Saturday, June 18, 2016

Do You Think it is Easy?

Volcano erupting

Venting time folks. Time for Ron to vent.

I try not to post too personal of situations to this blog but sometimes I just have to vent. 

Next month will be me and Bill's 52nd anniversary as a couple.  Three years officially married.  Folks, it hasn't been easy.

By nature I am a loner. A LONER.

When I met Bill 52 years ago on that rainy Saturday night at the Westbury Bar in Philadelphia, I had no intention of living with anybody for the rest of my life.  

From the time I was twelve years old, living in the maelstrom of a family life that included a Father who constantly put me down and treated me as an annoyance at best.  A home life lived in second floor apartments without the benefit of a backyard yard that almost all of my schoolmates took for granted.  The only backyards I saw were those I mowed for .50 cents from some of my customers on my paper route.  

Me (center, tall boy looking down) with my brother (far right) and friends from in front of the second floor apartment building where I grew up - our home was Grand Central Station - no privacy - I'm eleven years old in this photo and realized at this time I want my own home - ALONE

From the time I was twelve years old I wanted to live on my own.  By myself. Solo.  

Me (with hoagies in hand) with my Mother and brother Isaac at our second floor apartment on Boot Road - 1954

By the way, as I write this posting I can tell it's going to be longer than usual so if you have something more important or interesting to do I suggest you exit now because I'm really going to vent.

Back to my sad tale.  So I met Bill lo these fifty-tow years ago.  I liked him.  He liked me.  In fact he treated my like a prince.  Like no one ever treated me before.  I liked that.  

I started to see Bill regular.  I wasn't too concerned that Bill wasn't "my type."  Oh sure, he was good-looking and popular.  He was masculine and not effeminate like so many in the gay bar scene.  He was all man and he liked me.  

The twice weekly trip from Coatesville, Pennsylvania to Pennsauken, New Jersey that Bill used to pick me up and drop me off - door to door service

I didn't have a car.  I had a small, furnished efficiency apartment in Coatesville, Pennsylvania; 44 miles away or just over an hour away.  Bill had a two bedroom apartment in Pennsuaken, New Jersey, just over the Delaware River from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The total distance from my modest apartment in Coatesville, PA to Pennsauken, NJ was 55 miles, an hour and 21 minutes away.

Bill would pick me up every Friday night at my apartment in Coatesville, PA and transport my young self to his apartment in Pennsauken, NJ.  Every Sunday night he would reverse that trip.  He did this every weekend for the next six months.  Folks, who else would do that for me?

Me with Bill at his Pennsauken New Jersey apartment 1964

Even though I liked Bill it didn't take me too long to realize that we are almost totally opposite in every respect.  And I mean every respect.  But he treated me with respect.  He treated me like a prince.  I loved it.

Then came a time when he asked me to move in with him.  I put him off.  I told him I always wanted to live by myself.  I wanted the freedom of coming and going without having to explain every moment of my life's movement to someone else.  Which is what I always had to do when I lived at home.  The three years I was in the Army I was a little freer but, well when you're in the Army they want to know where you are all the time too.

When Bill realized that I didn't want to move in with him he became angry.  This was the first time I saw him angry.  I was torn.  Me, who grew up always trying to please everyone so they would like me, I was making someone I liked and respected a lot angry.  

For a week or so we were at an impasse.  Finally he said "You can have all the freedom you want, I just want you to live with me."  He said "You can come and go as you please but just live with me."

Well folks, he was good as his word. Sort of.  Early on in our relationship he traveled a lot with his job.  I was on my own during those months he was traveling on business. 

From the time I moved in with him from 1965 to 1980 when we moved out in the country, Bill had a job in which he traveled and was away from home for months at a time. Those few months of "freedom" was enough to satisfy my need to be alone.  

Then came a time when they wanted to send Bill to Africa.  At that time I was making enough money to support the both of us.  We were moving into a house in the country which we had built to our specifications.  I suggested to Bill that he take an early buy out and just stay home and take care of the house.  He took my suggestion and thus hasn't worked at a regular job since 1980.  However, that didn't mean he didn't work because he took care of the home.  Very well.  Bill is very handy around the house (I am not) and he took care of everything except the gardening.  That was my bailiwick.

So what is the point of this way too long blog posting?  Where is my rant?  Well folks, this morning I found out that Bill did it again.  The one area in which I work very hard to have a beautiful home is my landscaping and gardening.  Remember back when I said Bill and I are total opposites in almost everything? Bill can't help himself.  He cut off the irrigation of our one acre of land this week.  Yep, he did it and didn't tell me about it.  Here I am slaving over getting all the planting in and they're struggling to survive and I can't figure out what's happening.  Then I realized that Bill had changed the irrigation cycle form three times a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday to OFF).  He said "The lawn had enough water."  When I confronted him about the fact that my flowers and planting aren't getting enough water and struggling he put his fingers in his ears and walked away.  He didn't want to hear it.  

Me and Bill last year on our 51st anniversary

Yep, that's the way Bill handles our "discussions." He doesn't discuss.  Like I said, totally opposite from me.  

Now this irrigation thing is just one instance.  When we lived in our house in Pennsylvania he turned off the whole house ventilation system and insisted we have air conditioners in each room.  

Our house "in the country" - lovely on the outside but uncomfortable on the inside

We had a big, beautiful house but Bill made it so we were restricted to certain rooms.  There was a protocol (which I never got and was always the source of some heated, loud arguments) for what doors were to be kept open and which were to be kept closed.  To me our big, beautiful house was useless because it was totally uncomfortable, a fact that was brought to our attention several times during visits by relatives and friends.  But Bill wouldn't hear of it because Bill Is Always Right.

When I had this house built here in Delaware I forbade Bill from being involved.  He didn't see the house until it was finished.  I thought all was fine until last year when we had to have our whole HVAC system replaced (very expensive).  At that time I discovered that Bill had AGAIN blocked off the whole house ventilation system with cardboard in the vents air intakes.  I was furious.

Folks, I rarely get mad.  I may rant but I rarely get mad.  Anybody gets mad around here it always Bill getting mad at me and almost always for the same reason:  I DON'T PAY ENOUGH ATTENTION TO HIM.  Remember what I said about me being a loner?  I am folks, to my soul.

Well, we got the whole house ventilation thing straightened out but not before Bill retreated with his hands over his ears again, not wanted to hear anything from me.

Now folks I'll be the first to admit I'm not the easiest person to live with.  Maybe that's why I prefer to live alone.  I realize there are benefits to living with someone.  You have someone you can talk to when you get home from work to tell about that day's events.  You have skills that compliment one another.  Bill and I are lucky that way because where I excel in certain skills he excels in those areas where I don't.  I run the household, cook, garden and deal with all outside contacts.  Bill mows the grass, and does handyman work around the house.  Bill spends NO money on himself, unlike me.  I spend a LOT of money on myself.  

So where is this rant going?  Just venting folks.  Bill and I are coming up on our 52nd anniversary and I just wanted to tell you, living together with the same person for 52 years is always a work in progress.  It isn't easy.  But I do love the guy and I would never leave him.  

However, I am so fortunate that I found a new friend in Pat, my Canadian friend.  Pat too is a loner.  We converse each day by text message and FaceTime.  Four times a year we get together.  Yep, once each quarter.

Pat in his Toronto "hoose" and me on FaceTime via our iPhones

In February we visit Hollywood, California for a two week stay.  Pat and I both love the glamour and history of Los Angeles and Hollywood.  

Me and Pat in LA this past January (Silver Lake) - we don't look too "touristy" do we?

In the Fall, around my November birthday, we meet in our other favorite city, Philadelphia PA. 

Me and Pat on Broad Street in Philadelphia PA

My former hometown.  During that visit we take a quick run down here to my home here in Sussex County, in southern Delaware near Rehoboth Beach.  At the end of August I fly to Buffalo to met Pat to spend a few days in Niagara Falls and then his home in Toronto, Canada.

Me and Pat at the Easton Mall, downtown Toronto, Canada

 Every year I do so look forward to those visits.  I LOVE Canada.  Then in the Spring we visit Philadelphia again.  

Pat and I have so much in common that we're often mistaken for brothers.  In fact it has become a favorite mime how many cities that strangers will come up to us and ask us if we're bothers. So far the list includes:

  1. Lewes, Delaware while waiting in line to pay our bill at Nectar restaurant Pat was talking to another Canadian and he asked if I was Pat's brother.
  2. The next "sighting" was walking down Pat's street in Toronto and he introduced me to one of his neighbors and the neighbor asked if I was Pat's brother.
  3. The third time was when we were at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, and Pat was talking-to another tourist, and that tourist asked if we were brothers.
  4. The fourth time was while standing in line at Studio B in West Hollywood,

  5. Standing in line outside the studio to get into the audience for "The Price is Right"

  6. waiting to be seated in the audience for "The Price is Right" and while talking to someone else in the line, one of them said "You're brothers aren't you?"
  7. Oh, I just remembered one more time.  We were at Hollywood and Vine taking selfies as the touristas that we were when someone offered to take our picture.  They asked "Are you brothers?"  
Me and Pat (before we lost our hats on the roller coaster) at the Canadian Expo - "You guys brothers?"

Every time we're asked Pat and I are always surprised because we don't think we look alike.  But maybe it is our mannerisms because Pat and I are so much alike in our outlook in life.  Our likes and dislikes.  He hates fish and seafood just like I do.  Bill LOVE seafood.  Pat is sweet, gentle and caring.  I like to think I am.  I am aren't I?

Well look folks, this diatribe has gone on long enough.  I have to give profs to anyone who has read through this whole, long blog posting but as I said at the beginning of this post.  I just had to vent.  

It's highly doubtful that Pat and I will ever live together.  Pat is a loner just as much as I am. In fact I often tease him about he doesn't have to report where he goes.  What time he will be back. And all the other annoyances that come with living with someone.  But you know what folks?  If I had it to do any differently I doubt if I would.  I am one of those fortunate few who found love early in life.  Not the Swinging From the Chandeliers Love,

sex 24/7 that I had imagined but a true and lasting love with Bill.  And now I have my friendship with Pat.  Do I have the best of both world or what?  And I'm complaining?

Well, I just had to vent.  Bill is going to turn on the irrigation system again and hopefully this time he'll leave it alone.  I know I have a good life folks but it isn't all smooth sailing.  Takes work. But it's worth it. 


  1. Ron - you and Bill deserve an award for your lasting relationship. I admire anyone who is able to manage all the ups and downs that are part of relationships. And successful relationships I would think constantly challenge each to grow and learn more about themselves. Of course I guess that isn't always the case. But the love factor grows. It's like being in the trenches. Now here I'm spewing all this out and I've not been in trenches or in relationships. But I hear tales from those who are. And you experience all types of relationships going on around you throughout life. So that's what I'm basing my opinion on in this matter. So Ron - I don't like to see you frustrated or upset - and Bill too. But I nonetheless congratulate you both on your loyalty and love for one another.

    1. Pat,
      I am very fortunate to have both you and Bill in my life.

  2. Okay, I read the whole post and was not bored in the least. However, if two people live in the same space, there has to be some accounting of comings and goings. For example, I had a friend who married at 15 and divorced at 18 and moved back home.She felt she should come and go with no word to her parents.

    When she moved in with me, she thought the same thing. She lived here because she had no place to live and I had no car. Well, I had a car but could not afford another motor for it for a year. She could live at home, but hated that.

    A person needs to let the other know if she/he is going to be home for dinner so the other will not cook and wait. Maybe I would not cook a big dinner if she were not going to be here. I wanted to know when she left what time she planned to be home. She objected. I told her I did not care what she did, just would like to know not to worry if she were spending the weekend with her boyfriend.

    I was never objecting to her actions. It is common courtesy.

    I would be so angry if someone turned off the water when I was depending on it to garden.

    1. Practical Parsimony,
      You're absolutely right, if there are two people living together there should be some accounting of the comings and goings. I understand that. I have mostly complied with that factor in our relationship. But I have to admit sometimes it is grating that when I'm just going out for a bike ride I have to "report." But just to show you where my mind is, when I got out of the Army in 1963 and my first night home I went out with a friend. The next day my father wanted to know where I was. I didn't feel he should know. He said "As long as you live here you'll tell me where you go when you go out at night." Uh huh, I had to agree with him so the next day I got an apartment and moved out. Haven't lived at home since. But living with Bill, I understand that he doesn't want to worry unnecessarily. Living with someone is a give and take, I understand that.
      By the way, Bill turned the water irrigation system back on. He understands that I need the water for my plants.

  3. I made it through the entire post. Bill must love you - and you him.

    1. David,
      Congratulations on making it through my entire post! And yes, Bill does love me as I love him. No matter what. I would never leave Bill nor he me. True love, not a fantasy.

  4. I had to laugh! It sounds like my house! Married 2 years and together 30 years. I can always find my other half because he 'leaves a trail' (if you get my drift). My closest and best friend since 1976 lives in New Orleans. We haven't seen each other in 26 years but talk on the daily as if we were next door neighbors.
    BTW, I love reading your posts. I'm sorry that I have only just found your bloggy thingy.

    1. grouchy,
      So good to have you as a new blog follower and a frequent commenter. I can say that you'll never find another blog like mine.
      I know, because I've looked for other blogs like mine and they are not to be found. If you find any, let me know!
      I think it is so healthy for a relationship to have a good friend (or friends) outside of that relationship just to balance things out. I have two such good friends. Larry, my friend since 3rd grade in elementary school (1951) and now Pat, my best friend since three years ago. I have a fabulous life right now. Something I never would have envisioned for myself at the age of 74.
      Have a great day!

  5. Very comprehensive post, Ron. When you come to write your autobiograhy (!) you're going to find that most of it's already been done. It'll just need some 'topping and tailing'.

    Speaking as another loner, but in my case wishing that I wasn't and that I could bear the close presence of another - ANY other, which I categorically cannot for more than a day or so (often even less), I must say that I'm envious of, not only your relationship with Bill, which really goes without saying, but that at your stage in life you still manage to make close friendships - or one in particular - something I gave up on about twenty years ago because I couldn't take any more disappointments and heartache. (My pussies are a fine substitute, but only in limited ways, of course). But on the positive side, you do demonstrate to me what IS possible.

    Btw: On my own blogs I did what you suggested re the e-mail link. At least I hope I've done it right. We'll see if it works when I write the review of 'Conjuring 2', probably in the next day or two, a film I don't fancy seeing but there's precious little else on that I really want to see, yet I do so want to keep my blog alive and moving along.

    1. Ray,
      You're on to me! My blog is my autobiography that I never got around to sitting down and writing. After I'm gone, anyone who is interested in my life only has to go to my blog to find out all about me. Well, almost all about me. I have kept the more salacious details (mostly sexual) to myself. Also, some family matters I have not written about out of respect for those family members who I wouldn't want to embarrass. But believe me, at times I have been tempted to write about both subjects.
      I'll check your blog now for the e-mail link. I don't want to miss any of your blog posts. Especially after seeing another great movie again last night. "Bound" with Jennifer Tilley and Gina Gershon. A twenty-year old movie that holds up even today.

  6. I got lost - did you turn the water back on?

    1. Dr. Spo,
      Hey, Mr. Short Attention Span . . . . yes, Bill did turn the water back on. He understands now that I need to water all these flowers that I have spent so much money and time on creating this little piece of Heaven right here in southern coastal Delaware.

  7. It is a great achievement for any couple to be together for 52 years, whether straight or single. You and Bill are an inspiration. I congratulate you both for that. It's definitely not easy to live with someone else, no matter who it is. There will always be compromises and clashes. I tried it several times and never liked it. Being with a controlling lover is like being with your parents....

    Much like you, I have always been a loner at heart. I truly crave my privacy. Part of this might be because I was an only child. I never had to compromise. Yet, in a way, it's very satisfying to have a partner.
    My only TRUE love, whom I would have stayed with, died tragically at a young age.

    You are so fortunate to have Bill, and now Pat.
    Great post, as usual!

    1. Jon,
      It is so ironic that I would be living with someone for the past 52 years. This was not my plan. But, in many ways fate has been good to me. I know I am very fortunate. But that doesn't mean there are those times when I wished I lived alone. I get through those times by venting just as I did on this blog posting.

    2. I meant to say "straight or gay" not single. My cats are always annoying me when I type. It's worse than having a partner.

  8. Anonymous3:25 PM

    After reading the post again my opinion changed and your last 5 words sum it up. Even with the trials and tribulations life is good

    1. Thank you Roger. I know I am very fortunate. Just had to vent though. Keeps me sane.


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