeling well. We’re going on 9 months, here. This isn’t good.
When I look inside and yank dusty sheets off the mirrors and furniture, I can see the problem pretty clearly. It was here last year, too, but somehow I covered everything up and was able to forget about it.
However, when you brew daydreams and expectations together for half a year, I guess the steam makes shrouds fall away. Realizing the meal you’ve been craving needs to simmer for a year or 5 more before you can eat makes you cranky and hungry and sad.
And then there are the well-meaning question askers. The ones who want what you want but seem to just make it all harder to handle. My brother asked me if I was engaged when I came home from Paris in April. My brother-in-law asked when he saw me last week. Friends hint in their emails. It’s like everyone is waiting, cheering silently from the sidelines but I can’t seem to win the game for them. Or myself.
Be in the moment. Enjoy the process. Thank your lucky stars that you at least found him. I know. I KNOW. I want to recapture that mindset and just chill out. But I’m 33 and our 2-year anniversary is in November and I really thought going to live with him in the UK would unleash some sort of new understanding about what was important and where we should be heading together.
Instead, I listen tight-lipped as he talks about the changes he wants to make to his house—the one he shares with his roommate. Trying to hold in the sideways comments and sarcastic quips that don’t reflect the person I want to be.
And how can I even demand forward movement when he just got home from months in another country? He still has boxes to unpack and I’m over here wanting a teeny tiny Tiffany’s box. Pretty effed up, huh?
I was talking to a friend about it recently and I asked her how she handled waiting as long as she did for her boyfriend to propose. “I went to grad school,” she said. Maybe it’s time for me to go get that English Lit degree I thought about in my early twenties…