I made my bed this morning.
This may not seem like a very monumental thing to you, but it’s important to me. It has been for over a year now.
Valentine’s Day is two days from now, and while I understand that it is a largely commercial holiday with no real significance in the grand scheme of things, I always tried to make a big deal out of it for my wife. I wanted it to be special. Romantic. The first Valentine’s Day we spent together, I made her a white pizza with fresh vegetables from scratch. I went out and bought some wine and new candles. I fed her dinner on the floor of my room with the candles burning and soft music gently playing in the background. When we were done eating, I read her some of my favorite poetry.
She gave me a t-shirt with “horny devils” having sex all over it.
The last Valentine’s Day we spent together was during the midst of our eventual breakup, when she was having an ongoing relationship with me and her current lover. I really tried. Really wanted it to be significant. I wanted her to see how important she was to me, in the hopes that she might decide that, once again, I was enough for her. I spent days looking for the right gift. In the end, I bought her a gold necklace that had three gold animals on it, one for each of the three animal totems that she believes influence her life. I made her a card that expressed my feelings, my love for her. I took her out to dinner.
She gave me a card and a necklace with my animal totem on it. Funny coincidence, that. She gave the exact same thing to her lover. Thing was, the poem she put in the card she made for the lover had some sort of personal meaning that was so deep I wasn’t allowed to read it. The one she put in mine was something common and forgettable. I think it was the Browning “How Do I Love Thee?” poem.
Ed. Note – Thanks to my always watchful buddy Eve for pointing out the proper source of “How Do I Love Thee?” In my first posting I had improperly credited Shakespeare for writing it. My bad!
I knew then, of course, that we were destined to fail. That in the end she was going to abandon everything we had and run off to be with him. Even if he didn’t get her anything for Valentine’s Day. Sure enough, she did. When I finally asked her to choose between us because I couldn’t handle being second fiddle anymore, she left me. One month before our 5th anniversary.
The day after she left, I made my bed. I’ve done so every morning since.
You see, my marriage to her was full of compromises. Mostly on my part. Of course, I’m sure that if you ask her opinion on the subject, you will get quite a different story, but that doesn’t bother me. I know the truth, and I’ve been told it enough by the friends who didn’t come around when I was with her that I believe it. I don’t think I asked for much. I helped with the cooking and the cleaning. I did more than my share of taking care of our son. I let her decide what movies we were going to see or what television shows we were going to watch. I let her decide where we were going to live. I gave her as much control as I possibly could.
One of the only things I ever asked her to do for me was to make the bed. Before I met her, I made my bed every day. I find it very comforting to get into a made bed at night, and I really think it sets the tone for your home. If you make the bed every day, it’s easier to keep the rest of the house clean. Call me crazy, but I really think this is true. I almost always was out of bed before her every day, so it’s only natural to assume that she would be the one to make the bed.
In our almost seven years together, I don’t think she made the bed once.
I cite this as an example of how little give and take there was in our relationship. Everything was her way or else. Ironically, I was content with that. I didn’t mind giving up control or compromising on my ideals as long as the family stayed together. That, unfortunately, wasn’t enough to keep her happy, and she moved on.
So here comes Valentine’s Day. My first one “alone” since 1994. I’ll probably be moody about it, and I’m sure I’ll dwell on what “they” are doing and how unfair the whole situation. I will eventually remember, though, that I am happier without her. That for the first time in years I am in control of my destiny again. That I do not have to compromise who I am or what I love in order to make someone happy. That I was simply not meant to be with her.
And that when I get home that night, my bed will be made.
Some news for those of you that are curious…
The weight loss is going very well. I have been on Weight Watchers for a little over 3 weeks now, and I’ve already lost 19.6 pounds! Hooray for me!
I GOT A NEW JOB! Yes, I’m finally out from under the oppressive yoke of Auction Broker Software. I have almost doubled my income, and I’m working for a company that actually conducts themselves in a professional manner. Go figure! More on this one later…