Is it OK to be a maniac?
Husband James and I decided to run away from New York City for a few weeks together. We’re not young. We just look old. We had a lot of plans, and I was a wreck, but I kept telling myself it would be worth it. You know, we couldn’t choose anything I liked less because of our parents.
When we got to Paris, it was much easier to erase our memories of our home life. Our parents were abroad. We left our domestic belongings in storage and took beautiful yet spartan outfits (for Paris). We had never seen them in our lives. My fur necklace, which I treasure, was just a coat she gave me.
I especially like how we opted not to bring our dogs. We felt we had enough dogs and didn’t want to give another. We went to a park with some dogs who we had to hug so it was all more emotional.
We went to some art galleries. He told me he would spend most of his time there and I would spend most of mine. But he would make art projects. I began to feel the words of my dictations (The Laws of Love), that he would forget me, and he would sit all day on a chair by the window drinking orange juice.
There are some things you know you can’t do without. The most important, perhaps, is a facial. I did it. I did everything we had to do together, but not with the person I love. Even though we could not be together, he loved the eyebrows. Without a lot of things, I might have gotten those eyebrows tattooed, but I didn’t. I was right.
I pushed his buttons, and he came after me because I had a quick one. He scolded me, “Why are you scolding me? Do I ever complain? Don’t be selfish. Where were you when I was bored? Did you waste your time watching TV instead of coming to my shop?”
“Oh, yes, I was bored,” I told him.
He just laughed. I thought he was kidding.
We tried to speak, but we didn’t. I was driving the day after dinner, and there were always words of quarrel in the car, so I knew.
Our conversations didn’t escalate.
But he said his girlfriend had been questioning him a lot lately. He was upset.
I told him I did not know what to say. He was going to feel better if I didn’t say anything more because he was not going to listen. Then I told him that I loved him and that I would always put his needs first.
He rolled his eyes.
He looked at me and it felt right. I told him he needed to love me better. I said I am sorry.
He told me that he had loved me and I had. We are still married.
I knew what I had to do. We changed. Our kids know we are better friends. I can go to bed at night without a headache. My spouse sees me in a whole new light.