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When I grew depressed a few months later, I decided that he and our pseudo-marriage were part of the problem. “I think it counts.”We were married, just not very well.After three years of feeling like the more committed person, I was done and asked him to move out. The marriage didn’t mean much to us, and so when things got rough, we broke up.In 2015, I published a book about where I grew up, St. In doing research, I listened to one person after another claim that the street was a shadow of its former self, that all the good businesses had closed and all the good people had left.
Every few minutes, the creature let out a high-pitched squeak.
I tried to sweep it out the door to safety with a broom, but it kept running back at my feet.“Wow, you’re dumb,” I said to it.“I got this,” Neal said, mysteriously carrying a plastic cereal bowl.
Because I like to fix broken things quickly and shoddily (my husband, Neal, calls my renovation aesthetic “Little Rascals Clubhouse”), I frequently receive the advice: “Don’t just do something, stand there.”Such underreacting may also be the best stance when confronted by too much or too little change.
Whether or not we want people to stay the same, time will bring change in abundance.
When I took to bleaching it myself, it was often orange, because I didn’t know what I was doing. When I left the hospital after being treated for a burst appendix, I weighed 140. I have been broke and loaded, clinically depressed and radiantly happy. How can we accept that when it comes to our bodies (and everything else, for that matter), the only inevitability is change?
When I was nine months pregnant and starving every second, I weighed 210. And what is the key to caring less about change as a marriage evolves — things like how much sex we’re having and whether or not it’s the best sex possible?Over the next few years, we worked a series of low-wage jobs.On the rare occasions when we discussed our future, he said he wasn’t ready to settle down because one day, he claimed, he would probably need to “sow” his “wild oats” — a saying I found tacky and a concept I found ridiculous. I had changed in such a way that I had no problem being with just one person. Certainly, I thought he should not change into a man who sows oats.When I told Neal about this years later, he said, “Maybe you found it ridiculous because you’d already done it.”It’s true that from ages 16 to 19 I had a lot of boyfriends. When we got married at the courthouse so he could get his green card (he was Canadian), I didn’t feel different the next day.We still fell asleep to “Politically Incorrect” with our cats at our feet as we always had.A year and a half ago, Neal and I bought a place in the country. We bought furniture, framed pictures and put up a badminton net. Who were these backyard-grilling, property-tax-paying, shuttlecock-batting people we had become?We hadn’t been in the market for a house, but our city apartment is only 500 square feet, and we kept admiring this lovely blue house we drove by every time we visited my parents. When we met in our 20s, Neal wasn’t a man who would delight in lawn care, and I wasn’t a woman who would find such a man appealing.One day in the country, Neal and I heard a chipmunk in distress.It had gotten inside the house and was hiding under the couch.He then slid a piece of cardboard under the bowl and carried the chipmunk out into the bushes, where he set it free.“That was really impressive,” I said.“I know,” he said.To feel awed by a man I thought I knew completely: It’s a shock when that happens after so many years. That one fling of a bowl probably bought us another five years of marriage.