Saturday morning of my mini-vacay started with waking up slowly next to Biff. I thought, “Hmmm. It’s awfully nice waking up next to him,” but he couldn’t stay for breakfast. He had to meet his dad in the morning. My morning was spent, then, slowly on my own. I went for a run in the mist and fog. It was only my second time running on my foot. I felt heavy. My body moved in ways I didn’t like. It’s the extra 7 pounds I put on since breaking my foot. If I don’t suck in, it looks like I could be pregnant. Bluh. The run, though, was lovely. I toured the town and houses, imagined getting a cottage someday. Half an hour later, I was back at the B&B in the shower. Then it was breakfast on my own. I grabbed a paper and sat at my own table. I ate berries with cream. I liked the quiet. I actually need solace now and again so I just savored my mimosa and homemade pecan roll.
An hour or so later, Biff came back and met me at the coffee shop where I was working on the next book. (It’s a memoir. I know. I know. But it is.)
We walked the town. Went shopping. I bought a little picture of a cottage surrounded by red flowers. We ate lunch. We took naps. We ate dinner. And at dinner, I had all these thoughts that were coursing through me and they sort of went like this:
What am I doing here with Biff? We’re so different. He hates his job. I love mine. I have kids, he doesn’t. He smokes and likes American food. I run and have a sick fascination with lentils. He’s skinny; I’m a little tubby right now. He doesn’t want to be married. I do.
Wait a minute! WHAT?
I don’t know how I started the conversation but I said something like “We’re so different. Do you really think this is working?”
He looked dumbfounded. “What do you mean?”
“I mean that I don’t know, you said you never wanted to be married and I have to think about the kids. I mean, if you’re my boyfriend, then I should introduce you to the kids, but what does that mean? I don’t want them to start to count on you.”
And then he said something about the truth was that if he were called on a movie in Prague or New York he’d go. That the truth was that he was a ‘live in the moment’ guy, but he didn’t say he NEVER wanted to get married.
I nodded. What else do you do? “Okay,” I said.
“I’d really like to meet your kids. I’m nervous about it, but I’d like to.”
“I know,” I said. “But you can’t meet them yet.”
The thing is, I’m a mom. And I can’t risk introducing them to someone who lives only in the moment. That’s my truth. And it’s so hard that I can’t just do what I want and live in the moment and not think about tomorrow and tomorrow, but that’s because I’m a parent. And being a parent and being single means there’s a real possibility I’ll spend the majority of my adult life alone.
There was deep awkwardness after the conversation and though we didn’t decide anything, something in me has shifted and shut down. I have let’s say ‘trust issues’ and need very tender handling. The subtext of the conversation, what I heard was “I’m having a great time with you, Tanya, but when something better comes along, I’m out of here.”
It’s okay. It’s sad. But it’s okay. We walked out of the restaurant. “You okay?” he asked.
“Yep,” I said, and smiled.
By 8PM we were sitting in our cramped little room, Biff typing on the computer, me trying not to fall asleep when I blurted the truth I’d been struggling with for most of the day. It had to be said. Best to say it in one breath. “Biff, I’m bored.” I flinched as I waited for him to go on and on about a waste of money and only boring people are boring (like my ex used to do.) Instead he said, “Thank god. I’ve been bored most of the day.”
“Well, let’s go home then.”
By 8:30 we were in the car. By 9 we were at home. By 9:30 we were in my basement watching Battlestar Galactica. The next morning, we did super fun stuff like go to Lowe’s and lawn work. Biff helped. I loved it. I really did.
So what’s the moral of this mini-vacay? There is a moral, or at least some lesson I learned. I learned that I am not a good fit for a Bed and Breakfast. I want more attention from my vacation. I want a big tub with jets and room service. I want a workout room. So now I know.
But I also learned something bigger. I want to be married again. I didn’t know that I did until this weekend, but the truth is, I do. Talking to Biff just crystallized it. The sad thing is, I don’t know what that means for me now. I have an image of my future husband and he’s crazy about me and we understand each other and we have passion. And he’s a hard worker and he wants to be not only a good friend to me and the kids, but he also wants to be a good role model. He likes my cooking. He doesn’t mind when I don’t wear makeup and I put on my crazy plastic boots to feed the birds or water a plant I neglected for a month. Sometimes he’ll grab me and kiss me just so that I don’t forget that even though I’m his wife and a mom, at the heart of it, I’m also a woman.
This is a surprise to me. I thought I’d given up on that idea of love and marriage, but I haven’t…it’s just changed form within me. I no longer feel like I have to be in a relationship just to be in one. And I know that the relationship I want is waiting for me. It’s just not the time yet. So for now, I’ll simply enjoy my life as it is. And avoid B&B’s at all cost. Literally. They’re expensive.