I hate it that Taz hurts. I do. I despise the fact that the knee surgery he had 5 years ago left him in more pain than he started out with.
Last night's round of fisticuffs had to do with the fact that I'm going a bit stir crazy. I'm to the point where I want to see the world again, but I've got a collaborator that really can't/doesn't want to.
We went back and forth for an hour over the fact that I'm social and that I don't care what adventure I find, at least I'm out in the world. Taz is very Mr. Been-There-Done-That, he's seen the world, thank-you-very-much and he doesn't need to go out to be happy. So, I'm a little frustrated, but at the same time, this is where patience pays off.
I won't lie. I can hear the weinerschnitzel, Riesling and creme brulee at Spago calling to me...I went alone for years and it didn't bother me, but now, I'm older, so going there to sport hunt is just out of the question. I'm still too fluffy and far too old for that kind of nonsense. Besides, I don't want to eat alone, it's depressing! One more point is that I think the big game is wherever Taz is, there are no other hunting grounds I want to explore. (Insert a very corny Elmer Fudd impersonation..."Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Taz's.") I'd go to visit with people I know, but it's one of those things, without my friends, what's the point really? Besides, if I'm going to go out, I want to go with Taz. Without him, it's a pretty pointless (and expensive) exercise that really has no merit except for me to go outside.
Now, the going outside thing? I'm all about it, but I stay out of trouble when I stay home. I've got school and all sorts of other stuff to be doing with my time that is far more productive than going to a bar, club or other social environment. Trust me, if I want social, I'll turn on my voice over IP software, Ventrillo (Vent) and visit with my guildies in World of Warcraft or get Chance to play a couple of rounds of Starcraft 2 with me.
So, on with the argument from last night...
Ever feel the need to give limbs in order to get a completely honest relationship? Well, let me tell you, when you're hanging around with someone who knows you really well, there are no big elephants on the table, everything gets said. You can kiss off subtlety, because whatever emotions are going on, they're going to come out.
Last night at around 8 p.m., the phone rang. It was him. It didn't take but five minutes before I told Taz about my need to go out. I've been sitting in my apartment now for 19 months, I'm ready to get back into the world again and if that means just stepping out my front door looking great, then it's just what I need right now. Besides, it was a Friday night, I took a test in Environmental Studies and I wanted to blow off a bit of steam. Well Taz, because he's always in a lot of pain because of his leg, tells me that he doesn't want to go anywhere or hang out. OK, no big elephants on the table...I was frustrated and he knew it before I even said a word or rolled an eye. I was very much in the mood to hang out with him and go do something, but alas, no cigar for me. He very bluntly said, "No, not tonight." With hurt feelings and disappointment, I retorted, "Well, then I'll just keep being a convenience for you," and added a very cynical, "Just consider me your toy." Which in fact it does turn out well because if it's my raid night in WoW, I can tell him to bugger off and it's all fair play. Yeah, Taz didn't care for that very much as he said, "NO, you are not my toy. You're the only person outside of my mother that I talk to on a regular basis. You're the only person I WANT to talk to, everyone else gets my voice mail or I just refuse to pick up the phone." That was sweet, but I kind of felt sorry for all of the people who just want to hang out with him because he's a great guy. But, that's his choice, if he doesn't want to go out, there isn't anyone that's going to move his stubborn ass out the door.
The argument got a bit deeper as we argued the fact that right now he and I are in very different places. I'm ready to be social, he's not. He's already done all the going out he wants to do while I'm ready to dress up and paint the town vermilion. We stood at an impasse and without engaging my common sense, I went on the offensive, expressing the fact that I didn't want to waste my time just sitting here and that I thought that him just sitting there in his house wasn't very healthy, inferring that going out and taking part in the world is a very healthy thing. He countered, luckily I ducked or he'd have landed a shot in the jaw when he said, "You're projecting your idea of what living life should be on me and it's not what I think, that's not fair." I'm still out on that one, but you know, he may be right. As I covered in "The Power of Words", when we talk to others we impose part of our ideas on them...so, I backed down and let it go.
Then I asked, "Does it bother you that because you're in pain you can't go out and do things you want to do?" That got a "Not really, I'm happy at home. I've lived alone for a long time, I'm not the one that's constantly had someone living with them. I'm not afraid of being alone." I kind of got my knickers in a twist at that because I took it personally and was under the impression that he thought I wasn't ok with being alone. I told him, "Look you, I've been cooped up in the apartment for the last 19 months by myself and I'm ready to go out again. I don't NEED to necessarily, but it would be nice. I'm comfortable being at home alone, but there is something in me that craves going out and being social." But, there was a very large elephant on the table...because in my mind, it's got to be frustrating to have pain keep you from doing what you want to do, even if it is painting the house or the laundry list of things you want to do with your day. He finally admitted it a little later on, that yes, he was frustrated with the fact that being in pain is cutting him short of achieving his goals along with not being able to enjoy himself when he does choose to go out. Now we were getting somewhere. I kind of figured that we'd be going out if he wasn't hurting...now I knew I was right, and it pisses me off to no end that he's hurting because now his knee is hurting ME! I want that sucker fixed already, and you should hear how he talks about lining up a surgeon to replace his knee, he's in just a big of a hurry as I am because he wants to stop hurting...NOW.
Underneath everything was the fact that he knew that I wasn't happy that we weren't going out but he wanted me to know that he knew it and wasn't doing it intentionally or to be hurtful. Sufficed to say, he's a pretty smooth talker once I put my defenses away...it was cute how he explained to me that I was the only person he's ever dated twice...ok...there's that word "DATED"...um, I went, "um, are we dating?" And he says, "well yeah." That made me laugh because I finally got it, he wanted me to know how important I was to him and that I wasn't a passing fancy or just some "toy," that I have relevance and that I'm time well spent. He went on to say that he wanted to see me, but he felt guilty because he could only spend an hour with me in person before the pain got to be too much and I'd have to leave so that he could take his pain pill, lay down and pass out. Ok, gals, give me an "awww," because you have to admit, that's cute and very sweet. He further backed it up by kind of contradicting himself, he said that if he wasn't in pain, he could enjoy himself when he was out because that way he could focus on me and not worry that he'd have to go home because he hurt too much. Ok, feel the need to hug him yet? I do.
After the conversation switched gears to surgeons and his upcoming knee replacement, things calmed down. We got into the details of everything, when I was available, when he wanted to get the surgery done and so forth. It was then that I told him that he should start mentally preparing because I WILL be buzzing around his house and touching things because I'm going to have to while I'm taking care of him. It got the retort, "And it's already making me crazy just hearing you say it." To which I basically told him to suck it up, because even though he's going to be fighting me coming and going, I'm still going to stick it out and be there until he's walking 100% on his own power again. For those of you unfamiliar with knee replacement, it's 6 weeks to 6 months before everything is hunky-dory with the individual who's been bionically enhanced. It's trips to therapy, it's trips to the doctor, it's having the physical therapist and the nurse come out to the house to look after you. Taz, I assure you, will be going apeshit every five minutes after we get him home. Worst of all for him, that there will be strangers in his house that have not been thoroughly vetted through the "Taz Tour" that tells you what you can and can't do. It's going to drive him nuts. Lordy, you might as well give the house termites or hit it with a nuclear bomb, because that's how freaked out Taz is going to be with strangers in the house. You want to talk high-maintenance? Try taking care of Taz, he's worse than his fancy sports car because I'm going to have to carry a paint scraper in my back pocket to get him chipped off the ceiling after the therapist and/or nurse comes by to check on him. Lucky for me, he said the magic phrase, "When I get out of hand, give me a pain pill and tell me to go back to sleep." He's going to be a handful and lucky for me, I know it going in. Like I've said before, I'll be damned for the rest of my life because I wasn't there for both shoulder surgeries and then the first time around with that knee of his. I know he's going to be a pain in the ass, I know he's going to get downright nasty with me and everyone else because he's NOT pleasant when he's frustrated and in pain. Can you blame him?
The most important thing though is that my patience needs to rule supreme. It does. I don't have much of a choice, because in my mind, there's no other way it can go. I need to be bedside the whole way, I don't want him to be alone and I want him well taken care of and while it may make him nuts, I don't care how nasty he gets with me, it won't stop me from telling him to shut up, take his pain pill and go back to sleep, forgiving it all and going on about the business of making sure he's well taken care of.
Talk about earning a dinner date...After we get through the misery of having his knee replaced, when I'm sitting at 9 at the Palms with him enjoying those mini-ice cream cones and having a great dinner out, it'll be a huge payoff to see him laugh, smile and enjoy himself without an ounce of pain to bother him. To be honest, it can't come soon enough.
But then it dawned on me, the whole hour I spent arguing with him? I wasn't arguing with him, I was fighting with that damned knee of his. It's not Taz that's saying, "No, I can't go out," it's that friggin' knee talking! OOH, when Taz is knocked out from his pain meds, I'm going to give that knee of his such a talking to! That knee and I are going to have a "Come to Jesus" talk and I'm going to win.