In Writing

The fastest way to get sick of yourself is to get into a relationship. I’m in a relationship now and, frankly, I can barely stand myself.

Here’s the thing: when you’re alone, all your quirks are perfectly reasonable, yours alone, not to be reconsidered or examined. You’re just YOU. Then you try to explain yourself to someone you like, and whose approval matters to you.

Holy hell.

Here’s just some of what I’ve recently discovered about myself:

  • I don’t like people going into my kitchen unless I invite them there.
  • I say “always” and “never” much too much.
  • I rib people more than is necessary.
  • I hate my stomach and I don’t want anyone touching it or viewing it at anything but the approved angles.
  • I hate to ask for things.
  • More than that, I hate to want things and not get them. I REALLY REALLY hate to muster up the courage to ask and be told no.
  • I like my bedding heavy. Who knew it was heavy until I slept under someone else’s far lighter bedding? Until then it was just… bedding.
  • My basement is a shameful wreck and I don’t mow my lawn enough. (Also: I can’t start my lawn mower and I’m feeling very sorry for myself about it).

So, there it is, an incomplete list of my many unappealing foibles. Why do we do this at all, as a species? It’s exhausting. The learning someone else’s quirks is not so bad, but the being confronted with your own is excruciating.

Yes, I know why. Because, maybe, in some impossible land of hope exists someone who sees your messy kitchen and says, “I love you anyway.” And then it’s better to be you.

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