Right now Nick’s season of faraway touring is about halfway over. This feels like two things:
We’re already halfway through!
We’re only halfway through…
I’ve been taking stock a bit about what has happened since I wrote this post in March about the beginning of tour season. And again about whether I still agree with what I said at the beginning of May, when the European part of the tour started.
Have I been doing everything I thought I would do? What have I learned since then? What has happened in my life? Is Nick missing anything I haven’t been able to tell him about?
We are pretty good at keeping in touch long distance but not being able to actually touch is the part that is difficult. More than all the sexy makeouts, what I miss most is some physical proximity. Being close enough together to hold hands. Sitting at the same table at a cafe.
I think that was probably the most accurate thing I have said about this issue. Two months in I am less likely to make a sexy makeouts disclaimer – I totally miss those. But also I am most lonely when I see couples doing regular stuff. Totally jealous of people who can pick out produce at the market side by side, who can hold hands in the car, who can lean into each other sitting at the bar. I miss making Nick perfect at-home cappuccinos. I miss listening to him play the same song over & over so he can get it just right. I miss stealing all the blankets in the middle of the night.
In past years I suspect I’ve felt resentful that Nick’s bands essentially press the “pause” button on our relationship, but I no longer think that’s true. We are closer than we were months ago. With nothing but email to go on we have become focussed & active listeners. We have more opportunities to talk about what we want to do next. I have to figure out so many synonyms for my feelings or I risk repeating myself. How is this sort of progress different than a couple of months would be like, in person? I’m not sure. But I know that my sense of trust in us, together, is stronger than it has ever been.
Some days I feel like there is so much that I’ve accomplished & that I wish I could share. Other days I feel like my life is minuscule compared to the stories that arrive in my inbox. My guess is that those things are simultaneously true.
Nick has been to the end of the country, & back, and across an ocean, & everywhere. I left my city once, to visit my parents about an hour and a half away. Nick’s life is so global and mine is hyper-local. He could be two hours away from me & I would not have noticed any difference. Even around here I don’t go anywhere that I can’t even walk to. There are such drastic shifts in perspective between the two of us, I’m not sure how we do it. I used to be astonished that this dude would be able to be with a person who didn’t have some travel stories to reciprocate. Now I’m just very thankful about that.
Once Bridget asked me what I planned to do with the time apart & I said I wanted to knit a bunch of sweaters. “Like a sailor’s wife!” she said. I find this comparison somewhat pleasant, tho most of the sweaters I’d want to make are for me. The most accurate way of understanding the distance between Nick & me would be to calculate how many yards of yarn I’ve knit, how many stitches. How would those compare to the kilometres between the two of us? At home Nick wants me to stop knitting so we can just cuddle, but now there are no such interruptions.
I brought home Margaret Atwood’s Penelopead from the library last week. I hadn’t thought about this before I took the book home, but it’s also about a lady who makes things while her partner is far far away. Perhaps the right books find you at the right times. Peggy! Thank you.
In all though, looking backwards to the middle of March when I had a live-in boyfriend seems so long ago I don’t even really remember what it’s like. Getting through the same amount of time again is simultaneously something I know I will have no trouble doing and something that I don’t know how I will manage.
I don’t have any big events or projects planned, but in the meantime Nick is talking about visiting a record-breaking number of places & also recording an album. Will I get through my Age of Acid Empires Dress? Will I be able to find some time and some money to visit my friends who live a couple of hours away? In the next province over? By comparison these are such small things but I have the tiniest budget.
I feel like at this point I’m over being self-righteous about how independent of a lady I am & I’m willing to do some absurd bargaining. What would I trade for a chance to just sleep in the same bed for one night? To have Nick show up on the patio for a beer sometime? To be able to walk the dog together? I’m still disappointed that no one has figured out teleportation. How I would love to be able to just have a quick lunch with Nick before work sometime. There are so many mundane & spectacular things I want to chat about.
I’m just going to try to be myself, stay in touch, and try to be patient.
Our front porch is a shared entrance for us & our upstairs neighbours & had become a dumping ground for miscellaneous stuff. I’ve been spending some time & a little bit of money making it look and feel like an intentional place to relax.
I’ve always loved Desiree’s approach to outdoor space & especially her front-porch bunting. Even in the middle of winter her house looks like it is party-ready – like something special is happening inside.
I didn’t realize until just now that she had written up a tutorial about how she & her little one made their bunting happen.
I used about a yard of this chartreuse and grey paisley fabric that I ripped into 1″ wide strips. Then I looped the strips around a length of jute rope. Then I hung everything on my porch using little finishing nails. No problem.
Bunting is abundant in hipster blogland. But that’s because bunting is awesome? I’m trying to quiet my knee-jerk reaction of automatically disliking anything that gets too popular.
Sipping sangria under these things feels breezier & makes your day feel a bit like a special occasion. Nothing wrong with any of that.
New favourite patio drinking, knitting, letter writing, bonding, napping, snacking, blogging spot.
The bio for this website promises many things, not least of which is some content about my best friend here. In fact, Julia sent me an email requesting that I follow through with some puppy photos already. In most cases, any photo you try to take just ends up being a fuzzy blur with a slobbery tennis ball being shoved at the camera lens. Bitch likes to exercise. Today I think the humidity did her in.
I think I mentioned that I’ve been trying to spend as much time as possible outside… this makes a huge difference to be but especially to this lady. Any time she’s home alone she sits in front of our living room window watching the world go by. When I open my curtains in the morning I tell Geraldine that I am turning her tv on. Being able to actually be out on the porch pretty much blows Geraldine’s mind – I’m pretty sure she thinks she is inside the television. Everything is in 3D!
What a coy little bitch. This dog is absolutely as bossy and vain as I am. She is growing out those dreadlocks between her toes & won’t let me get anywhere near them.
I often find myself talking about my dog as if she’s a person… and sometimes don’t notice until halfway through a story about her that whoever I am talking to doesn’t know that she is a puppy rather than a human roommate. Geraldine has a heart as big as her appetite, which is to say – enormous.
There’s absolutely something reassuring and healing about having her around – it’s a little bit tactile & a lot about having some extra company. I couldn’t get through these months-long boyfriend absences without this cuddle buddy, even if she does get her fur on all my clothes.
Please link me to photos of your pets too – I wanna see!
One of the reasons why I like Lucky Jackson’s work so much is that it is unreservedly sexy, which is something you don’t especially associate with artists who work with textiles. Look at that face. Bam! Babe. If I ever get a time machine I’m probably going to head over to young Bruce’s house. (In this fantasy I am also a rad musician & start a girl band with Bonnie Raitt. You know you would too. Speaking of babes…)
When I met Lucky briefly to pick up my own Bruce Springsteen embroidery, she told me that Young Bruce would probably make another appearance. I’ve been crossing my fingers ever since. When it was posted the other day I almost licked my computer screen. (I said almost!) I hear that today is Lucky’s birthday – hope it’s a great one!
& because why not, here are a couple of “Dancing in the Dark” covers from other rad bands – one from Ted Leo & the other from Tegan and Sara.
- For serious, my heart just feels like a helium balloon. I like you guys!
- Today first thing I had a spontaneous skype date with my favourite man-candy. Does he know I call him that in my head? Well now all of you do too. See above re: helium balloon. We usually find that gchat is more convenient but the forces of international travel & time zones & free time & privacy collided so that I could cuddle up to my laptop and check out my fav dreamboat. I saw his face on the screen & felt tears of recognition well up. Like, that’s my person! I am gonna cry now just writing about it here! I love that dude even if he is in Vienna without me. I wonder if there are any good yarn shops there?
- BONUS: having someone tell you that you look pretty even tho you slept in all your makeup & are a total hungover mess. Best hangover cure that I know of. There are probably less than 10 people in the world whose opinions I care about in terms of my babeitude, but this guy is for sure one of them.
- Speaking of people who are THE BEST, my pal Claire was in town for one day & I was hoping she would want to sit on the porch and paint our nails and she texted me to ask if she could do that exact thing. Femme-on-femme hangouts just do it for me the way nothing else does.
- BONUS: It sounds strange but those few hours of being with a person who knows you and gets you puts everything else into perspective. I had been wondering if that nagging feeling that my life has been a bit lackluster was something I melodramatically made up, but no! In fact, being in the same city as your best friends makes life better, and it was good to have some proof of that, even though we both have to live in different places for now. Emotional clarity! I’m crying again because I just love the people I love so much.
- I purchased an iced-coffee mug with bikes on it that look identical to my bike. Reusable cups are pretty great but I’d be lying if I said this was not a style related purchase. Now to get a coffee cup holder for my bike & everything will match & life will achieve cold-brewed-caffeinated perfection.
- Glittery middle finger manicure w/ otherwise matte topcoat. Someone on the Hard Femme tumblr suggested huge rings on yr middle fingers for a stylish FUCK YOU, & the idea has definitely stayed with me.
- Roommate bonding of the “music videos we liked in high school” variety. There is a six! year age difference between us so this was pretty funny.
- Tweeting Beyonce lyrics.
- BONUS: Did you know there’s an @EmergencyPuppy twitter account? For when you are having the kind of day that only internet puppies can cure.
- Unexpected & wonderful hangouts with my friend who runs this absolutely beautiful blog…
- Quality time with my seriously favourite toddler and her mom! Did you SEE these photos of her looking cute (in my knitwear?) Being around her always teaches me so much about a) being upfront about what you want b) not giving a fuck about what other people think. I hope she never changes – her independent personality is a credit to her rad parents.
- Have been trying to spend more time at home & outside and it totally is making my life amazing. I have a bunch of tiny porch renovation projects in mind. Sitting outside with my dog and the first cup of coffee of the day is absolutely the perfect thing, always.
- Rebecca touched up my hair colour for me this week (I think the first time we’ve done the same thing twice!) & I so appreciate her for giving a shit about my appearance. This particular cut is a hit with stylish old ladies & I love chatting with stylish old ladies.
- BONUS: I was mentally high-fiving this grey haired lady I saw walking down the street who had a killer haircut & huge earrings & bright lipstick – and she gave me this smile of femme recognition that made. my. day. I love when older women have an assertive & personal sense of style! I am looking forward to being that kind of person someday.
- If I keep writing these will you think I am getting cocky? Okay I’ll stop. Mostly I post these as an enticement to get you people to tell me about your good things in the comments. It feels good to write this stuff down! You should try it out please.