So, this is basically a nothing post, since I’ve been too busy in the past couple of weeks to have an idea that is unrelated to scholarship. I head off to a conference in a few days, so that has me preoccupied, plus I’ve had friend-related things going on – with friends near, far, and soon-to-be-far – plus I have a fucking boyfriend, which seemed awfully great when that whole thing blindsided me in November, but, in a surprising turn of events, it turns out that I hate having a boyfriend in the summertime, when in theory I should have time to have one.
No, seriously. It’s easier to go out with him when my time is so structured during the semester, because the things that structure my time then are easy to transition out of. It’s easy to compress grading. It’s easy to bring a novel I have to read for class over to his house. It’s not easy to compress writing, and it’s not easy to do my scholarly work while also attending to another human being.
Oh, I love him and he’s great and whatever, but seriously? Making time for him has caused a severe uptick in my stress levels about accomplishing things this summer. Because, you see, I am used to being able to be a workaholic in the summer. You know, with weekend visits from friends and family thrown in for good measure, but how I’ve handled my professional life in the summer, oh, forever, is that I work like a maniac and then have fun when I have visitors or when I travel. Only now there is this “person” who expects to see me on the weekends – EVERY WEEKEND – even on HOLIDAY weekends, like Memorial Day Weekend, which is some awesome thing for him who doesn’t have a whole summer stretching in front of him, but which historically for me has been a great time to get a lot of writing done while all of the generica [grad school term coined by my grad school BFF Medusa for guys who wear dockers and work at dumb office jobs] of the world are busy cooking out, and while in the abstract I am totally on board with that, in practice, dude, it’s cramping my workaholic style.
And that makes me cranky.
And it also makes me cranky that he thinks I’m having “fun” when I go to the pool to read, when I’m reading shit for work. Even though I know that I’m unreasonable because pool>cubicle in terms of fun, and, of course, I am ostensibly “picking” what I read while I lie in the sun and take breaks for swimming.
But for serious, people: you will the majority of the time find me with a stack of journal articles or a theoretical tome or a novel I HAVE to read at the pool (which, an aside: please all of you go read Adam Thirwell’s first novel Politics, and probably everything else he’s ever written, though I haven’t actually done that yet, so I could be wrong, but I am pretty sure, as is Granta, that he’s a genius), as opposed to with some fucking pornographic best-seller. My pool time is serious business, and I want people – i.e., The Dude- to recognize that the pool is my office. An office with SAHMs, kids, teenagers, and senior citizens, but my office nevertheless. Which of course he can’t because I’m being an unreasonable asshole, given the fact that he’s trapped in a cubicle.
Honestly, though, I’m feeling pretty good right now, precisely because, taking practical factors into account, I begged off seeing The Dude tonight in favor of doing tons of work, even though in theory I’d have loved to have seen him, and even though we’d had plans all week long for me to see him both today and tomorrow. (Now we’re just seeing each other tomorrow.) Honestly, I just am having a hard time negotiating the time commitment that he seems to require (which, let’s note, is very small, as boyfriend time commitments go, which is probably why things have been good).
If it weren’t totally crazy, and if I wouldn’t hate it (as I know I would), I would really like it for us to break up this summer and to get back together on August 12, when I’m back under academic contract. Not because I want either of us to go out with other people or because my feelings for him are in any way in question – indeed, the feelings grow and grow, annoyingly: just because I’d really like to be dating my book right now. And the fact that he lives 40 minutes away from me means that I can’t just take him for granted and work on my book all the time, expecting him to just show up periodically when I’m feeling uninspired. No, because of where we live, we need to have “quality time” in the dating. And I’m tired of dating him and of all the effort that takes, when I want to date my work, and to put my effort in there, which I know isn’t what you’re supposed to say, but seriously: I just want to be able to procrastinate without feeling guilty, and I want to be able to procrastinate without the consequence of not getting my work done because I am obligated to make time for somebody else!
Don’t get it twisted: I totally understand the irony of the fact that I am bitching about being in a relationship when that’s exactly what I want and have wanted; I totally understand the irony of the fact that my bitching originates with a desire to do more fucking work, even though my whole point with continuing trying to do the dating thing was to stop being a fucking workaholic!
And let’s note: The Dude is totally supportive of my work! The problem is me, and me alone! Well, except for that in my fantasy version of my life he wouldn’t just be supportive of my work he would totally sacrifice himself on the altar of my work, because, you know, I’d rather be doing that right now. And then he’d stop sacrificing himself on the altar of my work, and not be resentful, the moment that I didn’t want it. Because I’m a Giant and Unreasonable Bitch who can’t sustain a reciprocal relationship with another adult human being, and who expects people to read her mind and to coddle her, even when, especially when, her demands are entirely unreasonable. So in that way, the problem is also him. Ha!
Look, I was an only child until I was 20. And I’m a Leo. And, apparently, my Enneagram personality type also indicates (according to CF, I haven’t done the weird pop-psych research on this) that while I am the most fun person ever, I’m also entirely unreasonable, in search of what I think is fun. And in numerology my main number is THREE, the CHILD! Thank goodness The Dude is a Middle Child and an Aries (though I’ve not investigated the other fake personality things for him).
So anyway, all is good. You probably won’t hear back from me until like June 12 or 14, because I shall be busy with my conference, nursing my jet-lag, and nursing my motherfucking relationship (I say that to be funny – I really do think things are grand). But let this be a lesson to all of y’all who are desperately alone academics and whining about your desperate aloneness: you get much more work done, even when you’re not getting anything done, when you don’t have a significant other to consider. And sometimes, what you really want is to work. Be careful what you wish for 🙂