Exactly four years ago yesterday,
Nick and I were on opposite ends of the country. I was with family in Nanaimo, BC, looking at enormous prehistoric trees. Nick was on his first (I think!) East Coast Canadian tour. We missed each other maybe more than we had expected. During one of our long distance phone calls we decided that all the casual sex we’d been having should be a relationship after all.
By now, it feels completely natural that feelings of missing someone and caring about them would be intertwined in this way. Back then, I had maybe heard Nick’s bands maybe one time each – I had no clue that I was getting myself into some serious long distance romance territory.
Looking back, it seems absolutely fitting that we decided to be “together” when we were about as far apart as you can get while still being in the same country. Last summer, The Burning Hell did a Canadian tour right after a European one and I remember feeling like Nick had come “home” even tho we weren’t even in the same province or time zone. But his cell phone worked again. Text messaging wonders! Distance is so relative.
I think that yesterday was the first anniversary we have ever spent together in person – that guy has been on tour every summer since 2008. We didn’t do anything particularly special but I think we still were feeling that time spent together is such a luxury. I knit while Nick recorded some video for Exclaim! TV and then we had some roti & some lattes and got stuck in rush hour traffic together. Sexy!
I’ve been saying that at this point I have an honours degree in “Ferriology” and by that I mean – this relationship has taken a lot of work and a lot of learning. It has survived a lot of strain and distance. We have tried all sorts of things to make the time apart feel easier and more fun, and at this point – I feel like we are getting it right. I feel proud as fuck about it. I feel like the two of us can do almost anything together, and that includes being able to handle being apart.
I need a partner who has huge passions and big goals. Nick needs to play music. We need each other’s support. & in the summer at least, that means sending a lot of emails and making a lot of video chat dates. & looking forward to the fall when we can get back to ordering pizzas, cuddling up on the couch, and watching an astronomical amount of football.
We’ll meet up again a day or two before Sappyfest. I’m so super excited to rekindle our Sackville love affair. That whole festival feels like a really long & really special date where all of our friends are invited and all of our favourite bands are playing.
But in the meantime:
I’m doing so, so great.
Every time Nick tells someone that he is away until August 1st, people look pityingly and curiously at me. I think there is a perception that truly great love can or should replace rock and roll. I used to feel that perhaps if I was even more awesome, or if we “really” loved each other, we would be together the full year through.
But honestly, I think I need these summers apart to recharge, to spend time being the introvert I truly am, to make crafts, to spend late summer nights out with my friends. I’m looking forward to all of this stuff. I have a great new roommate. I have an overwhelming list of homebody projects to accomplish. Nick is spending lots of time in Finland and the closest I will get is probably Ikea (not even the same country, get it!)
The relationship I was in before this one ended because I really felt that I needed more time to just be myself, to do my own thing, to spend with friends, to find out what I can accomplish on my own. I thought that I needed to be single to do that, but in fact, this relationship gives that to me AND lets me be super in love at the same time.
I’m really proud of us.
Love you Nick. Have the most satisfying summer that you can manage. Stay safe. Don’t get arrested. Write a lot of songs for me.
Headed to Toronto to see Nick play with The Burning Hell at Lee’s Palace, but most importantly, bringing him back to Ptbo with me so that I can go back to being the middle spoon for a few days. I am beyond stoked for an epic cuddle party.
I love this dude so much and I am so so so excited to see him, but also so sad that this is gonna be the last visit until July. Wait actually let’s not think about that part. Instead think about this:
Okay okay so in the interest of doing some good old fashioned band girlfriend promo on this blog check this stop-motion music video for “Dinosaurs” by Leigh Kotsilidis:
Sometimes I joke that I’m in a relationship that is composed of three distinct elements: me & Nick & feminism. Usually we all get along fine, but other times feminism is a pain in the ass. Occasionally I get these twinges of discomfort, like if this precise moment of my life were being analysed in a Second Wave-y Women’s Studies class, Nick and I would be found lacking.
In these situations I try to shake it off and do something fun instead.
That’s why yesterday turned into Ladies Night at my fav bar.
I was standing at the foot of the stage with one of my pals, watching Nick & his band pack up gear and I had that flash of feeling like I looked like a teenage fangirl. Blech! I looked at my friend & was just like, “What are two babes like us standing around here for?”
Our tough-as-shit pal Amanda was working bar across the street. It was basically empty when I showed up with Sal. Our friend Dave obligingly bought our drinks. “Babes get in free before last call, right!?” I promised our friend Emmott that I’d give him a spare key so he can sleep over in town on nights that he works, even if Nick won’t be here to let him in. I got my friend Ryan’s new cell number. I figure that’s pretty good: new key buddy, new number, free drink. Ladies Night success!
These people are the reason I know I won’t get too lonely over the next four months.
Still, when I watched the band roll out today I had this feeling of infinite possibility wash over me – the kind that makes you just wanna go back to bed and sleep it off. I like being in a couple. It works for me. I like living with Nick (he makes the best breakfasts.)
But, my stubborn and introverted self also gets a bit of a kick out of the idea that this is a break from the usual couple-y compromises. No one gets aggravated if I accidentally leave my towel on the bed. No one to judge me if I spend all day in my pajamas. No one to consult about what to make for dinner. No one to stop me from painting the whole house bubblegum pink. (Joking about that last one. Maybe.)
Today before work I did the dishes from that epic cheese-fest of a dinner that I made for the band last week, and swept out the house. Now it’s just me and the dog and a tidy kitchen. I’m plotting my next move.
Seriously though… what to make for dinner? Cooking for one is the worst. I’ll take all your suggestions.
PS: It struck me that taking myspace-y photos of my sleepy face in my tidy kitchen was really, really funny. It is, right? I thought so.