It occurs to me that when I planned my courses for this semester I wasn’t entirely in my right mind. I would like to blame The Dude for this, but, really, it’s not (entirely) his fault. If anything, part of my problems right now are that I had decided that I was going to check out of the dating scene until summer, and that was when I decided what books I would make my students buy for the four separate preps that I teach. Frankly, if I were not dating, I would have a lot more time for reading. As it is, I am under a lot of Reading Pressure. Like, imagine reading for comps while also doing all the duties of a tenured professor. This is my situation. I do at least partially blame that Phil Collins guy I went out with before I went out with The Dude, because if that date weren’t so horrible, I might not have made these silly choices. But who am I kidding? The Blame rests with Me. Sigh.
That said, part of how I designed my courses does have to do with the fact that I constructed them during the initial Lovesick Phase with The Dude, where I felt like Anything Was Possible. Now that we have settled into this Thing of ours, it occurs to me that Anything is not, in fact, possible, and reading takes a fuck of a lot of time and energy. Ah well. I shall soldier on. Only 10 more weeks of the regular semester to go.
But this week is especially rough. I gave a test today (although, huzzah, those tests are already graded because of the stroke of genius I had (in spite of my Lovesickness) that I should design a 1-hour test and screen a movie afterwards), three batches of papers to arrive tomorrow. One of those batches of papers I need to do some assessment-related stuff with, too, which reminds me that I need to design a release-form for students before I collect them (the next time I teach the course there will be IRB approval, but for now, I just need to make sure they are ok with me collecting the assignments with names taken off for a thing related to a grant; also, I need to design an assessment rubric for how some other non-important assignments relate to this assignment; active learning turns out to be a pain in my ass, at least for the purposes of fulfilling the terms of the grant). Plus we’ve got a not-pre-scheduled department meeting tomorrow (related to a Very Important Topic, so I’m not comfortable missing it, even though I don’t plan on saying a word), plus I’m giving a talk tomorrow evening. Plus I’ve got 14 individual student conferences scheduled for Thursday (though to be fair, they are only 10 minutes a piece), plus I’m finishing up a novel in one class and starting a new novel in another. And I’ve got two other appointments scheduled for Thursday, too, plus I’ve got an MA thesis to read and respond to. Plus it’s motherfucking Valentine’s Day this week (though, thank goodness, The Dude was totally amenable to making Valentine’s Day for us happen on Friday, though it’s also the case that I’m cooking, which means the need to go grocery shopping and to chef up a delicious meal (though, to be fair, the level of difficulty of that meal is totally my decision, for he would be happy with something much easier than what I have planned). That said, though, by the time that Friday arrives, I might be a zombie.
I don’t know why I do this to myself. There is no reason why I should think that I can do All The Things at the same time, or that I should do All The Things at the same time. But I think that maybe this is just who I am. S0.
Ok, enough complaining and whining, though.
You know what’s great about The Dude?
- He has been totally cool about the fact that I’m busy and overwhelmed and, following that, blowing him off a little (although, of course, that initially made me freak out on him, though it turns out that his coolness does not mean that he’s a jerk but rather that he is supportive and I am ungenerously suspicious).
- He is not a guy who thinks flowers are an appropriate present for a holiday (for, as he and I both agree, they DIE, but I also don’t love flowers because of a whole sordid story from my parents’ divorce in which my mother, after she’d kicked my dad out, received the bill for the flowers that my father purchased for her, AS WELL AS THE ONES THAT HE PURCHASED FOR THE HOME-WRECKER WHO WOULD BECOME MY STEPMOTHER, for their closely spaced birthdays, so I tend to see flowers as insincere and fucked up, as such things go, though I didn’t get into all of that with The Dude when he announced I would be getting two fun presents, as opposed to flowers, but rather I just enthusiastically agreed that he was entirely right in his antipathy to flowers as anything but a spontaneous occasional offering for a non-gift-giving time).
- EVEN The Man-Kitty has accepted him. For true. It all started when The Dude somehow convinced The Man-Kitty to PLAY like 3 weeks ago (which The Man-Kitty does with no one, not even with me most of the time), and this weekend The Man-Kitty ran up to him for petting when he arrived PLUS when we were hanging out The Man-Kitty totally rolled onto his back, baring his furry, furry belly, in a snoring sleep In The Same Room with The Dude. This is UNPRECEDENTED. The Man-Kitty does not make himself vulnerable in this way when Visitors are in the vicinity. EVER. (The Man-Kitty’s usual M.O. is to entice people with his fluffy self, while glaring at them and planning their deaths, and then when they try to pet him, he bops them on the hand, which, let’s note, he did with The Dude for a good couple of months. But now, apparently, he has decided that The Dude is One of His People. Also, let’s note that he only has three people: me, G. my stepdad, and FL. And there’s no rhyme or reason to his appreciation of G and FL, given the fact that he only sees them on random visits and he apparently took to them on sight.)
So, sure, there is still the Problem of The Dude’s Old Dog, Little Mama (I love her, and she loves me, but he is entirely unreasonable about her, I think even more so now that it is clear that she loves me), and sure, there is still the Problem of My Relationship-Phobia, but all is well with The Dude, in spite of the fact that it is really interfering with the many hours that I appear to need this semester for reading.
On that note, I need to sleep, because dude, I’ve got a motherfucker of a week ahead of me. (And let’s not even talk about the writing I should be doing but have no time or energy to do, because if we talk about that, I might cry.)