Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Trouble in Paradise -- I Need My Space, Man!

So…enter…a little frustration.  (Well, it can’t always be perfect, can it?) 

It’s been six months.  We are well out of the honeymoon phase and well into adapting to real life.  As in – how do I comfortably meld this relationship into my everyday life?  I’m re-discovering things about myself that I’ve forgotten – such as how much I value my time alone.  I’m an introvert.  As such, I need – need – solitude.  When I don’t get it, I get crabby.  Being around people drains me, and this goes for people I really like (and love!)  It's especially bad for me when I am around a person for hours and hours and hours with no break.   

I fully realize that I’m a little weird when it comes to relationships.  I’m independent and have been single for a long time.  As a result, I’m used to doing things alone.  More than that – I like doing things alone.  I look forward to my weekly trip to Whole Foods, to walking around the park, to shopping on Michigan Avenue, to going to the farmer’s market, to going for a run, to catching up on TV shows saved on my DVR – by myself.  I’ve always been like this, with every man I’ve dated.  (I’ve never been one to spend 24/7 with another person.  The thought of that is enough to make me break out in hives!)  It’s almost worse given my job now.  It’s so stressful that I need sufficient decompression time to myself to even feel normal.  So, give me my space, man!

I’ve explained this to CTF at least six or seven times.

But for whatever reason, it’s not sinking in.  (He’s not daft, so I don’t get it.) 

The largest problem I have is the weekends.  Because I tend to work a lot of hours during the week, CTF views the weekends as our time together.  (I typically see him for dinner one or two weekday evenings.)  Because of this, CTF wants to spend the entire weekend together.  As in, we go out Friday evening, he stays over Friday night, we spend all day Saturday together, we spend Saturday night together, we spend all day Sunday together, we spend Sunday night together, and he goes home on Monday morning.  (Oh, how awful -- a wonderful man wants to spend time with me!  Oh, I’ve got it so rough.  I know, I know.)

While I actually don’t mind doing the above occasionally, I can’t do it every weekend.  It is absolutely draining for me to do that every weekend.  We did this during our “honeymoon” stage, so I’m partially to blame for getting him used to it, but when real life hits it just is not sustainable.  Because I work such long hours, I need my weekends to clean my house, get my hair cut, run errands, paint my nails, dye my hair, and deal with life.  I can’t just “hang out” all weekend with CTF.  Could I clean my house with him sitting there?  Sure.  But why should I?  We don’t live together!  And I really, truly do need my alone time.

My main issue is – after staying the night on a Friday or Saturday, he doesn’t voluntarily go home the next day.  At all.  Like, ever in six months of dating.  He has never gotten up on a Saturday or Sunday morning and said “I have some errands to run so I’m going to go home.” or “I have plans with Matt, so I’m heading out now.”  I’ve never dealt with a situation like this before, with any man I’ve ever dated.  You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve gone over this in my brain.  Am I wrong?  Is he wrong?  Is neither of us wrong?  Why doesn’t he go home and do his own thing, at least for a few hours?  The thing is, I wouldn’t describe him as “clingy.”  I really don’t see him that much; three to four days a week.  It’s just that after a lot of together time straight (usually it hits me around 18-24 hours, and it is more apt to hit when we are doing nothing than when we are busy out doing stuff), I need to clear my mind and be alone for awhile.

This has really become an issue for me over the past six or seven weekends.  I’ve talked to him about it.  (I think communication is very important!)  He nods his head.  He says he understands.  Yet it has translated into no action on his part.  It’s like it goes in one ear and out the other.  I have had this conversation with him on a Saturday night, and then Sunday he is still sitting on my couch at 6 p.m.  It’s really unbelievable and sometimes I wonder if I’m on Candid Camera.    

I’ve tried dropping hints.  “Gee, I have so much to do tomorrow.”  “I really should do some work today.”  “I really need to get over to Whole Foods soon.”  “I really should get a workout in.”  The hints have not worked at all.  Typically after trying to drop hints for an hour or so, I’ve had to just put on my coat and stand there, and say “Time for you to go now; I need to get some things done.” 

I’ve now completely surpassed dropping hints and have gone to the blunt extreme.  I no longer see him on Friday nights, unless it is to just briefly meet up for dinner.  Would I like him to stay over Friday night?  Sure.  So why don’t I see him?  Because I like having Saturday morning to run my errands, work out, and do my thing, and I don’t want to have to kick him out.  If he would just get up in the morning and go home, I wouldn’t mind another night together.  But I can’t get him to do it on his own.  I now have to say flat out “I need my alone time, you need to go home.”

And even then it takes him on average an hour and a half to actually walk out the door.

I resent having to say this to him.  I’m at a point where I get internally angry, and it’s affecting my time with him.  Rather than having fun with him on Saturday evening, I’m wondering in the back of my mind at what point on Sunday I will hit my limit and have to tell him to leave.  I hate having to tell him to leave.  I hate it!  It makes me feel like I’m rejecting him, when really I’m not.  I just need a few hours to myself for God’s sakes!  I feel mean when I have have to say this.  He doesn’t get at all that if he would just leave for a few hours earlier in the day, I would be happy to get back together with him later on in the evening, even though I have explained this to him.    

I’m clearly going to have to bring this up with him again.  (Seriously, I've already brought it up so many times, and I hate relationship talks.)  Last Sunday he sat on my couch all day long.  I didn’t even want to deal with it, so I just cleaned my house and ignored him for hours.  This past Sunday I just told him to go home at around 5 p.m.  He leaves when I tell him to, but it does seem like it is starting to bother him.    

I’m just so frustrated with this.  He and I are so compatible in every other way and I really do have a great time with him, but I’m starting to feel as though I’m the center of his universe or something.  He has friends, he has hobbies.  So why doesn’t he do any of that on the weekends?  I am always the one who cuts our time together short, who gets off the phone first, who says “no” to getting together, who makes plans without him.  I really think this is something we can work through and figure out, but I’m losing patience with him.  And I'm sick of having to bring it up! 


Friday, March 8, 2013

What Sequestration?

Do you ever just feel like this country is going crazy?

Allegedly we are in the midst of a government sequestration – $85 billion in spending cuts, people! It was supposed to be like doomsday.

And yet, in the past week, I’ve seen the following reported in the news:

TSA signs a $50 million contract for new uniforms.

The President has begun planning his yearly Martha’s Vineyard summer trip.

U.S. government advertised 400 new jobs on the first day of the sequester.

John Kerry announced that the U.S. is going to give $250 million to Egypt.

The White House calligrapher gets paid nearly $100,000 a year.

The White House dog walker gets paid over $100,000 a year.

The government spends $1.7 billion each year for maintenance on the empty buildings it owns.

The National Science Foundation gave a $350,000 grant to Purdue University researchers on how to improve your golf game.

U.S. farmers are given $2 billion annually not to farm their land.

There are studies upon studies upon studies about all of the duplication and waste going on in our government. What’s shocking to me is that more people in this country aren’t demanding the government cut back on this waste. Why isn’t anyone paying attention to the CBO reports each year that talk about the mass duplication of efforts across agencies and the numerous areas where costs can be cut? No one talks about that; it’s all about taxing us more.

Oh, wait -- I know why.  Because it would mean government layoffs.  (You can't tell me that the government couldn't find a more efficient way to do things, with less employees.  You can't tell me that every employee who works for the government is busy for eight hours a day.)  Congress won't do anything if it means layoffs, because then they won't get reelected.  See the problem here?  The people in charge of deciding how to spend the money have a vested interest in throwing money at everyone in order to keep their jobs.  Quite the conundrum, isn't it?