Sunday, July 15, 2012

I Might Be Batty, But I Love Who I Am

I was sitting on my bed when it swooped over my head. "Oh my God," I thought, "there's a bird in my room!" Then it struck me that birds don't normally fly around in apartments, so I thought, "The missing hamster! It's flying around in my room! It's been found!" Then I realized hamsters don't fly. So, I ran out and slammed the door the behind me. Feeling curious, I cracked the door just a bit; to see the bat perched on the tapestry that hung above my bed.

I had a bat in my house. It took to it's swooping, circling my bedroom in a frenzy, so, feeling slightly nauseous, I again slammed the door. I called Mr. Perfect and told him we had a situation. Normally I wouldn't have called him, not at 1:30 in the morning, even being vaguely aware I was dealing with a man job. I normally wouldn't have called him because I wouldn't have felt this was "his problem." The reason I allowed myself the call was because his children were sound asleep in the other room. Their presence somehow made it appropriate for bat containment to become his issue. He left work as soon as he could. While I waited I Googled "how to catch a bat". Information is power and armed with a cyber diagram, I donned a winter jacket, grabbed a tennis racket and a towel and prepared myself to take care of the problem. I swung open my bedroom door, walked in, stared at the little brown fur ball attached to the wall and prepared for battle. It started flying at me, so I screamed and ran out, slamming the door. Again.

When Mr. Perfect arrived, we couldn't locate the bat. Until the middle of the afternoon the next day. He took it out with the same racket I had left on the other side of the door. He took its lifeless little body out on the back porch tossed it up in the air, like a perfect serve, and lobbed it over the back fence. I, of course, cried, wishing it could have lived.

Tonight I sit in my bat free room, wondering what I would have done if there was no man to come and rescue me. And I stumbled upon an interesting reality about who I am.

I would have given the bat my room.

Let's be honest, I'm moving soon anyway. So I really think, that for the next month, I would have just let the bat have the room. During the day I would have gone in and packed up my stuff, always conscious that Mr. Bat was nearby. I would have slept on the couch. I would have carefully kept the door shut and advised the children to stay out. I would have studied it when it was perched and screamed at it when it swooped, but all in all, I would have left it alone.

This is why I love living on my own. 

I really, really like doing things my way. I like wearing the same outfit all weekend. When I read a book I like to start and finish it in the same sitting. If I stay up until 6 am reading, I just take a nap the next day. Taking a nap, for me, makes far more sense than cleaning a garage. I name trees and talk to frogs. Sometimes, I eat bowl after bowl of dry Life cereal for dinner. I like to eat out when I feel like it. I like to sit around and tell stories. I like to stare at the wall and think about things. I'd have no problem letting a bat boarder take over my room. The only time I use the clock is when it comes to work.

I'm acutely aware that my living style is not the "normal" grown-up one. I have asked Mr. Perfect if it was going to bother him, when we live together, if I spend a whole day decorating a tree, or painting stripes on the wooden walkways, or sleeping away my days off of work. Will it bother him if rather than matching up socks, I just stop wearing socks for a while? Will he understand that I cannot do the dishes until I've finished another chapter? I am scared of these questions, because after almost 3 years of being on my own, I like my life the way it is. It's a calming life. I don't want to change it, but I know myself and know I will readily change things to make the people I love happy. Up until the point where I can't take it anymore. And breaking points are never a good thing.

It's a peculiar thing, knowing oneself. Defending an identity is tricky, because so much of a relationship is about compromise. As wonderful as it is having someone there to kill your spiders and trap your bats, pick up a gallon of milk or tell you they love you at night, it's also a situation requiring sacrifice. Some bats may die and some selfish moments of lazy reflection may be compromised. I am going to have to change and that, I am very uncomfortable with, because I have spent so much time building the confidence to be exactly who I am: A woman willing to share space with a bat, as long as it lets her sneak in a get her blanket out. And her phone charger.


  1. Maybe you are as batty as your Irish grandmother and trying to hang in there like you're half Lebanese mother or maybe you are just a vampire....and you're putting off the inevitable..... or maybe just maybe your writing is a great batty metaphor.... whatever the reason is keep flying in and out our're funny.

  2. I just wanted to say that I'm really glad that you are back from your mental vaca.
    I think your posts are wonderful. Keep your light shining bright and your great since of humor untouched by the nay sayers. I will keep smiling and laughing! You go girl!

  3. Love is wonderful. I loved your post, and I love your outlook on love. As much as its hard and scary to open your heart and house and bed up to another, especially after a divorce, if he is worthy, it will be worth it. My "Mr. Perfect" and I are celebrating our one year wedding anniversary tomorrow and it was scary to take that plunge again. I was terrified he would be just like "Mr. Not so Perfect" and break me again. Well so far, absolutely no signs of that. Life is good. And all it took was a tad bit of vulnerability to get here. :)