Saturday, December 8, 2007

Bowling alone

BMG and I were lying in bed this morning, talking about why my friends don't ever have parties. I started going through my list of friends and realize that many of them have circles of friends that I have been excluded from - either because they made these friends long before they knew me, or because their separate friends are married with kids and therefore I either don't fit in (I choose neither marriage nor kids) or the friends fear that I cannot relate. I also realize that a handful of my married gal pals use our friendship as an oasis from their suburban lifestyles. Boobra, for example, often wistfully talks about my crappy illegal basement apartment as if I lived in the Bachelorette Taj Mahal.

I then turned to BMG and said, "Your friends never have parties either!" "Yes they do, we just never go." As we went through HIS list of friends who have parties, we reflected on the fact that his family often has get-togethers that we DO attend. BMG lives 1/2 mile from his parents and maybe six miles from one of his brothers and his sister. "If we lived near my family we'd see them every weekend," I countered. Then I stopped. I would love to see my family every weekend. I would love to make cookies with my sisters, share coffee in the morning with my mother, and play Pet Shop Dolls and Playmobile with my nieces and nephew. But, I don't want to live in Syracuse, NY. I don't want to live in Syracuse because there is not enough to do there for me - this childless by choice, eclectic, and hard-to-pigeonhole adult woman. And, if there is not enough for me to do there, I'll get sucked into being a daughter, a sister, and an aunt all of the time. This I cannot do.

I think this is a classic dilemma of wanting what one knows is not good for them. BMG asked if I was sad about the bind I find myself in. "I'm both sad and happy," I replied. Continuing, "Sad because I love and miss my family. Happy because I'm making the choices that are right for me." "Oh, you are melanhappy" he said cleverly, before turning over and falling into lazy and self-satisfied sleep. "Yeah, melanhappy," I thought, feeling the word on my tongue and absorbing the feelings of wistful contentment. "Melanhappy."

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