11:35 a.m. - 2013-05-02
I think it's because I'm worrying about moving in with A., cohabitating, being settled.
When you first meet someone, or even a year or two in, you can still imagine a perfect future -- that it's realistic, within reach. I know people would say, "Oh, I don't imagine perfect. I don't expect it to be perfect." Well, you do. Sure you expect bad things to happen. You expect to handle them together, to keep loving your partner, to keep feeling validated and excited about life togther and understood.
You don't picture living with a boring stranger and thinking, no matter how you try not to, "This is it? This is all I'm going to get in my one and only life, love-wise? What a disappointment."
I felt that way with Matt, sometimes, although I read all of the marriage books and tried very hard not to. If I was still with him, I'd probably still feel that way. I don't think it's a function of the person you're with -- I think it's a function of marriage, feeling that way. The better you know someone, the less room there is for projection -- and isn't it mostly projection that makes you think you're a perfect fit with a relative stranger? Isn't it the fact that you don't know them? That there are a lot of blanks, and you can fill them in with whatever you want?
Last night I fixed A's bathroom wall, where the prior owners of her house had taken their towel rack and left a couple of gaping holes. I spackled the holes a couple of weeks ago and bought little bottles of acrylic paint to fix the paint job over the spackle. The walls are a kind of complicated two-tone blue with stenciling, so I had to mix my colors, sponge on white and blue, and then freehand the stenciling.
It came out really, REALLY good -- in my humble opinion. You can't even tell where the holes were. I expected A. to be thrilled, because the holes had been driving her nuts. But she didn't say anything. Nada. I've spoken to her on the phone twice and I saw her this morning -- nothing.
I know the reason is that she was distracted by a doctor's appointment she had this morning -- everything was ok but we were both worried -- and justifiably not thinking about her bathroom walls. I'm not the least bit miffed or insulted. It's just that ... it reminds me of life with Matt. I worked hard to please him and after a while he never even noticed. He never said, "Thank you, I appreciate it." One night, as an experiment, when I kept asking him to empty the dehumidifier and he kept "forgetting," I wrote "please empty the dehumidifier" on his dinner plate with sharpie before I put his food on it ... I wanted to see if he'd notice. He didn't. He just scarfed, stood up, and left his plate for me to clear -- as he always did.
I gave him the same plate for three days running and he never noticed the writing. The third night I told him to look at his plate and he did, and then he said, "Oh, huh."
I asked him how he'd managed to not see it for three nights straight and he said he'd been distracted, he guessed.
No shit. Distracted by other women, I later found out.
But I hate that feeling, of not having stuff you do being noticed or appreciated at all. I'm not looking for endless, overflowing gratitude, or a gold star. I never did stuff for Matt "for the appreciation"; I did it because I loved him, but a "thank-you" would have been nice now and then.
A always thanks me and I know she will for the wall when she notices it. It's just the bad feeling, the residual bad feeling from life with Matt, that's bothering me.
I don't want to feel like that again. I don't want to live like that. I think I am subconsciously afraid it will end up the same with A and that's what's depressing me.