Not A Pink Girl

My queendom for a weekend alone!

June 6, 2008
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This weekend my husband & son are going canoeing with the Boy Scouts. *insert Hallelujah Chorus here* I have been looking forward to a weekend without my fellas for months. I can’t believe how fast the time flies by when I’m puttering around my house when no one else is here but me.

The last time I had the house to myself was November 2006. How do I remember that right off the top of my head, you ask? Let’s just say the otherworldly-heavenly-ness of the weekend made an impression on me.

My front stoop (or porch, depending on where you\'re from)One Saturday afternoon a couple of years ago when my guys were camping, I worked in the garden. I live in a townhouse & have a postage-stamp-sized front- & backyard. I mow the lawn & do weeding, yes; but my real joy is gardening. Although my garden is small, I am a firm believer in vertical– & container gardening. I like to plant seeds in little peat pots in spring.Low-tech seedling labels much? A few years, I can remember planting seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost (isn’t that how it’s always worded on the seed packet?). But I don’t have a lot of counter space indoors so it’s difficult to find somewhere to store the pots as the seeds are trying to germinate.

So now I pretty much wait until spring fever has struck me full-force (usually around the second week of April) & then I go outside & start some seeds. So far this year I have little seedlings of marigold (tagetes) French Vanilla & butterfly weed (asclepias). I’ve planted Shasta daisies (Alaska), dwarf sunflower, Love Lies Bleeding (amaranthus caudatus), & florist’s verbena (do you believe that the verbena seeds need complete darkness to germinate? Sounds like my sex life after 45).

I can remember mowing the lawn that weekend a few years go when I was on my own. I puttered in the garden, deadheaded some flowering perennials, planted some more seeds (cosmos, I think, & others), & generally avoided anything high-tech like a ringing telephone, cell or otherwise. Suddenly I realized the streetlights were coming on. I was incredulous! How could 5 hours have sped by like that?

Just knowing I don’t have anyone in the house I need to “look after” makes me so much more relaxed & “myself.” I’ve never lived alone, not in my whole life! That always stuns me when I think about it. I had 4 siblings, a mother, father, & grandmother that lived with me until the day I turned 18. That day I left to marry my first husband. We got married in Maryland, & there you have to wait three days to be married after you take your oath to get your marriage license (it’s 48 hours now).  So I swore my oath at the courthouse in Upper Marlboro, Maryland on my 18th birthday. Three days later we were married at the same courthouse. I stayed with my best friend Nancy for the 3 days I had to wait to get married.

Me & Wendy in the Atlantis (Ocean City MD) pool, 1982When my ex-husband & I separated, I had a 6-month-old daughter, so I didn’t live alone after my marriage ended either. It was right back into the lion’s den, otherwise known as my parents’ house where I grew up (with an exceedingly unhappy childhood).

Me in 1967 in the backyard of my house in New Carrollton MDSo now, when I’m alone, it is blissful. I know that’s not what wives & mothers are supposed to say when their husbands & children go away temporarily. But knowing I don’t have to make sure there’s a hot meal on the table or someone’s favorite tee-shirt is laid out for the next day just gives me a certain serenity I don’t feel when I have a houseful.

It’s difficult for me to even go out to a restaurant & order what I want. Honestly! I look at the menu & it’s just second-nature for me to gravitate towards a dish that will leave me with leftovers that my son & husband would want to eat. So instead of ordering a personal pizza with mushrooms, roasted red peppers & basil, I’ll order one with bacon & ground beef. That way, I’ll be able to satisfy those wistful guys at home that sigh with envy when I tell them I ate at their favorite pizza place – without them.

When I eat at home when my guys are away, it’s sublime. I’ll have something I consider decadent for dinner, like scrambled eggs on toast with plenty of ketchup (no one around to saw “Eeew! Ger-OSS!”). Then I’ll make myself some camomile tea & take it upstairs to my bedroom to drink while watching a Poirot DVD or a rerun of Will & Grace (again, without having to hear a male voice groan, “GROSS!”).

I was laughing the other night when I heard David Beckham tell Jay Leno that he & Vickers (Victoria “Posh Spice” Beckham, his wife) eat baked beans on toast all the time & that it’s one of their favorite foods. Okay Becks, I can believe that maybe you indulge every so often, but Vicks? If she ever ate a whole plate of anything (at least during the last 10 years), I’ll eat my hat (admittedly not a hat filled with baked beans though if you don’t mind). But it just goes to show you that even celebrities need their comfort food every once in a while.

I will make sure I don’t schedule any social events for when my guys are going to be gone from the house overnight. I don’t want to go out with friends or have anyone over. I just want to be. I don’t want to have to be on or to have to impress anyone. I don’t want to have to make sure my legs are shaved & my eyebrows are plucked, or that I remembered to put on my deodorant or changed my shirt to something more presentable.

I once had a “friend” who had to be in control of all my free time. Oh Lord that was the most gawdawful relationship. This was a woman that I had broken up with twice (at the time). Have you ever broken up with a friend? This woman was the first person I’d ever broken off a friendship with, & that was when I was 30. What a laugh: I thought I’d put all my years as a doormat (with the footprints on my back to prove it) behind me. But I was wrong. I got back together with this terror twice more after our first breakup. I will tell you all about her as this blog goes on.

I broke up with her – let’s call her Jez – almost a year ago. I feel like it was another Independence Day! When Jez would find out that I was going to be alone for the weekend, she would literally descend on my house. I got to the point that I would turn off the living room lights (I have matchstick blinds on my bay window, so you can see in) & go either downstairs in the basement or upstairs to my room to get some peace & escape from Jez. I got better – with help from a professional – at “setting boundaries” (do you think I even knew what that meant before I got counseling?).

I’ll talk more about Crezzy Jez in a future blog post.

So this weekend I’ll be meditating on the bliss of peace & quiet. & I’ll be listening intently in the silence in case a higher power wants to give me a little friendly advice.



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