Saturday, February 2, 2013

Groundhog Day


Groundhog Day in America is observed on February 2nd.  A ceremony is performed in Punxsautawney, Pennsylvania (among other places) in which a groundhog emerges from his winter hole and predicts the fate of the second half of the winter season.  In that Pennsylvania celebration the groundhog's name is Punxsutawney Phil.  The story goes that if the Phil emerges from his hole on this day and sees his shadow,we are in for 6 more weeks of winter.  In the event the groundhog does not see his shadow then spring is just around the corner.  It seems like the groundhog usually sees his shadow but this year it is reported that he did not.

The movie Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murry and Andie McDowell, is a real classic comedy and the plot revolves around the Groundhog Day celebration in Punxsutawney, Pa.  The twist of the movie is (spoiler alert for both of you that have not seen this movie) that Groundhog Day keeps repeating itself and Bill Murry's character is doomed (blessed) to live this day over and over again. 

 

Today is Groundhog Day.  My spouse came to back home today to visit her dog and she reminded me what day it was.  In the last couple of days I had been anticipating her visit , both because her dog needs to spend time with her and because I really wanted to see her back home again, if only for a couple of hours.  I had a tiny moment yesterday thinking about it and today when she told me this was Groudnhog Day I began to get emotional.  I tried to hide it from her and she did see me crying a little bit, but I didn't make a big deal about it.  The thought in my head was that if she visited us on Groundhog Day, then she would visit again and again every day as this day repeated itself.  Most of the time that she was here I left her alone to visit her sick dog, Jumper, but we did walk all the dogs together, watch some of the UNC basketball game, talk some and rode out together to get gas in her truck.

She wanted me to drive separate to get the gas but since I was buying it (and it is a waste of gas to take two vehicles out to get gas for one) I convinced her to let me ride with her.  We get along good now but she is distant.  She has been this way for a long time, increasingly so over our year's together.  I will say that she was already distant in many ways (at least emotionally) by the time I came out to her as transgender in 2010.  Now she is distant in almost every way.  She doesn't even seem to show the care and emotion for her dying dog that I would have expected of her.  My boyfriend said that she is "shutting down" and that may be a good way of describing it.  Occasionally I see glimpses of life in her and those moments and the hopes that things will get better for her (and us) is what I cling to.

When we were in the truck I apologized to her for not paying her enough attention recently when she lived with us and she said "yeah, you were really into yourself."  I spent a lot of time on the internet and when we would watch television together I would be on my smart phone much of the time, texting or looking at Facebook etc.  I wish I had a "do over" and another chance to spend more time with her and pay attention to her while she was here.  I certainly did not want to make her think she is not important to me or a very important part of this little family.  Groundhog Day is just a movie and I will likely never get this chance but I am going to keep trying until I can get her back in my life again on some level. 

I do think it will be healthy for our relationship to evolve past that of a married couple.  We had never truly existed as a married couple anyway, especially in recent years, but I am still not happy being "separated".  A legal separation as a means of obtaining  divorce (mandatory for one year in North Carolina) is fine but separation means apart and I still do not like being totally apart from her.  The dogs don't like being  apart from her either but we are getting used to it.  I guess if I had the chance to live a Groundhog Day like the movie portrayed, I would keep working at it until I got her to fully understand me and accept me just the way I am.  We could have sort of a non traditional, non romantic ,non married partnership like I have recently come to realize is possible.  But we would not be separated right now in the way that we are, especially now with her dog, our original dog, living in her final days or months.

I want to find out more about these types of partnerships that are kind of post marriage living situations.  I just met a new friend on Facebook who is trans and has this kind of relationship with her wife.  She is the same age as me and her and her spouse are choosing to stay married at this time for the kid's sake, although her wife has a romantic relationship with a boyfriend.  This is kind of like my situation in reverse.  In my case I am the one with the boyfriend.  When their kids are grown they plan to get divorced but stay together in some type of partnership, even if they don't live together and even if/when they find other true loves. 

I found out there are three types of love.  Eros love is romantic love and it has been a very, very long time since my spouse and I expressed this type of love or even  experienced it.  I am lucky now to have a strong eros type love with my boyfriend and I know we are developing much deeper love as well, including both other types.  Philos love is based on on friendship between two people, more of a family type thing.  Philos love is considered higher than eros love and is the type of love I have for my spouse.  In this way I will always love her.  Agape love is the highest form of love and it is unconditional love.  I wonder if she and I have or ever will have this form of love. 

Maybe the only reason I want us to stay close is for the dogs' sake, because I view them as children, and maybe it is because I have been with her for 5/6 of my adult life and really don't know anything different.  Maybe it is because I am not enjoying living alone and maybe it is because I regret not treating her better when she was here.  I want to tell you that I am getting much better at handling this situation but it is still going to take more time to fully accept it.  Going over a week without any crying was really good but it just got to me again today somehow.  On a positive note, she did say she wanted to meet me halfway between our homes this week so we could walk the dogs and visit with them.  She also said we could have lunch together, to make up for her not wanting to eat with me here on Groundhog Day. It is that child like kind of thinking and mindset that I miss about her.  Who else celebrates something like Groundhog Day?  We always liked to eat out and have a little celebration on any holiday, no matter how small.  Happy Groundhog Day everyone!