Sunday, February 7, 2010

What is it with you and fun? (Part II)

“What is it with you and fun?”  My husband said that to me early in our marriage. 
I think it was a Saturday afternoon, a beautiful spring day and he was sitting at his computer, which is what he did pretty much all the time, and I said something like: “Hey, how going for a bike ride…or a walk in the park, or anything that’s fun!”
And that’s when he looked at me -- with an odd expression on his face -- and said, “What is it with you and fun?”
            Now any normal person would have either left him right then, or they would have responded, “Ah, come on!  Fun is good for you!  You need those endorphins! You need that Vitamin D!”   
            But I felt – shame, honestly.  He was right and I was wrong.  You’re not supposed to have fun after you turn... thirty.  He’s an artist.  He’s serious. 
            I am….shallow.  Worthless. 
            So I put fun into a drawer for a couple of years, but then luckily for me I had a baby girl and we had fun.  That baby turned into a toddler and eventually an adolescent, at (practically) every stage of her life, we had fun.  We danced and we made up songs and rode bikes, and did funny accents and went on adventures.  
Kids understand fun.  They live in the moment and they want to play.  They like to be silly and they enjoy being wild and crazy. To this day, as she's about to turn 22, my daughter and I still know how to have fun.
            My husband, truthfully, had moments of lightness, but he was more like …well, Seattle – which averages 245 rainy, cloudy, gray days.  And I’m  a little more like…well, southern California – like San Diego. 
            Maybe it was because he was married to me – but his gloominess fed my gloominess like Miracle Grow.  The more I tried to lift his spirits, the more I failed and the worse we both felt. 
            His fun was sitting in front of the computer (if he was looking at porn I could understand, but I don’t think he was.)  He also played guitar – flamenco – beautiful music, but sad – soleas, sadness, loneliness, suffering – and lots of drinking.  There are a few happy songs, bolareas  - but he didn’t play them that much.
On the outside I did what I was supposed to do: went to work, came home, did the chores, walked the dogs, watched TV, read a book, went to bed – alone. 
            I literally had to pop two Excedrin  (for the caffeine) in the morning, before I could even get out of bed – so I could make coffee and have more caffeine.           
            It was like having a kid inside of you and starving her.  Until one day, in a marriage counseling session this voice says, “Hey, if you’re not happy and I’m not happy, what the hell?!  Let’s get a divorce and get this over with!”
Who said that? 
I did.  I did!! 
I felt like a thousand pound weight was lifted off my shoulders.  I literally danced across 86th Street towards Central Park West.  Whoooohoooo! 

The little girl was alive and well and no one was ever going to say “what’s with you and fun” to me ever again.
            I am determined to have fun the rest of my life – even if I’m in a nursing home someday - I’m going to find pleasure and be silly and enjoy this one brief lifetime that we have on this planet.
            So that’s my mission – to live – happily - in San Diego.  Not literally.  I love New York.  In New York there are plenty of people who are serious and work hard, and also enjoy having fun.  And the sun shines an average of 245 days a year, and now I can dance as much as I want to.  

               Actually, I realized after writing this piece is that it isn't just about fun.  It's about being who we really are and accepting who we really are.  Maybe some people can do that with no problem, but it took me a long time and I'm grateful that I finally have.  And I hope that my ex is happier now that he's able to be who he really is without someone nagging and trying to change him.  I know I am! 

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