People Watching & Test Results

 
Yesterday I was sitting in a waiting room waiting to be called for the ultrasound. Next to me was an elderly couple, probably in their late seventies.

The woman was obviously having tests done. When she sat down to do the intake process, the husband stood and hovered over her for a bit, then sat back down.

What I found interesting was that when she was asked certain questions, she'd turn around to the husband and say: "What do you want to do?" 

He'd tell her. And she'd repeat his words.


I asked myself if I'd ever done that when married. I don't think so. But I do recall the feeling of needing to keep the husband kind of involved when he was sitting in a waiting room with me. 

When I look back on that now, I feel kind of tired. Seems to me that always having to think of that other person was a distraction, as I've never been good with chit-chat.

I think now I should probably have never married. I should have just gone to college and bought myself a house for me and my pets and lived a quiet life gardening and reading and doing what I do now. 

I thought when I got married at age 20 that I was finally beginning my life as a real "family." And at the time that was extremely important to me. 

I'd lived a childhood where I was not much like other kids. My great-grandmother's notions were a far cry from the young parents of other children I knew.

And you know how it is, when you're young you just want to look like everyone else and not stand out. But I probably stood out anyway. I was kind of an old person living in a child's body. 

I didn't like raucous children play and noise. I preferred to be in a quiet place reading a book.


So here I am, finally living by myself with my pets,. I garden and read and live my quiet ordinary life. I know now without a doubt that this is the life for me. 

I find it far more appealing to sleep with two snoring dogs than one snoring husband. I am much more at peace with myself. The anxiety of feeling that I need to be part of a couple is long gone. 
  
So why oh why did I try so hard to fit myself into that "wife" role when in reality it felt so terribly awkward? 

If someone was to ask me why I got married, I guess I'd say that family meant getting married and having children and... 

Well, I never filled in the blanks. Family back then meant children and I didn't ponder life after that. 

In reality, how many of us ever thought about life after children?

If I'd been sitting there waiting with a husband in tow, I'd have felt like I needed to converse here and there to be polite. 

But to tell you the honest truth, I'd have probably been a "chit-chit" away from complete and utter boredom.

Because I prefer to sit quietly and people watch.


I stared at some object in the distance because that's the polite thing to do. But I was aware of everything going on around me. 
 
As I drove home after the test, I truly enjoyed the abundance of gorgeous fall leaves on the trees. It's prettier this year than I recall the past few years. 

I enjoyed watching the leaves floating in the wind and spiraling to the ground as I sat at streetlights.

And you know what I was thinking? That I don't recall enjoying the fall leaves as much when I was sitting in a car with a husband beside me.

I was thinking that I'm just as happy as a pig in mud being single and unfettered and watching everything around me. 

***

Note: I got a call late yesterday that they had the results of my ultrasound. I have a cyst on my right ovary. It is a fatty cyst, so should not be problematic unless I'm in great pain. 

I've had virtually no pain for two days. They said I should get more exercise and work on my diet, which I'm already doing. So I will see how it goes.
 

49 comments

  1. When we were 20ish we did not have many choices about our life. Marriage and children were considered the desired and best state for a woman. Women that never married were considered "old maids". Teaching or nursing were considered the best professions for women. Even if a woman chose to engage in teaching or nursing marriage was of course the goal. Things are different now and I am so glad that they are!

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    1. That's for sure! I don't recall any girls i knew saying they wanted to be doctors. Instead they'd apply to nursing school.

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  2. I often think I wanted children more then a husband but did do it the 'right way'. Now I'm happy living alone and having grown children and grands I love. Glad you test came back with positive results.

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    1. I think I probably felt the same way. I had my first child without a husband, but then married and had my second.

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  3. I have had ovarian cysts on and off for many years - they were much more painful when I was younger. I get less of them as I get older. Glad it's just that.

    As for the husband deal - My mom was divorced after 18 years of marriage and while she might have settled down again if she had met the right man, she has been very happy and very active ever since.

    I truly believe Life is what we make of it, regardless of circumstances. You are finally happy because you are being true to you - what's good for one isn't necessarily good for the other. Personally I very much like having that other person in my life, but through my mother's (and your) example, it's clear that life as a single person can be just as full.

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    1. We're all different. That's what makes the world go round, so to speak.

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  4. My dear friend in Oklahoma ... we had the same childhood, altho with different parents! I was the child that was described as - this in on the East Coast - 'having a Russian soul' - the adult-child who didn't like amusement park rides,duck duck goose (which always seemed to me a prescription for getting battered on the head by the kid who disliked you), or standing around holding some giant parachute while everyone else pulled and tugged to rip it out of your arms, or being put at a children's table during a company dinner (that was a punishment!); I had an adult library card in 3d grade. I had home encyclopedias I read - in fact, more than one type - and my toes curled inside my shoes each and every time I spoke to an adult as another adult and they patronized me.

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  5. That is good news Brenda! I hope you have a wonderful day!

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  6. Glad your results were nothing to worry about, Brenda - whew, what a relief! I find the older I get the more time I need to myself, to just sit quietly and read. It recharges me like nothing else!

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  7. I am glad you are happy now. Sometimes it just takes us a few years to find our own 'playing ground'. I am glad you have found yours.

    I am wondering if that lady might have had some mild dementia and ended up repeating thing almost as rote to 'focus'.

    Good news on your tests. You can work with that diagnosis. xo Diana

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    1. Well, could be, but I don't think so. She was so "with it" about everything else during the time I sat next to her

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  8. Ovarian cysts can be so painful...glad to hear it is not bothering you now. Hope it resolves soon!
    It sounds like you have reached a stage of contentment in life...a very good place to be!

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    1. It never occurred to me that that would have been it. But now I'm educating myself.

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  9. I am glad you are in your happy place - it's a different place for everyone and we can't judge because we never know anyone's full story.

    I hope the pain stays away.

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  10. Brenda I'm so glad you at least have an answer. Hopefully it will be quiet for awhile. Boy tge world has changed so much. When I finished HS you went to secretarial schl, nursing or teaching OR marriage. I wound up marrying my HS friend I'd know since I was 12. It didn't work out. I always say there should be a law against marriage before 25!! I'm a widow now and very content.

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    1. The world has sure changed a lot since we were young!

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  11. Hi Brenda, it's so good that you are happy with yourself. Alot of people cannot be alone. I am so glad that you are ok and feeling better. Take care.
    Julie

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  12. Hi Brenda. This is just conjecture because I'm no expert, but maybe you found marriage to be an awkward fit for you because of your Asperger's diagnosis. I say this because when I read the words you used to describe your feelings regarding interacting with a husband, such as "tired," "distraction," "awkward," and "boredom," I think that maybe it could have been the Asperger's aspect of your personality causing you to just not have the patience or interest to be involved that closely with someone. Why did you stay in it so long? Well, maybe a part of you did want to be married and have a home and family, but another part of you wasn't wired for that kind of relationship situation.

    I say all of that because my kids have told me that my first husband took a test a few years ago that show he could have a form of autism, maybe Asperger's. And, his way of interacting with me in our marriage was very much the way you describe your feelings -- he did indeed seem bored, distracted, tired of having to share information and make decisions together, and he felt very awkward in our relationship, preferring to do his work or pursue his hobbies that he did alone. I didn't know anything about Asperger's way back then, but, what I do know does seem to apply to him as I think more about it. On the other hand, his behavior can't all be blamed on Asperger's -- he flat out could be a real jerk. And, he keeps having relationships, and has had one more marriage and divorce, so it sounds like he is still trying to make a go at it, while you have had the good sense to choose a better path for yourself and have made a contented life for you and your pets. Good for you.

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    1. I didn't know it was Asperger's until I moved here. If I'd known, I'd have been single a long time ago. I just thought I wasn't adjusting well, or I'd married the wrong person. But a lot of it was me. So now that I know, I live a far different life.

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  13. let's face it, even if they are good husbands, men are difficult and in some ways boring and demanding at the same time.

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    1. I agree. Yes, there were some good things about marriage. But for me, they didn't outweigh the bad things.

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    2. This is unfair and mean-spirited to generalize men in this way. Difficult? Boring? Demanding? So are women. Relationships take two to tango.

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  14. Glad you found out about the cyst. Do you think that was the source of your pain from the beginning and not a UTI? Well, I hope it stays settled down and doesn't cause you pain anymore.

    Yes, I am quite happy alone---most of the time. I have fairly simple wants somewhat like yours. A place to garden and books to read and some art supplies to create with. I enjoy going out occasionally, too, but mostly to a movie or a jazz concert with one friend in particular. And I enjoy simple activities with my four grandsons.

    I don't know if I've ever mentioned that a couple of years ago my ex-husband wanted to get back together. Well, that's what he said. The woman he'd divorced me for had divorced him and other things in his life were not going well. I agreed to give it a try. I've never tho't he was a bad person or hated him for what he chose to do. And we have always enjoyed many of the same things. So, he moved in and we gave it a try. He's retired now so he was around the house most of the time and that was nice some of the time, but the rest of the time, it nearly drove me crazy! I also had a great deal of trouble thinking of myself as part of a couple since I'd been on my own for over fifteen years and come to like it. The arrangement didn't work. I was somewhat sad because the companionship was nice and I enjoyed doing things with him, but I didn't feel that sad after he'd been out of the house for a while. I remembered how happy I'd been before he came back and just knew I would be that happy again. And, it's true. I am. So I do identify with your feelings and I think that us preferring being alone is just fine. He did do some of the cooking, though, and that was nice! But our preferred diets weren't much alike so that had it's problems, too!

    Hooray for us who like our own company enough to not need anyone else with us most of the time. Life is simpler this way.

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    1. It came back positive the first time for the UTI, but not the second time last week.

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  15. I'm glad you got good results on your ultrasound, Brenda!

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    1. Me too! I didn't think this would be it, but it's preferable to so many other things.

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  16. I am glad to see that your tezt results came with better news. ...I had a cyst the size of a grapefruit removed during my c-section....thank goodness it was benign...scary little boogers!

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    1. Wow, that's really big! I would think you could feel that, but probably not.

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  17. Oh Brenda-so glad the test came back with that result and not something worse. So sorry though...can be reoccurring. I appreciate this post. I had an acquaintance tell me once how life always comes full circle and that what didn't happen at one spot on the circle would defiantly at another.

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    1. I think that's a great way to look at it, that it comes full circle. I remember in psychology in college, I learned that if, as a child, you don't get something you need, you will relentlessly look for it until you find it. Then you can pass to the next stage.

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  18. Yay on your test results!!

    I, too, am not 'good' with people. Most of the time I would prefer to enjoy my own company. The only time otherwise is my once a month art group and an occasional lunch out with someone from that group.

    Hang in there ~

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    1. Well, we now know there are quite a few of us. So we aren't really "weird" after all.

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  19. So pleased to hear the result came back ok and not worse. I am very happy being single. Though I also have my youngest still at home and in school and 2 of my older children have shifted back home. It helps with the finances helping each other out. But I need my alone time... to be able to cope with the world otherwise life gets to much. My garden and my crafts help keep me sane:O) as well as my pets I couldn't live without them!

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    1. I guess we all need a certain amount of alone time. Some more than others. And I think as we age, we need more and more time to reflect.

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  20. Hope your pain subsides for good. We make so many important decisions when we're young, before we're really grown and have grown into ourselves. I think that the kids today take much more time doing that. Maybe...

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    1. Seems strange that at those tender ages when we don't have a lot of sense yet is often when we make our biggest decisions.

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  21. For many years now I have wondered why we most often must make the most important decisions in our lives, that affect the rest or our lives, when we are very young and too inexperienced to have enough information to make the best decisions. I guess that's in The Original plan to keep life interesting...for good or not so good.

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    1. Seems odd, doesn't it? And it does affect the rest of our lives.

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  22. I hear ya. When I was young, I always went the extra mile for family. Now that I’m looking down the barrel at my 70s, I draw thick lines in the sand. Glad you had good news and hope you feel better soon!

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    1. I think we have to or we lose ourselves sometimes.

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  23. I was thinking along the same lines as Lynx ^ that perhaps one reason marriage wasn't a good fit for you is because of having Aspberger's. Brian and I are both introverts, so we respect each other's need for alone and quiet time. But yet we like doing things together, too. I am very lucky and grateful that I am married to a gem of a man. Does he have his faults? Of course. But so do I.

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    1. I think that's probably true. Too bad I didn't know until later in life.

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  24. And Melanie's comment is just what I could have said. BG and I are both introverts, too. We love our quiet times, but we also get along very well. Maybe that is because we don't need a lot of attention and prefer quiet times and not have to be making conversation all the time. We do things together when we want to, but we also understand when we want to just be quiet and can travel in perfect silence and don't feel awkward about it.
    Glad your tests didn't show anything too drastic! Hope you feel better real soon.

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    1. Sounds like you two are a great fit. Too bad we don't take classes in high school on how to choose the proper mate!

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