This weekend, if we were having coffee together, I’d tell you that I had a routine for a whole 4 days. Four days of blissful organization, repetition, a calming, soothing routine… and then yesterday it was totally disrupted.
And I’m not handling it well.
Remember how my roommate and her kiddos all went to Florida for some sort of church choir event? It’s possible I didn’t give that much detail before, but that’s why they were gone.
On Thursday, when she called to see if her new debit card had arrived (since hers got stolen in Magic Kingdom), I asked her when they were coming back. She told me after the fourth. Or maybe ON the fourth… which I think it’s a bad idea to drive on the fourth of July, but, hey, it’s her life. She’s a grownup… sort of… and so it’s not my problem.
So, I went to bed Friday night without doing dishes (I’ll explain why in a moment), and even though I knew the dog had pooped in the bathroom that I’ve been keeping him in, I didn’t clean it because I knew he’d probably poop in it again before morning, and I was just too tired to do anything about it. I left my dirty clothes in the bathroom, because they weren’t going to be in anybody’s way, and I hadn’t put my laundry up, so I didn’t want things to get mixed up. The whole time they’ve been gone I’ve kept my shower stuff in the bathroom like a normal person instead of toting it back and forth like a damned college student.
It’s been really nice.
I’d created something of a routine for myself:
- Wake up, go to the restroom.
- Feed and water the cat.
- Fill the dog’s food and water outside.
- Let the dog out.
- Clean the dog’s mess in the bathroom.
- Let the dog back in.
- Do the dishes while the dog plays with my feet (this makes for a fun bonus leg lift exercise).
- Have breakfast.
- Write while I watch TV and house train the dog.
- Before bed, let the dog out again, and then put him back in the downstairs bathroom before going up to bed myself.
It’s dull, there’s not much to it, and it means I’m not doing half the things I needed to do this summer (like get a f*cking summer job), but it’s a simple routine, and the first time I’ve had a proper routine since I moved in here.
The only anomaly has been the shower, which I’d only been taking on days when I went walking with the Pirate. Last time of which I think I may have seriously injured my hip. Honestly though, I think the hip was hurt before (because it’s crooked and always hurts a little), but it meant I couldn’t really walk at our normal pace and he was quick to point that out to me.
He really doesn’t understand the amount of pain I put myself through because that’s the ONLY time he definitely has to hang out…
But we’ll come back to him in a second.
The point is, I had a routine. It was super simple, and it was very soothing to me to have a set way to do things. Time isn’t quite so important for me in the creation of my routine. I’m not one of those Aspies that I have to have my breakfast at such and such time, in such and such way, but I am calmer when I have an organized system of getting my breakfast. And I like to have the same types of things. I like savory, high protein breakfasts.
High carb breakfasts are kind of a treat… usually because they’re super sweet, but even then, I like them with some sort of savory aspect. Like I like pancakes, but I really want to have bacon with them. French toast already has egg as a main component, so even though it’s sweet, I get that little bit of savory with the eggs.
And I really love migas! Though I usually don’t put as many veggies in it. I don’t like tomatoes or bell peppers, so keep those out of my migas.
Anyway, TIME isn’t a factor, but the routine is. My body still wakes up at teacher time, which is good since the Pirate needs me to go walking with him at 7:30, which means I have to leave by 6:45 because of the morning rush hour traffic, and because my routine dictates that I must have a shower and at least base before I can leave the house, I really need up no later than 6. My body wakes me up between 5 and 6 naturally, so that works.
On days when we don’t go for our walk, I go to the bathroom and go back to sleep for a bit.
Or that was the routine while everyone was gone.
Imagine my surprise yesterday morning when I was trying to go back to sleep after having had my 5:30 bathroom break, and I heard doors opening in the house. It took me a moment to decide whether or not I thought it was a burglar or something, but I opened the door and scared the crap out of my roommate’s son and his wife and baby because I opened the door in my jammies with medusa hair going on… and believe me, this new short hairdo really allows for some strange medusa hair!
The whole thing kind of ruined my routine because I wasn’t expecting them. I knew the kitchen was a mess, and I had been leaving my purse downstairs on the island, like I would if this was my house and I didn’t have roommates. I had barricaded the stairs to keep the dog from going upstairs, and I knew the whole downstairs smelled bad because of the dog. I was embarrassed, confused, surprised, panicky, and pissed. I had to get my stuff out of the bathroom, and my whole routine was already disrupted.
I couldn’t go back to sleep because I was embarrassed about the state of downstairs because of the dog, because I knew he’d pooped and I didn’t immediately clean it up because I knew I’d have to do it again in the morning, and I had been just too tired to mess with it. And I liked the idea of taking my shower AFTER cleaning up dog shit instead of before, but because I now had to deal with people, I was going to have to make myself presentable before cleaning up after the dog. Just in case they might come downstairs I didn’t want them to see me in my medusa-hair, no make-up, unshaven legs state.
It disrupted my routine so bad that I didn’t even come back out of my room until 11, and was exhausted by the time I’d finished brunch because I hadn’t gone back to sleep for a bit like my normal routine. Even when the Pirate and I go running, I usually get a nap! Even if it’s just a small one.
It was not a fun day… though they did feed me barbecue for dinner. That was nice.
Meanwhile, the Pirate is stressed, and I really want to have him stay over for a sleepover, but he doesn’t want that. I’d kind of been under the impression that such a thing would be possible tonight, since he has tomorrow off, and then we could sleep in, and go for a walk on my side of town. Maybe go to my favorite brunch/writing spot. Actually do stuff I like… you know, so it’s a little bit even. Plus, he’s stressed, and he’s sleeping on a futon. He and I had discussed how a night in a real bed would do wonders for him.
But, he’s selling his truck, so no go.
He needs to find the title, he says.
The truck hasn’t been working for a while now, which is why I end up driving everywhere. I don’t mind. I used to do the same for the Bartender, and he had a functional vehicle. I like to drive, and to be honest, I tend to get motion sickness when other people drive. The older I get, the worse it gets, so it’s just better if I drive.
But, giving up his vehicle, even though it doesn’t work, seems to be hitting the Pirate in his machismo pretty bad.
He made a joke to me about how this obviously was not good for his desirability: a guy with no car who sleeps on a couch… And yet, I know the couch was supposed to be a temporary situation, and his roommate has become a financial drain which turned it into a semi-permanent situation. Same thing with the truck. It doesn’t work, and he hasn’t been able to afford to fix it because he’s had to support himself and his roommate instead of having an equal partner to share in the bills.
I was hotel hopping for 2 months, and moved 4 times in a school year! That’s 4 times in 10 months. This is the first time basically ever (minus a small situation with a lemon that got repossessed) that I’ve had a car in my own name, and I’m 35. I had been living at the mercy of friends while I worked some stuff out for over a year, and I’m currently making a third of what I should because I had to go on medical leave to figure out what was wrong with me, because this was the third year in a row that I’ve cratered.
I understand (probably better than most) that his situation is temporary and that things sometimes aren’t as bad as they seem to the outside world.
Yes, there will be people who see him as irresponsible, and childlike because he (as my mother says) plays dress-up even though he’s over 30. Yes, there will be people who think he’s a bum or a mooch because he’s on a couch and has no car. Yes, there will be people who think of him as aimless because he has a job and not a career.
That last one even concerned me for a bit.
But, if people can’t see past all of those superficial, temporary conditions and see that there’s a hard-working man with a free-spirit and big dreams underneath, then they are the ones missing out.
These are the things I should have said to him yesterday…
Instead, when he turned me down for a sleepover (again), it triggered a flashback of the Boy and of the Bartender, both of which could only give me the fantasy for a bit, and both of which it was really all about them… a thing that has concerned me about the Pirate since the beginning.
It put me in my feelings, and I snapped at him about how it would be easier if he just told me he didn’t want to spend the night with me, instead of making excuses.
His reason was that he needed to find the deed to his truck so he could sell it, and because his roommate has screwed him… again… he needs the money. He’s told me several times how this is the first time he’s ever had to live paycheck to paycheck and he doesn’t like it.
As someone who usually lives paycheck to paycheck, I understand how unpleasant it is.
But I also understand that it’s not the worst thing in the world, and that his situation is temporary. It’s not a reflection on him as a person. If anything, it shows what a good guy he is that he is willing to put himself in that situation because he’s trying to be a good friend to his roommate, someone who’s been a friend of his family for a long time.
I wish I could have said that to him instead of getting my feelings hurt.
He’s just not verbally communicative, and so I still go back and forth sometimes about whether or not he’s interested in me for anything other than just a walking buddy who he sometimes makes out with, and with whom he very occasionally gets intimate.
And I was afraid that it was going to be the same as the Boy all over again, where I was misreading his actions and so I wasted 3 years on and off thinking that we were working towards something, when he couldn’t care less if I died.
To the Boy, I was never anything more than a plaything to be used when the urge struck him. Just a whim.
Same with the Bartender, though he fed me the fantasy hard because he needed the emotional intimacy as much as the physical. Then when he was done with me, he just tossed me aside.
Both men were fond of telling me no, and not understanding how bad it hurt to know that my wants and needs and desires were of absolutely no importance to them.
I know the Pirate is different. Every complaint I’ve had, he’s listened and made corrections. And now that I know him better, I know that a goodly part of it is that he’s going through this really rough patch right now.
It was just too close to the others. Too similar to a brush off. It was just like the Boy denying my attempts to help him, over and over again. Denying my acts of service, when that was his love language. I was trying to tell him in the language he knew that I cared, and he was pushing me away.
It felt the same here. Several times I’ve offered to let him come over and enjoy a good night’s rest, and he’s always told me no.
Part of it is that I need the comforting as much as I want to comfort him.
My life is not so great either, and we somehow manage to have actual conversations between bedroom activities, plus it’s very soothing to cuddle… which is really what I want. I want the after sex cuddling, the feeling of closeness. I want to feel like I’m important and that I matter to someone, and to believe it’s not just a game for the other person.
And I need it on my terms occasionally.
I’m always playing on their terms, and dammit, it’s my turn. This is usually where things go wrong, because I’ve allowed it to be on their terms, and then when I truly need something, suddenly it’s me who’s changed… according to them. I was trying really hard not to do that this time, but maybe I have. Maybe this time is just the same as all the rest, and maybe he is just like all the rest of them.
So. Not only are my roommate’s back early, but my doubts are back in full force as well.