Thursday, October 27, 2016



No.  I haven’t quit blogging.  Being a full partner in a family has really kept me busy.  I don’t have the opportunity to dwell on “this or that” (because, after all, “this or that” are not related!), which is a very good thing.  Keeping busy with goal-oriented things, taking care of a house, and co-parenting two young women, there isn’t a lot of time left to ponder life’s complexities.

A recent conversation with my partner has opened the very real possibility of returning to the Motor!  With home prices being what they are and my developing handyman skills, the idea of buying and moving into a fixer upper kind of home is no longer as far-fetched as they may have once seemed.  

This summer being “open”, no graduations and no visits being anticipated, I plan on finishing off my junior college adventures and getting ready for my bachelor degree pursuit.  The cool thing about the college transfer program at Metro Community College is that I will have a general studies degree, which I am assuming will make me slightly more attractive in the job market.  That was part of the reason that the conversation between “me and her” turned to Detroit.

I was speaking extemporaneously to no one in particular and I mentioned that I may move back to Michigan and go to State.  This being a selfish, singular vision, one more in line with my self-image of the the Mark that wanted to live a life like the character “Howie” from the 80’s TV show, “The Fall Guy”.  It was during my no-longer-solo soliloquy that I mentioned how if I really put my head down and got the classes/credits that I need this academic year, I could go back to Michigan and get a bachelor’s from State.  Since I wasn’t using my “inside voice” and my partner heard me…

In my life I have been up and down the emotional and social spectrum when it comes to relationships.  From my “ugly duckling” projections in junior high and angsty high school years, to living what has essentially been an adulthood living as “the man we all know and love” (an characterization which has looked increasingly sh*ttier as society has moved away from celebrating men who have sown their oats indiscrimantely), with keen sense of self and identity, whether I am in a relationship or not, I still maintain an objective observation post on my life.  So for me to have had that kind of outburst was normal… when I lived alone.  Not so much when you live around others.

My partner not only heard what I said, she was LISTENING to the words I uttered as well.  Her eyes began welling up almost instantly, and I was reminded of the Hoboken-born penguin in a Bugs Bunny cartoon, tears falling and becoming ice cubes as he is an HOBOKEN born penguin, and returning him to the South Pole was not doing him any favors.  With the words having escaped my mouth and becoming a viable utterance, she reacted from her heart.  “Mark”, she gasped between sobs, “ I love you so much and I want to spend the rest of my life with you.  If you want to go home then I want to go with you, I want to go wherever you want and if you think moving back to Detroit will make you happy, then I will go to Detroit with you.”

Now the long and the short of this should be obvious… my girl is IN love with me.  She would give up all the security, living near her family, in the neighborhood she grew up in, and being only a 5 minute drive from work, to be with me in Whereverville, USA (because I cannot say that going back to Detroit would indeed be my last stop), all of that was… something similar to what I heard from another person a couple of decades ago.

When it comes to registering emotions and truly comprehending all the “feels” that are a part of relationships, I just don’t.  I tried to make that a part of my journaling at the very beginning… I wasn’t trying to find someone to be simpatico with my plight… I have been on the other side of “things” more often than I have been where I was while I was involved with Mookie Dee.  The big difference for me was the level of frustration with my situation with my relationship with Mookie Dee and how complicated my personal welfare had become.  And THAT where the rubber meets the road for me.

One thing that I have never held a grudge against is when a person acts in their own best interest.  Nor have I ever begrudged myself making a choice where I have thought that my best interests perhaps laid elsewhere.  So with that being said…


Marriage is to halve your rights and double your duties.”  -Arthur Schopenauer

Though we are not married, at this present moment, my partner would not hesitate to accept a proposal from me.  The exchange that brought up the real possibility of returning to the Motor was just an example of how much she cares for me.  But, sorry to be such a downer, if how deeply felt ones affection were held were all that mattered…

I have not been talking about my relationship because I don’t quite know what to make of it.  Over the course of the past year and-a-half and several excursions, numerous home repairs, I still don’t know how feel about her.  We spend quality time together, from watching television, making dinners, and grocery shopping.  Oh… and occasionally planning for our future…

...and with me looking forward to nothing that will dispel my concerns.

The things that are among the most important to me,, being able to remain independent and self-sustaining, are being jeopardized by being in this particular relationship.  Whether this sounds cold, eh, I am not to worried about that.  I am more concerned with the cost of reducing my personal freedoms.  See, the irony in my current relationship and the ones that I have angstily shared in my blog is that economically speaking, being a couple with my current partner looks less-than viable in the long term.  As dry as finance and personal accounting, it can be downright frosty trying to convey a translation from numbers to emotional resonance.  Just as I have never held anything against those relationships (Mookie Dee, Nebraska, and Princess), neither do I feel an obligation to “go down with the ship” for the sake of another persons feelings.  Back in the day, the line that a lot of African-American women used to explain their aversion to prospective partners was, “I can do bad all by myself” (which, I thought, was a lame rationalization).  I have NEVER done “bad” when left to my own devices.

So that will be deciding factor in our relationship… whether we can find a budget that works and allows us to live a balanced life.  That kind of sucks, but it is what it is.  It took me quite a bit to realize this (as our pet dog reaffirms that “I’m her human” as I type), but I did make finances a part of my personal deal-breakers in the beginning of our dating...


AbbiesTreeHouse said...

I've only heard two useful bits of advice about women in my life. My friend Doug Williams told me, "What it took to get her is what it will take to keep her," and Richard Pryor said that if you have somebody who loves you, "DON'T F IT UP!" :-)

If you decide to move, you might want to look at residency requirements first. It would be awful to move "home" and have to pay out-of-state tuition to continue schooling.

I'm wishing you the best of luck on all fronts!

Ken Riches said...

We need to discuss this in detail in April when I am out in Omaha. I can certainly help with the budget aspect, but the more important part is, what do you really want...???