|Me - solo act - 1954 - 12 years old - tall for my age|
All my life I've been a loner. I realized I was a loner when I was about four years old when I knew there was something "different" about me. Even though I had two younger brothers, only a year apart in age each from me, I was off by myself. I note with interest the photos taken of we three back then in those black and white days of the Forties, I'm always standing a bit off to the side by myself.
|Me (far right with my hand shielding the sun) and my brothers John and Isaac - 1945|
Of course back in those days I didn't know what "different" meant but I did know that when my Uncle Bruce's friend came over and played "horsey" with us kids I got a bit more "pleasure" out of the ride than the rest of the kids. Now don't get the wrong idea, my Uncle Bruce's friend wasn't a child molester, he would get on his hand and knees and we kids would take turns jumping on his back and he would try to buck us off. Again, that was probably my first experience of that strange and new wonderful feeling that I had with a male that I never had with a female, even though I had several aunts who I was very friendly with and who loved me.
|Me and my brother Isaac watching TV in the Fifties|
Let's back up a bit here. As is often the case with my blog posts, I mean to go into one direction and when I get on my "roll" I go into a different direction. So where I was going with this blog post is that even though I grew up with two brothers, and have spent the last fifty years living with another man who is now my spouse, I am still basically a loner.
|Me (center) with Isaac and John enjoying a Dixie Cup treat after competing weeding our eight rows of corn - 1953|
Fifty years is a long time to live with somebody. Our fifty years has had it's rocky moments as do almost all relationships (except Ronald and Nancy Reagan). Almost always the bone of contention in our relationship has been accusations by Bill (my spouse) that I'm a loner. Guilty as charged. I am. In fact, when Bill first asked me to move in with him I turned him down. I told him we could be friends but I preferred to live alone. He prevailed upon me and I succumbed. He said "You will have all the freedom you want, I just want you to live with me." And that folks has been the terms of our relationship these past fifty years.
|Me and Bill, officially married on our 49th anniversary 2013|
Now of course some people don't understand our relationship. Mainly because they're looking at my relationship from their perspective. I cannot and will not concern myself with them. They lead their lives, I lead my life. End of subject. This works for us and that's all that matters in our world.
|Me (far right) and my brothers - July 25, 1956|
Recently I met someone (through my blog) who is also a loner. Someone who I like very much. We've known each other for over a year now and have formed a mutually respectful and beneficial relationship.
|Me and Pat in Philadelphia last year celebrating our mutual birthdays|
Which brings me to the subject of this blog posting. That person and I are going to celebrate our mutual late in the year birthdays by visiting Los Angeles in January.
All the years Bill and I have been together, with one notable exception, I've always went on vacation by myself. For years I visited Provincetown, Mass every summer . . . . by myself. I would prefer to go with friends but either my friends couldn't afford to go or they didn't want to go with me, they had their own friends. Three times I paid the way of a friend to go with me but each time, once they got to our destination in Provincetown they hooked up with someone else and spent the whole time. I didn't see them again until it was time for our return flight to Philadelphia at which time they showed up for their paid (me) flight.
Hard to believe that anyone would be so inconsiderate and ungrateful but true. A very painful time in my life in which I learned some valuable lessons. You can't buy friendship . . . or love.
When we moved to Delaware I dropped big hints to friends and former friends who were travailing but to no avail. Perhaps the worst case was when my friends Bob and Jim were traveling across the United States. "Oh can I go with you? Please! Please! I'll pay my own way, get a separate hotel room, pay for my own food (of course)." The answer was always "NO."
|Me with friends Jim and the late Bob M. - 2010|
What really hurt was they were traveling by car and they took their dog with them in the back seat. That's where I offered to sit. But NO. The dog goes but the FRIEND doesn't. That one hurt friends. Really hurt. That's when I gave up on ever suggesting that I could go along on anyone's trip. I'll go by myself thank you. And I did . . . often.
|Me in Provincetown, Mass - by myself - 1978|
However, in the last several years I've decided I'm no longer traveling alone. It's just not the same. Traveling with someone is much more enjoyable. You can share all the joys and frustrations. The bad stuff doesn't seem as bad when you can share it with someone and laugh about it.
So this year folks I'm taking a big trip. I'm going to California this January. I've always wanted to travel to warmer climes during the cold blasts of winter. This year I'm doing it and I'm not doing it alone. Nor will I in the future. As long as my health and finances hold up, I'll be traveling at least a couple of times a year. Fasten your seat belts. My life isn't over yet.
|Me, some puppet and my Aunt Mabel at Disney World April 2000|