Suboptimal separation

posted by Jeff | Wednesday, May 17, 2023, 11:37 PM | comments: 0

What a weird few days. I drove Diana to the airport yesterday so she could fly to Cleveland (where I just was), so she could drive to Toledo and attend the funeral for what was her, I think third cousin or aunt, but I don't really understand what the right terminology is for that lineage. The short story is that she was essentially a second mother to her for a number of years, so her passing was a big deal.

Now if I lean into this in a more selfish way, it's super weird, and difficult, to be away from her like this. I didn't exactly like going to CLE and Cedar Point without her a couple of weeks ago, but it's even worse in the context of her having to go to an important funeral without me. But with Simon still in school and the crazy expense of air travel, it was not exactly practical for us to go with her. And I hate that, because I hate the idea of her going to something like that without my support, for whatever that's worth.

Diana and I have had a very intense coupledom from the start. She's there for me at the worst times, and vice versa. Except when we can't. I've had to miss a wedding or two that she went to, and she (and Simon) have been to very few out-of-town events for me. Again, it's not an issue of concern or love, as much as it is expense. And it feels like that shouldn't be a thing, but it's a reality when you live many kilometers from the thing.

Our late start in our relationship has all kinds of disadvantages. Having a kid when she's 40 (and I was 36) is certainly not ideal. I never got to meet her mom, and from what I understand of her, we would have gotten along famously. We had no specific roots when we met, so we've moved around a ton. Being closer to 60 when our kid leaves the nest is definitely not great. And we had few adventures pre-parenthood, though it feels like now we're making up for that. Career compromises and such, that's a topic unto itself. But despite all of this, we have been a surprisingly durable and reliable team. And I'll be the first to say that's all Diana. I'm just happy that someone doesn't mind sleeping next to me, because I know that I'm not easy or typical to roll with (though at least now I know why). That it works is largely because of her ability to roll with me.

But however mundane or insignificant the thing might be, it's weird when we don't get to share it right away. I trouble her with my blog posts and work stories and thoughts about my life a decade or two ago with new context, and she tells me about crazy shit at work or volunteering at school or the latest daytime Simon challenge. When we're not together, it's strangely uncomfortable.

It's extra weird considering the fierce independence that she's always leveraged. Also because of my in-between relationship times, which are pretty small between 2005 and 2007, when we met. We haven't had much "alone time" since. But once she moved in, we were rarely apart. I was always worried about her getting into a car accident, working late, then it actually happened near the end of 2020. My anxiety is always high at night until she's next to me. It's worse a thousand miles away.

So one more night of weirdness. Then we can celebrate being alive and healthy and together.


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