Last night I couldn’t sleep. Tossed. Turned. Looked at Facebook. Looked at Instagram. Googled myself. Emailed Jim to tell him that I couldn’t sleep. Resorted to food.
Only there is no food. I haven’t done for-real grocery shopping—not even online—in a month and a half. I was doing good for a bit there. I was so committed to feeding myself something more than crackers and candy, like maybe a vegetable a couple times a week, but I fell off the wagon. Thus the only edible—Jim would debate “edible” as a relevant adjective here—thing were some Mary’s Gone Crackers crackers.
Back when our relationship was new and I wasn’t yet taking the initiative to schedule his dog’s grooming or spending weeknights helping fold children’s clean underwear or sharing a calendar, back when I was ignorant of Jim’s dietary predilections, I gave him one of those crackers and said, “I think you’ll really like these. They’re delicious,” he took half a bite and said, “Tell me this is dog food.”
After grabbing a handful of crackers I went to the the fridge for water, and as I watched the glass fill up I thought, “Did I ever expect to live alone at 31?” You know what? I did, just not recently. When I was a teen I was a horrible bitch beast, more contrary than anyone ever, and had decided that not only did I not want kids, but I didn’t want to get married either. Back then I couldn’t imagine myself older than 25—I can never picture anything more than a decade away—but when I imagined that 25-year-old self, she lived by herself. She was a lot more educated than I am now. She was accomplishing things, things I haven’t done yet. She was knocking the stuffing out of life.
Side note: I just wiped my nose on my sleeve. And it was damp because I’d done the same thing five minutes ago. Banish me. I deserve to live alone—whatever that means.
But since I got married and planned that the marriage was going to, you know, work, I let go of that idea of a solitary self. I was yoked. I’d stay yoked.
Well, that didn’t happen.
So now I’m a version of what I imagined I’d be back when I was a truly terrible kid. And I’m not unhappy with this version. While I’m not the whizbang broad I envisioned, I am capable and occupied, and, like I thought I would all those years ago—for the time being—I do alone rather well.