Sven and I used to be roommates, so he's lived with my cats. He used to have an allergic reaction to them to a certain extent, but for the most part he wasn’t too bad if the fur was kept away from his face and his bedroom door kept closed. During Sven's last visit a year ago, it was clear he's now much more allergic. Perhaps it's not living with cats for a while, perhaps it's the addition of my bunnies and their hay, but Sven found my home intolerable.
So this time 'round he sorted out various friends to stay with. For my part I spent the week cleaning the house, hoping to make it habitable to the point where we could at least hang out, eat, watch videos, perhaps read a bit. Also, Sven hadn't sorted out his first overnight location, so it was probable he’d end up on my futon, at least at first.
After 30 seconds in the apartment it became painfully clear that nothing I'd done to help make the house less furry was any good at all. And so once again Sven slept on my back porch.
Yesterday he phoned a nearby friend who knew he was in town, and Sven is now based up the road. Unfortunately, the weather has been cold, so hanging out together means either roaming from restaurants to cafes or sitting on my wicker chairs on the porch with the sleeping bag thrown over us both while we read and drink hot tea.
One of the best things about hanging out together is that we tend to keep things low-key. Since we talk on the phone almost every day, there’s not really any catching up to do; the daily routine just starts to happen in person. Now, with simply being able to hang out suddenly pregnant with logistical issues, it’s become, as my friend Beth aptly put it, “all this weird pressure to just hang out.”
I went to the movies with Beth and her fiancé tonight; Sven, still recovering from jet lag, went back to his friend’s place. I hate this, I feel like I’m letting him down somehow. I hate that my house can’t be his, that we can’t just play it by ear. No, we have to strategize everything: where we’ll eat, where we’ll hang out. It’s kind of exhausting, and I feel so bad for Sven, who’s got two weeks of being displaced to look forward to. To make matters worse, he brought almost no clothes, planning to buy some new ones, and nothing we’ve seen in the shops is any good.
On the bright side, it’s great to see him. I love that Sven. We went to the Baha’i temple in Evanston today, as he’s never been inside. In the visitors’ center we watched a movie on the construction of the US temple and ended up doubled over with laughter over something stupid I said. Because we’re so mature. He’s brought me some presents, including a fabulous mug commemorating the marriage of Charles and Diana that he found in a thrift shop.
Tomorrow we’ll play it by ear; I suggested I go over his friend’s house (I know his friend) and we could hang out. Everyone I know here has cats, so I’m not much of a resource for poor Sven. Clearly, the next trip will be me flying to London so he can relax in his own place.
The movie tonight was good, very funny. I’m always wary of bumping into John at this theatre, which is one I know he sometimes goes to. Running into him and his latest girlfriend is not my idea of a fun night. We tried to open communication again, but I have too many buttons that are still easily pushed, too many old hurts that become revisited, and it’s for the best to just stay separate. Thank God for email blocking. I also recently came across a post via another friend’s post that a particularly odious ex put up about the anniversary of meeting his wife. Although many years have passed, it was still very difficult to read, not because I have feelings for this person (well, other than still being willing to run him over with a truck); I just don’t understand why the men who caused me such emotional anguish and who were so frustrating should find it so much easier to find another partner. I know fairness is a human construct, but cripes.
I’m pretty self-aware when it comes to my flaws and the challenges of dating me, but I honestly think that I’m a pretty freaking good catch, and I don’t understand why it’s so difficult for the men in my life to be willing to make it work while they’re with me. And it just never is a good idea to hear about an ex’s life, especially since the men I date tend to take all of five minutes to move on. If they keep having the same problems with subsequent relationships, it’s irritating because they clearly didn’t pay you any mind when you were trying to get them to understand how they were sabotaging the relationship. On the other hand, you also don’t want to hear that, after all the time and effort you invested in what was eventually a failed relationship, they learned from that and are now being the person you wanted, only for someone else. So either way, it’s not something I care to take part in.
This is the only time I will indulge in this self-pity here. I just felt the desire to put it out there. Not that anyone really reads this anymore but Sven, but that’s enough, I guess. Having one person who gets you is not something everyone is lucky enough to have.