Thursday, March 17, 2011

Pulling the Plug

Well, today Barry and I took our relationship off life support.  He called the Cabana Boys to come drain and descale the pool and I have spent the day cleaning and decluttering the house so the real estate agent can come tomorrow.  In a way, this is saying goodbye to the house - as if I were dressing it up to leave it on the steps of the orphanage - and I keep having to stop and wipe the tears from my eyes.

Sadly, the house is a symbol of everything that went wrong between us.  Barry insisted that we sell both our previous houses and jointly buy a new one.  That made sense, since his house was too small for both of us and he didn't want to live in the home I had shared with Tom.  The one we built was a compromise, though - smaller than he wanted, bigger than I did.  (It was at the upper limit of what I thought we could afford after I quit working full time.  It was actually just past that limit, contributing regularly to the financial stress of our situation.)  He was never happy that it wasn't a huge mass of wasted space located on a golf course, and he insisted on putting in a pool.  Unfortunately, over my protests, he chose a pool builder who couldn't start until after we took possession.

This is the first new house I have ever lived in, and I was so excited at the prospect of moving in.  The layout of the model we chose was great, I argued Barry into Corian counters in the kitchen, and the whole thing was so bright and shiny that I was thoroughly infatuated with it.  Until the first night, when Barry decided the location was too noisy and we should move back to his old house.  The landscapers starting work at dawn the next day didn't help, either.  I bought a white-noise-emitting humidifier to block the (actually very minimal) noise from the street and after a month or so Barry became reconciled to the location.  By then, though, my pleasure in the house had greatly diminished and never completely returned.

In retrospect, I think Barry was reacting not to the noise but to the change.  At that point we didn't know that he had Asperger's and he thought (I can't imagine why) that he was the most flexible and adaptable person on the planet.  In reality, of course, the stress of the move alone (although I did 90% of the packing and all of the unpacking) was enough to totally disorient him, even without the new surroundings.

So, poor unwanted and unloved house, I hope you are adopted by someone who loves you for my kitchen and Barry's pool and the fact that you are within walking distance of the rec center.  You deserve much more affection than you've received for the last six years.  So do I.

“We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.” ~Mother Teresa of Calcutta

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