Alas, the usual situation of being at odds with the spouse is upon me again. Within the last few days, I have received three pleasant introductions from guys visiting the area where I live (two for MAL this weekend and one coming to DC in a couple weeks) asking if they can come visit, have a bite, and see the boot collection.
My response, dictated from the spouse…
…is “thanks for your message and flattering statement about wanting to visit. Sorry, we do not entertain visitors.”
Yep, per terms of enabling the spouse’s wishes (and his general antisocial behavior), I have turned away requests to visit in our home. The spouse just hates it.
When I have friends or family drop by unexpectedly, the spouse runs away and hides. He does not want to see anyone.
There are two exceptions — his mother and my twin brother — but that’s it. And he would really rather not have anyone visit.
I know it is unusual for someone as outgoing and gregarious as I am to tolerate someone so opposite, but as they say, “opposites attract.” The spouse makes up for his antisocial behavior in other ways.
I can understand in some ways, that his physical health condition makes it so painful for him to walk that people look at him with pity — and he absolutely hates that. But his antisocial behavior has roots in an upbringing by a mother who is … no other words … paranoid about other people. That paranoia was around all the time during my spouse’s childhood and only got worse with time and some of those feelings were retained.
No matter how hard I have tried to break that antisocial behavior pattern of the spouse, I have been unable to do so. And then when he got so sick and recovered to a stable but still quite painful level of existence, I cannot and will not fight it. He is how he is and I respect his wishes.
Sure, I like to meet other people, talk boots, motorcycles, and such. But I only do that by myself on rare occasions that the schedule and location works.
Schedule-wise, I work full-time and have really crammed weekdays. I rise 7 days a week at 0400. I try to exercise a little bit, then prepare my lunch and drive to my place of work. I am at the office no later than 0530, so no “meet for coffee before work.” I seldom take more than 15 minutes for lunch, so no “let’s do lunch.”
I am usually at home by 1600 if there are no crises-du-juor at the office, and when I arrive at home, after changing clothes and boots, I get busy preparing dinner for the spouse and me. Due to restricted crazy diets that we both have, we never eat dinner (or other meals) at restaurants (and also that the spouse hates going out, anyway).
After dinner and while the spouse’s has his obligatory phone call to his mother to check in on her, I get busy on my computer catching up on personal stuff. But I have a limit of no more than 30 minutes of that — then I sit with the spouse, hold his hand, and watch some TV. By 2030 at the latest, I’m off to bed. Even on weekends.
Weekends may be an exception. When weather and time permits, I will mount the saddle of my Harley and go for a ride. I enjoy riding with my club, but I also ride — or take passengers for rides — on my own. Again, it does not happen as often as I wish, but motorcycle rides are about the most frequent socially interactive activity that I do.
In the not-so-distant past, I may have leathered up and gone into DC around MAL time and visited with friends, perhaps for dinner at a restaurant. But these days, my own tolerance of the hassle of going into the city is reduced so much that I don’t want to go any more. DC has made driving into the city very unfriendly, and the cost of parking is outrageous. I really dislike DC as a venue for evenings out. Metrorail [subway] is so unreliable and costly as well, it also is not much of an option, either.
Oh well, thanks for the gracious and flattering email. I’ll just see you around this ol’ blog and website.
Life is short: enjoy virtual visits, ’cause in-person visits ain’t gonna happen.