I did some freelance work for a woman who did feng shui. She came to my house and pointed at the walls and said “single, single, single!” She explained that all my pictures were individuals, and if I wanted to invite a relationship into my life I should hang things in pairs. I refrained from telling her just hanging the pictures up was a step better than their previous positions of being stacked up or leaned up against the walls.
Anyway, I rearranged my pictures and put a red sheet on the bed like she suggested because, well, why not? That was a long time ago, and the pictures are mostly back to individuals or leaning or in stacks, but I have managed some groups. Let’s face it, I like individuals. Sometimes I like being individuals together with someone else, but I suppose that isn’t always the best way to have a relationship.
I see a lot of old married people at work. They come to church and hobble down the stairs together. It’s sweet to see them helping each other out, and I wonder who’s going to help me hobble around when I’m old. I’ve argued for a ramp and got a grip bar put into the bathroom, but those kinds of things just aren’t the same as someone being there to catch you when you fall.
I was going to get married when I was 20, but we fought about my name. I had long-held opinions on women’s names, ever since I handed my mom mail addressed to her as Mrs. L. Hensley. Her first name isn’t L and neither of her parents were a Hensley. None of that address referred to Mom as an actual human in her own right, and my 5 yr. old self was offended. My opinion didn’t change in the 15 years leading up to planning my own nuptials. I would not be someone’s possession and lose my personal identity.
Ironically, my former fiancé eventually married someone else who kept her name. The ladies who hobble into church are proud to have their husband’s names. Maybe I was just ahead of my time or maybe I’m just not cut out for “togetherness”, but when I later divorced someone else, I was glad I didn’t have his name. It wasn’t mine, and I didn’t want anything to connect me to him as I moved into my future.
The word for the week is “together”, but I keep thinking about my life-long fight to be independent. Free to think my thoughts, have my opinions, do what I want, leave my messes where I want to leave them, and lean my paintings against the wall in the order of completion or what I feel like looking at for now.
At the same time, I’d like someone else around who wouldn’t want to make me sacrifice any of those things. Well, I guess I could hang pictures and pick up some of my projects if that meant I wouldn’t be subjected to their messes. And then someday we’d get old and one or the other of us would help the other up and down steps.