These Apples….

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.

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15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Heidi
    Dec 31, 2009 @ 21:43:42

    Oh exciting! You seem like you have at least your master's – you come off as very educated and cerebral!Good relationships can bend with this stuff. And a healthy partner wants his wife to take her next step. It's understandable that it could be stressful and be a difficult transition and that he might even be scared by that enough to hesitate, but that's not a good enough reason not to do it, IMO. If it's the right thing for you to do, he *can* handle it, whether he believes that about himself or not.

    Reply

  2. Rebecca @ Playground Confidential
    Dec 31, 2009 @ 23:06:08

    I'm sorry? You DON'T want to play beer pong!? ha haI hear you about feeling a million miles apart. The thing is that the common ground is still there if I bother to look for it. Anything that you need to do, is something that your family needs, too. You don't need him to fully get it, just so long as he supports it.But watch out for those college kids and their beer.

    Reply

  3. Zazzy
    Dec 31, 2009 @ 23:56:36

    I don't think any of us grow and change at the same time or same rate as our partner. I do think it's possible to support each other during those changes – but sometimes we resist change in our partner because it's scary. Ultimately, I think you have to do what you have to do. I wish you all kinds of luck and strength.And Happy New Year!

    Reply

  4. Moonspun
    Jan 01, 2010 @ 10:13:16

    Good for you for thinking about school again. It's challenging as an adult, but knowing you WANT to learn is half the battle. There has to be some kind of compromise for both you and the Canadian boy. First, you have to agree to them…you'll do fine!

    Reply

  5. Opinionated Gifts
    Jan 01, 2010 @ 13:12:05

    You should do what you need to do. As was said, if the relationship is still good, it will adapt and grow. If not, its way more important to keep growing. Like Dylan says "If you're not busy bein' born, yer busy dyin' "

    Reply

  6. Lara
    Jan 01, 2010 @ 15:13:29

    I'm glad you know what you have to do for yourself. Relationships can't work if the individuals involved don't take care of themselves first. Good luck – I look forward to reading along. 🙂

    Reply

  7. rae ann
    Jan 01, 2010 @ 16:59:54

    i think you need to adopt one of daysgoby's resolutions and put yourself before your family now and then. i think school is a fabulous way to implement that! BONUS: it would be totally awesome for your own girls to see you head back and grow yourself. DO IT! TCBIM will/ should be happy for your desire to self-improve and it might even inspire him to make some changes of his own. DO IT!p.s. i will kick your ass if you visit powells before i move home. i'd LOVVVVE to be your powells tour guide- it's my favorite place to waste away a rainy saturday and (before the great relocation of '09) it was our favorite family outing.

    Reply

  8. Ricki
    Jan 01, 2010 @ 20:41:14

    If you two go to Powell's together, I'm gonna pitch a fit if I'm not invited ;)*yes, that was very bold of me, oh well!

    Reply

  9. roo
    Jan 02, 2010 @ 18:10:07

    If he loves you, he'll follow. and i think it would be a foolish man who wasn't excited to see his lady expandiing her mind and fulfilling her dreams, and maybe becoming a stronger wage-earner in the process. good luck, and best wishes to you and yours in the new decade.

    Reply

  10. Angela
    Jan 05, 2010 @ 01:10:07

    Julia, I think it's a great idea! I don't have any advice on TCBYM and how this could possibly change things. I know that that would be a situation that you would THRIVE in and grow and be happy. P.S. If anymore of you meet and I don't get to meet someone, I'm gonna throw a major fit! 🙂

    Reply

  11. Magpie
    Jan 05, 2010 @ 22:26:44

    Going back to school would be an awesome thing, and those are both great programs.

    Reply

  12. art-sweet
    Jan 06, 2010 @ 14:02:41

    I think you would be such an inspiration to your girls (and your granddaughter) if you did it. And count me among those who had no fucking clue you hadn't been to college, let along grad school.

    Reply

  13. Rachel
    Jan 06, 2010 @ 16:39:13

    Yes, yes, you need to do the school thing. Absolutely. You belong there. :)This coming from someone who seems like a hybrid of you and your husband. (Bad choice of words? hybrid?)And you had to go and mention Powell's… oh, what a wonderful place.

    Reply

  14. Gabriella
    Jan 06, 2010 @ 22:18:07

    I could've written this post myself. I am in the same shoes…as the years go by I realize hubs and I have barely anything in common. Unfortunately I don't have any answers to give you.But I do think you should go for it and get your bachelor's degree, YOU are what's important. Doing something for you is what matters.

    Reply

  15. fjd
    Jan 27, 2010 @ 01:12:46

    "so I can learn to write properly"Now, that's simply not true: to the extent that my limited abilities give me any ability to judge, your command of the written word is excellent; and your voice is wonderful."so I can get a good job"Alas, you are probably right about this. Only in the world of computer programming is merit enough to get by; it seems every other type of job requires one degree or another."I mainly want to go because I love school."This, of course, is the best reason to go back. Your sentiment aligns well with my view of school: what one gets out of school is no more or less than what one puts into it. The best students don't need a formal school environment to learn, though they may well enjoy being in it.Anyway, good luck!

    Reply

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