I had to be downtown first thing this morning and had to stop for gas on the way… I am always surprised when the car needs gas. I know how ridiculous that sounds. After five years of being without a partner, I should be used to it by now. That is just one of the things I never had to worry about… one of the ways I was supported in a partnership. Robert always made sure all the cars had full tanks of gas and were clean inside and out… I never had to do any of that. He also took care of all service things. He used to drive me places when the weather was bad too. Having to pump my own gas made me think of all the ways we supported each other in partnership and how lovely that was…
I realize every person is different and each relationship/partnership is different. I am not looking to “replace” him with having someone do exactly what he did… each meaningful relationship will undoubtedly look different. It makes me think of really nice houses. The really good ones are unique, special… not cookie-cutter. It’s the same way with relationships.
“Acts of service” were something he always did. I’m kind of a greedy girl I guess because I want all the love languages. Robert was fluent in all of them, and I always try to be… He kept the garage immaculate – everything in its place – and taught me it is not supposed to be a storage unit but rather a place where you actually park the cars (I miss that… mine is currently a storage unit again). I miss the way he always took care of some aspects of our life and I never had to give it a thought… the cars, the garbage going out, the garage, the bill paying, the yard, the pool… he actually did most of the day-to-day cooking too… I would cook special things for him – boeuf bourguignon, beignets, and other things that made him happy.
I miss the way he would wrap his arms around me in the kitchen while waiting for the coffee maker and say things low and sultry in my ear about how he thought I was so sexy… or the way he would turn the music up very loud and we would dance in the kitchen. We both liked the music loud sometimes and he had installed a whole house system with remotes everywhere. The right song would inspire a slow dance or a full-on boogie – LOL… and it was kind of cool how he orchestrated background playlists for the day and tolerated my occasional Chopin obsessions. We held hands often… I made a point of touching him every time I got near him – he needed the physical reminder of love and care. Once in a while, we would need grilled cheese in the middle of the night… or French toast. I miss middle of the night comfort food during a snowstorm after binge-watching much too much of something… I miss an occasional pizza in bed from our favorite pizza place on a lazy Sunday night. (Which he somehow got delivered when delivery was not an option… he also would get me things not on the menu in some of our favorite restaurants… I really should have learned more about that… one time I was bummed I had to go to a business meeting at a certain restaurant and I knew I didn’t really want what would be on the menu and he told me “I know that place – just tell them you would like a medium-rare filet mignon even though it isn’t on the menu… they will give it to you.” They did… no problem.)
I miss the tenderness. The way he always put me and my welfare first – which allowed me to put his first as well. And the sex… daily sex… I really miss that. It never got boring… and made me feel so connected… I miss touch in general. He even rubbed my back every night until I fell asleep… every single night… how crazy is that? It made him happy to lull me off to sleep knowing his loving touch made me sleep better. I miss the way we could tell each other anything… and talk about anything and everything. I miss his eyes. They were green… and looked at me with pure love and undivided attention. He was the best gift giver too. We routinely surprised each other with weird, unexpected gifts. It was fun. I had more flowers in that relationship than any one girl should ever be entitled to… sometimes just because – then birthdays and anniversaries and Valentine’s Day were so many flowers… more arrangements than I thought I had places to put them. When I moved from the big house, I donated 4 boxes of vases to a church that said they needed them. I had too many.
I miss the shopping trips a little too. Sometimes he would say “let’s play dress up” and he would take me shopping. He knew what looked good on me and what types of fabrics I preferred and felt comfortable in, and he had a real knack for finding me the best outfits. Honestly, I’m a little lost without someone dressing me. I have no fucking idea what looks good or what I should wear. He made it easy to get dressed – LOL. And I knew what he liked to wear and made sure he had plenty of them… mostly he preferred dress slacks and button up shirts – all of a very nice quality and texture… on vacations he liked linen… and for relaxing, super soft t-shirts and shorts. He was also really good and finding stuff for the house… things I would not have had the courage to get – and they looked awesome. He encouraged me to surround myself with things that really brought me joy – and that it was okay to choose things just because of that.
He always had my back. In any situation, I knew he would always have my back. And I had his. No one could come between us – not a friend, not a family member… no one. And there were some who tried. My family was just as important to him as his own. I really miss being held. There are just some days when it would be nice to curl up in someone’s lap again and be held – for no reason. We did “volunteer” things together too… one of our favorites was to get gifts for foster kids.
Robert was also an excellent party thrower. He was much more outgoing than I am and very good making sure everyone’s needs were met and they were having fun and he knew how to make conversation with everyone. He had such creative ideas too… one time we had a fire poi dancer after dark at our pool party. I can make things look nice, anticipate the flow and what might be needed where, and arrange for never-ending awesome food… but the “people-y” part – I need someone else to take the lead there…
He would jump in and take care of my business stuff that he could, allowing me to focus on negotiations and deals… him ordering signs, installing signs, taking pictures, doing routine inspections, meeting with utility people, helping me solve weird problems that came up – like the time I had a million-dollar deal that had a failed septic system… he thought it was the most fun “job” he had ever had… it worked so fucking well. I think next time though I would prefer my partner to have his own thing… I don’t want to be the person with the job that pays for everything. Is that anti-feminist? My therapist says I have a deep desire to be taken care of, since I wasn’t as a child… she says that it’s okay… I don’t need to be embarrassed about it (I am anyway) or feel any way at all about it… it just “is”. I would also like to leave the money management up to someone else and be able to trust that they are handling it right… I feel pretty sure if he hadn’t died Robert would have eventually managed it well enough to provide for my future… but that was a big fuck up I’d rather not go too deeply into today.
You might think this trip down memory lane is not a good idea. I think this is actually a small part of my “homework” for therapy this week… I am supposed to figure out what I want a new partnership/relationship to look like (provided I can remove the current brick wall around my fragile heart… but it hasn’t been there all that long – so I doubt it’s permanent). So, I need to think about things that are important and what it might look like with someone else. I would not want someone to be exactly like Robert – I want them to be who they are… just like custom homes being unique and different. I do know it must include unconditional-ness… unconditional love and acceptance. My next custom home of a relationship will be different than the last… maybe even better, but it for sure will have its own quirks and meaningful moments.