Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Sneaking Holidays

While July 4th is not technically a university holiday, I have decided to make it a personal holiday, in the sense of not showing up in the office. This is my spontaneous holiday, not planned or anticipated, but decided midmorning because I'm exhausted, depressed, and feeling unproductive.

The depression is mainly due to my best friend leaving the country for an entire year, starting today. She's an anthropologist, and she has to go do fieldwork. I've known this day would come ever since we met four years ago, at the start of grad school, but it still feels unreal. H knows me better than anyone on earth, and the thought of not seeing her every couple of weeks (we have lived 90 miles apart up till now) is wrenching.

H hasn't wanted me to make a big emotional production of this separation. Quite sensibly, she doesn't want any extra stress or guilt laid on. When we said goodbye yesterday, there were no tears, just a promise to Skype often. We're both counting on this being only a physical separation, not a spiritual one.

I still feel yucky and hollow, though, and can't seem to browbeat my brain into concentrating. Hence the spontaneous holiday. I'm going to the beach with another good friend. I have to get out of the house, or I'll just mope all day.


I decided to give Z, the boy of my last post, another chance. We seem to be getting along well, and he's coming tonight to watch fireworks. I'm not really in the mood to see him, though. Today I'm in the mood for female companionship, or just my cat. With my female friends, I can wear my ugly glasses and big sweatshirt--a hand-me-down from H--if I feel like it. Plus, I don't have to do anything fancy. A walk to the beach or a home video is sufficient.

Men are often very labor-intensive, needing to be entertained, wanting women to keep the conversation going, and deciding we're boring and/or antisocial if we're not in a chatty mood. My ex was a prime example of this problem. X would work 16-hour days, then come to parties too exhausted for social interaction. Often, he would even put his head down on the table and leave me to keep the conversation going with HIS friends. But if I was too tired to take on this role and wanted to stay in, X would complain that I wasn't social enough.

One thing I like about Z is that he seems to know how to just be silent. He doesn't need constant stimulation. This is very good for me, because I am a quiet person. The reason I feel like seeing him will be a lot of work is simply because it's early in our relationship. We're not yet at the stage where we sit around in sweats watching movies. He hasn't seen my ugly glasses.

If today is really a holiday for me, I should probably extend that designation to my date with Z as well. No pretending to be cheerful, no Chatty Cathy impersonation, because I'm really not in the mood. And no elaborate plans--just walking from my house to where we can see the fireworks, and then back home for a video.

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