Boozing it Up, Breaking Up

Last night I went to a local bar for a short meeting, some pitchers of beer, pizza, and camaraderie with my fellow employees. Annie was on to something having our meeting there since everyone showed up on time, if not early. The meeting was scheduled at 8 but I left about quarter after seven so I could walk. I had a supercute goin’-out outfit picked out, but since it wasn’t raining and was seven-tenths of a mile from my house, there was no reason to drive. I put on more comfortable clothes and a pair of sandals I could walk in. I threw an umbrella in my purse and hiked over.

The meeting, itself, was quick and relatively pointless (there were only nine of us, but it was rather difficult to hear the managers over the college rock), and everyone settled in for highly sexualized, work-inappropriate banter. People kept telling me that I’m “a lot more fun” when I’ve been drinking, which sort of hurts my feelings, and they encouraged me to drink more often, which I thought was weird.

I’d had about three draft pints of NewCastle when Cavan showed up, so I was tired, headachey, and ready to go home. He offered to drive me, but I kept declining, hoping maybe he and Audrey would hook up. Then I realized he’d just lost interest and didn’t want to stay.

I was disappointed that he was basically my date. I don’t need Charlie by my side 24 hours a day, but it would be nice if our socialization with others extended beyond far-advance planned family get-togethers, and going in for coffee when we walk the dogs at seven in the morning.
I’m still sad that Charlie won’t be able (or willing, probably) to take any weekends off to spend time with me until the middle of July. And that will probably just be one night since I got him tickets to the Alison Krauss concert for his birthday. I did, however, get tickets for all three of us for King’s Island. I don’t get the impression that the San Francisco trip is going to work out. I really don’t have the money, even for our plane tickets, plus we’ve already sort of agreed that vacations are out of the mix for a bit.

One thing is definite for us in two years: we’re either buying a house or we’re moving out of the state. In which case, we can’t really afford flights and hotels and boarding the dogs. We have talked about taking a few weeks “off” from “consuming.” I’ve heard a lot recently Judith Levine who wrote a book detailing her year of purchasing nothing but the essentials. She saved an additional eight thousand dollars on top of her regular savings. I’ve already made a list of what I consider frivolous expenses and we are giving it a trial run here soon.

But which moving choice we make depends on a lot of things; whether or not I apply or am accepted to a graduate program here or somewhere else; whether or not either of us can get approved for a house we’d like to live indefinitely; whether or not we decide we want to buy a place; whether or not either of us wants to move out of the state.

There are an unsettling amount of people I am acquainted with who have broken up over grad school lately. The really disturbing part, to me, is that it’s always the woman who’s accepted to the program and it’s the guy in the relationship decides not to go. When my friend Robin was accepted to NYU, his wife went with him, excited about the opportunity. When Charlie’s friend Abdul found out his wife was accepted to NYU, they split up before she left. Same with this guy Brian, and another friend of mine, Greg. Oh, yeah – I just remembered, Sarah from work is going to grad school in Massachusetts and her boyfriend of four years just told her he’s not going. Hmmm . . .

When I was accepted to UCSD, it took Charlie three months to tell me he didn’t want to go, which came as quite a shock. I had to make a decision, quick, as to whether or not I could afford to do it on my own. I couldn’t. And I wouldn’t be at all surprised if I was accepted to a graduate program in, say, Portland (someplace Charlie claims he’d love to live for a bit), and he told me he wasn’t sure he wanted to go. Not a bit surprised.

What is it about hetero relationships that the men seem so unwilling to support the women in their ambitions?


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