After 40 years, I want my half.

In just over 10 days, my parents will celebrate their 30th anniversary.  I wonder about this.  It’s an odd thought, as I have not lived with anyone for 30 years, including myself.  What does that DO to you, being around the same person for such a span of time?  I can’t imagine – it has to be something shaping and profound.  The two of them probably don’t understand it completely themselves.

And yet, even in such lengthy entanglements, there’s still a distinctive ‘I’.  People still get divorced, maybe only staying together until the children are grown.  People still get remarried, even when there may not be 30 (or 40) years left to enjoy one another’s company.  What does this mean?  Are we all just lonely?  Are we all just bad-tempered enough that eventually we can’t get along?

In Cambodia, for one couple, the ‘get away’ urge was overpowering.  After the couple separated (they did not legally divorce), the husband physically removed his possessions – including half of the house – to get away from his wife.  Drastic, yes.  Necessary?  I wouldn’t claim to know.

I’m sure it was a move somewhat precipitated by anger and bitterness.  I’m sure it’s something he will later regret.  A house, once split, doesn’t reunite cleanly, and I’m sure having only half a house detracts from the value of each half.  What do you do when it rains, and you’re missing walls?  But then again, what do you do when you can no longer peacefully coexist with your wife of 40 years?

My roommate

I’ve had some questions of late as to the potential crazies of the girl I now live with.  Ok, I’ve lived with her almost a month now, and I’m still not quite sure.  There’s the lonely factor.  I’m absolutely certain that the fact that she can’t stop talking to me has something to do with her having basically lived on her own for the past year.  But she also has two cats, and is on her way to three.  Not that I mind cats – still the attention she pays to them in place of actual people could be indicative of a slightly imbalanced state of mind.  However, she’s a perfectly sweet and nice girl.  As a roommate, her expectations are low.  And she certainly doesn’t expect to be a part of my life, though she occasinally talks my ear off.

So are the potential crazies really a bad thing?  True, she’s possibly a little awkward to have around if you’re welcoming a new acquaintance into your home.  But she’s not the type to become physically dangerous.  And even if she does, she’s about half my size, wispy, and not nearly as mean as me on a joyous and stress-free day. What could she possibly do?  Even if she were to attempt to talk me to death, there’s always the possibility of fleeing in outright rudeness to get away.

On the other hand, she might be catching.  Let’s face it, I’m not the most socially balanced person all on my own.  Sure I can laugh at myself and often do, but I also tend to act even more ridiculous when I’m nervous.  So am I simply more worried of myself sinking into catladydom?  Or is there some deeper, less ridiculous fear there?  Or does it not have anything to do with my own fear for myself at all?  Is it more about this girl, who I don’t know or have any intention of knowing outside of living in the same apartment as her for a year, who I’ve already comforted on one of her bad days because there doesn’t seem to be anyone else?  What does it say that my roommate came home from her job crying and i was almost afraid to hug her?  What kind of world is that?