The older we get the harder it is to change.
Or so many people think. Our habits are harder to break, we get locked in to a way of being, we like what we like, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
That sounds to me a great deal like a combination of laziness and self-justification. Actually it kinda is exactly like that.
Here’s what I mean: earlier this year, a long-term BF moved into my house for a period, time frame unknown, and I have made a number of significant changes to accommodate his presence. We have a 16-year age difference. We’ve known each other for nearly 11 years, but living together is a whole other ball of wax. He’s 49; I’m 65. Both of us have lived alone most of our adult lives.
We both like, if not prefer, to live alone.
This has led to some moments which, if we’re not careful, can end up becoming major arguments over nothing. Or, they can be a source of hilarity.
To wit: he’s messy, I’m neat. Compulsively so. He leaves stuff all over the house, including dishes in the sink. That adds to my workload. Not a lot, but over the course of time it can get mildly annoying. I have considered putting a huge sign in the sink that says “Put your sh*t away or you don’t get laid tonight.” Given the BF, that would be a superb motivator.
I am an extreme early riser, say, about 3:30 am. He sleeps in later, so I have to tiptoe in stocking feet around the house. He has the downstairs basement bedroom- an arrangement that works well for us as we both sleep better alone. Besides, he snores. So does his bulldog. Like 400-lb linebackers, both of them. I will cuddle with him for about an hour, and when the room sounds like two 1550 horsepower Evinrude motors, I hightail it upstairs for the quiet of my own bedroom.
Besides, as he told me this morning, I jerk around as though I have my index finger in a wall socket. Okay look, I have an excuse. I’m the one who skydives, paraglides, rides horses ( and gets thrown), and engages in extreme sports. When I slip off to sleep I often recreate some of my more epic moments. At least I don’t grab the BF by the nuts for dear life as though I’m climbing back into my kayak. He should be damned thankful.
He likes Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. I hate network TV. However after a long day, they help him unwind. I prefer a silent house. At least, until I feel like leaping around in my stockinged feet, hollering out “Bring On the Granola.” That’s a true story. You had to be here. I never said I was sane.
Or until it’s football/hockey/soccer season. If the BF picks up the remote in the middle of a game he’s a dead man. Or, he doesn’t get laid which is much the same condition.
I had hung bells from all over the world on cabinets and doors because their delicate ringing took me back to those magical places. The noise annoyed the BF so I took them down. Now I can’t tell when he’s stealing from my supply of milk chocolate caramel Cadbury’s anymore.
No wonder he wanted the bells removed.
He can’t stand for me to be in the kitchen when he’s cooking. If he’s prepping food for the grill, I have to stay out of the way. Kitchen goes to whoever gets there first and stakes out the territory. You snooze, you lose. This of course has led to some 3 pm dinners on occasion. He treats my whole kitchen like a man grill. Right about the time I bury a barbeque fork into his right butt cheek that’s going to stop. However if I do fork his butt he’ll be useless in the sack for a few weeks. So right now I’m just waving it in his general direction largely because he has a very nice butt and I’d rather not perforate the merchandise just to regain control of my own kitchen.
The Cadbury’s is another issue entirely.
The BF has learned that if I’m in the middle of story that he doesn’t find interesting he says “Hold that thought,” then disappears downstairs. Long enough so that when he comes back upstairs I have no clue what story I was telling. That’s because I’m old and he’s sneaky. Men, this really works. You should try it sometime.
This is a goodly-sized house, so the BF has plenty of space that is his own, just as I do. Thank god he has his own bathroom which, like his bedroom (which used to be my gear room), looks like a bomb went off in the dumpster behind the local Goodwill donation center.
If I want to watch the NFL pre-season games I have to brave the minefield which is his room, and land on the bed. The bed which is shared by the bulldog. Precisely the same way the BF does, she crawls over, lands on top of me with a paw on each tit (she learned that from Daddy) and then she proceeds to lick my face until I cry Uncle. At least the BF possesses slightly more finesse in the kissing department and he doesn’t shed.
Which brings me to one of the BF’s chief complaints. I have very long hair, which, after I wash it, tends to shed. If we spend a Saturday afternoon rolling around on said bed, I end up covered in bulldog hair. About two days later BF will discover the family jewels being choked off by one of my very long hairs, which has somehow made its way into his tighty whiteys and is now waging warfare against Mr. Happy. This used to be cause for laughter. Now he’s decided that it’s a plot against his penis.
I like his penis. In fact, rather a lot. Preferably still attached.
Every so often I find out that I am demanding, obnoxious, loud, offensive, annoying, invasive, oppressive. Or at least I get feedback to that effect. This causes mighty reverberations it The House of Myself, which has been built on certain unshakable notions that I simply do not do such things. Perfect people don’t make such mistakes. I’m the Queen. I’m infallible. Aren’t I?
Unfettered by proof that I’ve got character flaws, can be selfish, demanding, churlish and childish, then I don’t grow. How much easier it is to live alone and make kissy faces in the mirror. There are no challenges to my carefully-edited view of myself, where I do nothing wrong, am always right and therefore others have to accommodate me. Just like a digitally- enhanced selfie. I’m perfect. Well of course I am. Just ask me. How long have you got?
Having the BF in the house is very much like having one of those $499 Naked Lab mirrors (https://nakedlabs.com)/which scans the entire body. Then you can see all the truth, whether you particularly want to or not. Most of us would really, really, really rather not. Imagine a mirror which will happily map out all your cellulite-in-remission, your growing zits, sagging tits, all your fat pads and by the way, where those once- cute butt dimples have succumbed to age, gravity and granola bars.
Or I could go to my plastic surgeon to make my face look like my digitally-enhanced kissy face selfie (https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/selfie-mad-mum-spends-thousands-9757966). Because, natch, I have to look perfect. No matter that I’m a certified jerk. I LOOK like my selfie. That’s enough, isn’t it? Um, isn’t it?
The House of Myself is filled with funhouse mirrors these days. With the BF around, I get to peruse, if I choose, all the bumps, lumps, divots and flaws that living alone disguises like pancake makeup. I feel as naked as Las Vegas showgirl with nowhere near the assets. I know I can be an ass, but having assets rather softens the effect. This way I’m rather stuck staring at the unblemished truth, which is badly blemished.
The BF will eventually move out, as he wants his own house again. I think. Or he may not. While parts of me anticipate living alone again with a certain amount of glee (OH GOODY I don’t have to face off with my failings any more), another, deeper part of me will miss the stark insights into my nature.
Then again, it’s just ever so much easier to put on pancake makeup and make kissy faces to produce a perfect, digitally--enhanced selfie.
It’s good to be perfect, when it’s everyone else’s job to accommodate me, and make me happy. Of course it is.
It’s good to be Queen.