That Canadian Boy I Married and I have been together for 10 years tonight. Ten years ago, it was holding hands and kissing and hanging on each others every word. Now it’s kids and rent and jobs and chaos.
But it’s also what seems to me, at least, to be a serious lack of anything in common with each other. Tonight, he’s at a house party. I have no desire to sit around with his hockey buddies as they play beer pong and watch sports incessantly. His friends are fine, decent enough people, but I’m not into sports (The Red Sox excepted) and I’m definitely not into beer pong. So we never go out together.
I go out on Friday nights, usually, to my friend C’s house. I hang out with my sister and a bunch of other people and we laugh and talk politics or current events or get all wanky over word usage and proper grammar (I know – me, who’d have thunk, right?) and I have a great time. When TCBIM has tagged along, he looks out of his element and gets bored. It’s how I feel when I hang out with his friends.
I’m just not sure how to fix this. I don’t even know if it is fixable. We’re so different. I geek out over books and historical programs on the television; He’s excited over the Winter Classic. I long for a complete, 27 volume set of the OED; TCBIM doesn’t even know what that is. He told me the other day that he needs a new hybrid driver. Cue one blank look and crickets. (Apparently, it’s a type of golf club.)
I don’t feel like he should have to change who he is for me, though, because I don’t think I should change who I am for him. I don’t want him faking an interest in art or books any more than I want to fake an interest in hockey or, god help me, football.
It’s funny; when I do drag him to a museum or an artists gallery, he enjoys himself. But I have to beg and plead and bug the shit out of him prior to getting him to go. Once he’s there, he’s into it. We went to Snow Farm in Williamsburg MA a few weeks ago and he loved the things he saw there. We watched a blacksmith work and he was asking the man a ton of questions. I know he has the curiosity and interest in these types of activities but he never seeks them out. He’s content to go along on the surface of life, watching television, playing sports and farting around on the computer.
I want more, though. I want to go to New York City to see the Tim Burton exhibit. I want to find more cool places like Snow Farm. I want to go to Vermont, to see the Lake Champlain chocolate company and go to the Vermont General Store. I want to go on an antebellum house tour down south. I want to see Frank Lloyd Wright’s buildings in Chicago, I want to go to Powell’s book store in Portland. And I’d love it if I didn’t have to beg and plead for him to want to come with me.
Most of all, I want to go back to school. I want to get my bachelor’s degree and I want to do it at a good school. Smith College and Mt Holyoke College both have programs for women returning to school and I have sent for information on both of them. I really want to do this so I can learn to write properly, so I can get a good job that will challenge my brain rather than just provide a paycheck. I mainly want to go because I love school. I love learning new things, I love the challenge of it and I love the environment. I want to do this. Hell, I need to do this, for me, so I can be happier with who I am.
But I worry that having that will drive us even further apart and that scares me. I need to do it, though. I need to put myself first this time.