July 2006 Primo has come to Springfield to visit me for the 4th of July weekend. I am happy to see him as always but I don't plan to make any adjustments to my life or anything just because he is here. He always keeps himself busy. Why should now be any different?
We hang out over the weekend. Primo also has Monday and Tuesday (the 4th) off. We have a good time. We take a riverboat cruise. We go to a 4th of July party that my friend Leigh puts together at the last minute and ends up being fabulously fun. Our friend C. announces her intentions to have a baby on her own in two years (after she's paid off her truck) if she hasn't met and married a guy by then, which throws us into a determined panic to find her someone to marry by the deadline as we are all kind of against on-purpose single motherhood.
On Monday and Tuesday, I go to boot camp. I go to boot camp every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. There is a special session on Tuesday. I go because hey, it's more exercise class for my money. Extract every penny of value from something like that is my motto.
I also blog. Every day. I blog every day. Even if Primo is visiting. That is one of my things. I have to blog. People are depending on me. Readers!*
I don't think going to boot camp is such a big deal. It's at 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday, which means that Primo will still be sleeping.
Maybe this is where I should admit that one of the things we argue about is bedtime. And getting up time. Primo likes to go to bed late and get up late. I like to go to bed early because I wake up when the sun comes up, no matter what time I go to bed. If I want nine hours of sleep (and I do) that means early to bed for me. But once I'm awake, I am awake. Wide awake. I want to get out of bed. I have Things To Do. I can't laze around. The chores don't do themselves, you know.
Primo, however, wants me to lie in bed with him and talk and cuddle. He wants me to waste time. He is a Time Waster. I am Efficient.
This is a problem.
So I go to boot camp on Tuesday and am back by 8:15 a.m., plenty of time for us to go to my neighborhood's 4th of July parade. One neighbor invites us to use her pool that afternoon. They're not going to be home, but we are welcome to go and cool off.
Primo wants to go to the pool.
I do not. I don't like recreational swimming. I don't like to be in the sun. But I go and sit in the shade while he is in the water.
I think I am being accommodating.
He thinks I am being difficult.
He starts to sulk that afternoon. I don't understand. Why is he upset? I ask him in an offhand way because I cannot possibly imagine what might be bothering him.
He points out that I had put all my other activities before him. Couldn't be bothered to do the few things he wanted. Got out of bed early on the one day he could really relax because it was a holiday and he didn't have to worry about work building up. Even if he takes vacation, the work is always there, but at least on a national holiday, his American co-workers are taking the day off, too, so there is less work to accumulate. He is furious. He had flown to Springfield to spend time with me, not to be relegated to my, "When I am done with other things" basket.
I am astonished. And puzzled. Because I don't think I am that interesting. I don't understand why someone would want that much of my attention. Why is this such a big deal? I have lived on my own for over 20 years and the idea of worrying about someone else's feelings and making compromises is not part of my emotional vocabulary. OK, yes, my boyfriend before Primo, JT, had made similar complaints, but he lived only a mile from me, so I didn't see him in four-day stretches.
Tearful recriminations. Fear that he will leave. Promises to do better. Panic at the idea of screwing it up and losing him forever. Wondering why it's all such a big deal and then thinking they "why" doesn't matter. What matters is that Primo was upset about it. Considering that maybe I am just a tiny bit obsessive and inflexible and is that a good thing or a bad thing and do I need to change? What happens if I don't? I hate compromise and I hate being flexible. But I sure like having Primo around.
* Even though as I read through my archives, I realize that I am just not that interesting. Yet I am convinced that it is my writing that stands between my readers and despair.