The Secret to Recovering a Saturday...
I started writing this eloquent story about our newfound affection for truth and honesty, with ourselves, with other people, etc...not because we've been lying for decades, but because we're never as honest with ourselves as we think we are, so it makes sense that we aren't as honest with others as we might be either. I woke up early and was typing another story, a different beast, if you will, about the power of truth and honesty and openness in the work I do, how there should be a stronger attachment to those ideals for everyone who is struggling, whether it be with sexuality, addiction, mental health, etc...it's only our shame, guilt and secrecy that gives any of these negative perspectives any power. The day we no longer are concerned with a person's past vs. their present or future is the day I don't have a job. I'm looking forward to being unemployed. I digress. The more personal version of the story involved bailing ona day that seemed at first to be promising...loads of sunshine and decent temps...a football game in Ann Arbor...catching up with some old friends...enjoying ourselves being Brian and June rather than Brian and June and a buttload of responsibilties...It was going to be a great day, but it wasn't.
It wasn't restful, not from the start, not when you have a toddler-free home and no chance to sleep in. Then certainly not when there's no less than a one hour wait at the border and the only other option takes you almost as far out of your way but at least you'd be moving, not sitting in a car stranded high on a bridge as the clock ticked down to kick-off. You couldn't say that the day was going our way when we arrived at the stadium at the end of the first quarter (and in my mind there's very little on the planet more frustrating than arriving to sporting events late) and had to negotiate for our seats, or when the score was 24-0 Wisconsin at the half and our embattled coach was booed off the field. At least it was warm...for awhile, but by the time the Michigan Marching Band finished their dumbfounding rendition of Brittany Spears, "Opps, I Did It Again," and they actually did do it again, the wind had crept up and we were full-on in the shade and it was getting cold in our particular corner of the universe. The day showed a spark of cooperation when for Michigan scored twice in two minutes to suggest that hope was indeed, still present amongst 112,000 silent people, but then Wisconsin reminded us all that it had no intention of letting us off of the hook after 15 years of misery visiting Michigan Stadium. When the Badgers had scored 48, and we could no longer feel our feet or hands, we left.
When we left our house this morning we were very much looking forward to seeing some friends, and easing through a fun day, but by 3pm we hadn't had that much fun at all...getting to A2 took three hours...the game would consume less precious time than we had invested just getting there...and we hadn't felt any of the warmth we'd expected to bask in just being together. So in our age old practice of battening down the hatches and going at things alone to get the best experience out of less than stellar ingredients, we shut out the rest of the world and took a run at it alone. It always works.
We shed our previous plans to meet up with friends...we shot back to the car and went looking for food, since we hadn't eaten yet that day...no, not all day...I don't know how that happened. We came up with the semi-brilliant idea that we could stop at IKEA and grab Zoey a much needed nightlight, and maybe a few other fun, cheap Christmas gifts, and then we could ease our way back to what surely would be an awful experience getting back to Canada. Suddenly we had smiles on our faces...just us...and suddenly we were laughing a lot more...just us...and suddenly we were back home with our daughter after a long, long day of losing. We felt bad that we didn't see our friends on our second trip to Ann Arbor without doing so, but we know how to find them and our sturdy affection seems to be firmly intact regardless of Saturday rendezvous' or not. And we felt as though we probably burned through a Saturday that could have been spent doing something that was much less of an effort, but as we woke on a sunny Sunday morning we felt pretty damn good that we were honest enough with ourselves to know what we wanted out of the day once it was halfway over, and what we needed to do to salvage it and keep us grinning into the early November darkness.
Yesterday could have more closely resembled a sprint instead of running hurdles, and it would have played out very differently, but it didn't, and we've learned after all these years that we're much happier cutting our losses and regrouping as a team...just us...Team Zed. We moved away together and tackled our new life alone...we found ourselves engaged in San Francisco alone...we said "I do" at City Hall in NYC alone...we ran away to Hawaii and Brooklyn alone...we've tackled a metric tonne of things alone in this world and it always leaves us smiling. Maybe our parents made us too independent. Maybe we enjoy the simplicity of doing things unfettered by others. Maybe we find ourselves in more situations than we should where we might enjoy ourselves better doing something different. Maybe we just suck? All we really know is that we love a lot of the people in our lives but none as much as each other and the surest salvation for us both is solitude with the other. It never fails. It's the one place where truth lives.
When we left Michigan Stadium yesterday I said to June, "You know, I don't enjoy doing this as much as I used to." She smiled, not shocked, not judgmental, just understanding.
"Then I guess we'll do other things, " she said, and shrugged.
"Okay," I answered. No explanation needed. Then we made fun of some people, and each other, and laughed our way through a few hours alone together. Then it became a pretty great day, despite falling away from other plans. I kinda like hanging out with my wife and not worrying about anyone else. If we're being totally honest, she's my favorite and I really don't need a whole lot more than her company. Sound all sappy and lame? Probably, but I don't care much. She's my favorite and aside from getting us lost on a semi-regular basis she's better than all the sunshine, stadiums, friends, and food on the planet. I'll ditch just about any plans for the chance to soak her up. I'm honest enough with myself to know that.