Saturday, March 6, 2010

Happily unmarried, but ...

I am a happily unmarried monogamous slut: I’ve lived in sin for 38 years with the same man. We’ve been together longer than we’ve been apart. For nearly four decades we’ve complemented each other’s vagaries. He’s a neatnik, I’m a slattern. He cooks, I eat. He’s smart, I’ve got chemo brain (had it forever, even before I had chemo). Mostly our partnership works out. He gets to be right, I get to be wrong with the comfort of knowing I’ve got backup. But there are times when he goes off—to visit his mother, say, at her Florida nursing home—and I am left to my own vices, er, devices, and I feel a huge sense of slob’s relief. I wallow in every wanton impulse. I leave unwashed dishes on the counter—overnight! I forget to put my clothes away—for days on end! I do the laundry—but leave it unfolded! I don’t answer phone messages—ever! And there’s nobody to criticize or complain. Of course, I’m stuck with a diet of fairly unappetizing leftovers (tonight’s menu was burnt pizza and cold, week-old boiled cabbage), and I have to manage the catbox entirely on my own or picking the litter out from between my toes becomes a full-time job. But that’s a small price to pay for five days of complete freedom from perfection.

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