Here is a post from August 8, 2006. Posting it here doesn’t necessarily indicate that I like it or much about who I was back then.
When I was a kid, our dog Czar never got to go anywhere, so on those rare and joyous occasions when he was ushered into the family car, it was The Most Exciting Thing Ever. I’d sit in the back seat with him and he’d climb on me so he could stick his nose out my window and then he’d burst back to the other window, covering the seat in tufts of husky fur. More often than not, these otherwise awesome trips ended at the vet, where all the excitement and happy anticipation turned to dread as he tried to pull us far, far away from the door leading to a world of horror.
On Saturday night, I enthusiastically presented myself with sparkly eyeshadow and perfectly straightened hair. I mix expensive (Seven jeans, Louis Vuitton handbag) with cheap (Old Navy tank, Steve Madden shoes) because I’m not trying too hard. I’m ready.
After finding a decent-enough parking space, we pass a party in what is either an apartment or a gallery. The music is good and people are dancing. Then we turn the corner to see the line. Of course there is a line at the club. Immediately I start pulling the leash in the other direction.
I’m not standing in line. I’m not paying a ridiculous cover. The thing is, though, even if I didn’t have to stand in line or pay cover, I don’t want to go in there. It doesn’t matter who the DJs are. I can’t do this. The whole scene — the people in line (except for the big guy in the Sox hat — he makes me happy), the bouncers, the drunk 21-year-olds singing terrible songs who walk by, the thoughts of crowds and overpriced crappy drinks inside — it makes me sad to, and I swear I’m not exaggerating, like, the very core of my being. I can’t do it.
Ben is excited about the DJs but says he hates this, too. I know he’s just being nice. He says it’s fine if we don’t go but still looks for opportunities to stand in the line for more than a minute. I tell him to go without me because, and this is the thing, I’d rather sit at home by myself than be here. I really would.
The last time we tried to go to something like this, we ended up arguing on the street and going home. This time we don’t argue. We never argue any more, or if we do, it’s logical and almost fun and whoever is wrong admits it and we’re good. We walk past the party again and if only we knew people who had parties like that, smallish parties where you move the furniture and dance to the good house music before going outside to cool off on the porch, well, that would be awesome. Instead I apologize for being an asshole and I’m crushed by the weight of how much I suck. I really am. Ben says it’s fine and he’s not bothered and I believe him but that makes me more disappointed by the fact that I can’t even hang out at a club for a few hours. What’s wrong with me?
We sit at a bar that isn’t crowded or annoying and drink decent beer. We need hobbies, you know, things to get really into. We’ve had the same conversation before, where we talk about being tired of the things we’ve always done but how we aren’t sure of what to do now. Hiking is nice. Gardening is nice. I don’t know, though — you can’t get really excited about hiking or gardening. Well, maybe you can, but we don’t. So I don’t know. I try to understand my logic — why, for example, will I happily stand in line to go to a Broncos game, but the second you put me near a line to get into a club I find it unacceptable? I don’t have the answers, but sometimes, these little struggles are what makes life interesting.
Sometimes I find it incredibly hard to spend so much of my life with someone who puts my happiness before his own. It’s never bad — I don’t mean it like that — but it makes me realize that I want to put his happiness before my own at least some of the time. That makes me sound all kinds of jacked-up and self-centered, doesn’t it, but it’s one of the most honest things I’ve ever said. I don’t think I’ve really thought about that before.
When they say that relationships are work, I guess it’s true but it’s misleading. Saying that relationships are work makes it sound like they’re hard, like they require you to give up part of yourself, like they suck at least some of the time, like they require you to tolerate a lot of crap, like they take too much compromise. If relationships are work, it’s the kind of work that you love, like being the closer who comes in to strike out the side and win the game (I couldn’t go a whole post without talking about baseball). It’s the kind of work that makes you feel content and good, like making pasta sauce that you simmer and stir while barefoot in the kitchen drinking a glass of wine. I don’t know. I’m getting cheesy now. But it’s good. Really good.