It's no secret that sometimes the loss of my marriage still haunts me. This is one of those times.
And yet, in truth, I'm not sure what it is that troubles me. Is it the fact that my husband wasn't who I thought he was, or was it me? Was I simply not who I thought I was, or not who he thought I was, or not who I needed to be?
In all likelihood, it's probably a combination of all those things, and more. But the last couple of years have really drawn into sharp focus a few things that I know for sure. Such as:
This is me. Take me or leave me, I'm not going to change who that is for anyone. I have eclectic musical tastes, I hog the covers, I sing in the shower, I like to watch television, I am a perfectionist, I do not like a messy house.
I have expectations, and while they are not extraordinarily high, they are not to be trifled with. Should I ever find myself sharing living quarters with a loved one again, I expect that when I walk in the door, he will stop what he's doing (unless it's something biological, or a miracle has occurred and a man has learned to run a vacuum,) stand up, hug me and say hello. (The occasional sweep-me-off-my-feet kiss would be nice, too.) I can't tell you how many times I came home to find my ex glued to the computer screen. In the later days of our marriage, he was likely corresponding with his paramour, but I sincerely hope that early on I was a little more important than whatever computer game he was playing. Just hug me, then get back to it. But give me a few minutes to feel special. Like maybe, just maybe, you missed me.
I like dairy. The lactose intolerant portion of the population can just stay the hell out of my fridge.
I camp. In a tent. You don't have to like it. You don't even have to go. You just have to encourage me to do it without you. Sissy.
I do not like to be pawed in the grocery store. I think he thought I was a cold, anti-affectionate ice cube, when in fact I simply didn't like him touching my lady parts in the cereal aisle. Some things should be private, dammit, and that's one of 'em.
I need to have activities that are all my own. I willingly gave up so much of this during my time with Christopher, and it took me so long to re-discover the fact that I like karaoke, I love to dance, writing is a true passion, knitting relaxes me in a way little else can, and sometimes I need time alone with my friends.
Finally, I require that teeth be brushed at least twice a day, showers be taken daily unless we're camping, and clothing be ironed. Not by me.
It's not a lot, really. I'm not saying "hey, gimme a kidney" here. And I'm sure there's more; these are just the examples of things that immediately spring to mind when I think about how I settled, and how much more I deserve.