Last Saturday morning when I was at the tire store I was struck as usual by a myriad of emotions. I was the only woman in the place and felt amused as the employees and customers were riveted to the t.v. screen upon which some Japanese game show I'd never heard of called "Ninja Warrior" was on. From what I could gather, 100 Japanese guys had to go through all these obstacle course type events to become the Ninja Warrior. The events were pretty difficult and no one came even close to being crowned the warrior. I was grateful to have a book with me but I had to say I found it pretty funny that these nice middle-aged dad type guys from my middle-class suburban town were so fascinated by this show.
It got me to thinking about the differences between men and women and how much I miss living with a man. I love and appreciate all the male quirks that get on women's nerves including obsession with sports and interest in totally pointless athletic game shows. But I also miss and appreciate all the good stuff too - the strength of a man's body, the smell of sweat on him after he has mowed the lawn, his ability to kill spiders and unknown scary insects without closing his eyes or squirming in his shoes.
When some of these men came in the store, they told the mechanics that their wives had called earlier and talked to them about some tire model or other detail. To this my reaction was jealousy toward women I don't even know getting to stay at home while hubbo goes to the tire store to get the tires changed. I also felt burdened with the fact that I have to be the one doing the "male weekend chores." In reality, I do everything all the time. To hear how couples were sharing the work load made me envious that their lives are easier in that regard.
Most of all I think that what I was feeling more acutely was just sadness at not living with a man right now. I do have a guy in my life but we don't live together and going out or spending time at his home does not end up being the same thing. You can't replace the experience of waking up with someone in the morning or having someone by your side in the middle of the night when you have a nightmare or a headache. I looked at these nice, average, middle-aged guys and wanted to take one home with me. But only after he did all the tire stuff.
Today I am grateful:
1. For all the steps I have taken to try and cope with this transitional part of my life (grief therapy, reading self-help books on grief, knitting, going through old possessions and getting rid of them, blogging, journaling, socializing with friends).
2. For always getting back up even after sinking into despair.
3. For being honest about needing help when I need it.
4. For not wanting to pretend anymore that life is something that it's not.
5. For being more kind, patient and tolerant of myself.