Jonno and Jacques get home tomorrow. They’ve been away four months.
When Jonno first told me that he wanted to spend the summer in Provincetown and that he wanted to take Jacques with him, I thought, “Fine, no problem. If it’ll make you happy, go for it.”
Friends who heard about Jonno’s plan asked, “Isn’t that a long time to be apart?” This is what I told them:
- Jonno used to spend two- and three-month chunks of time in San Francisco, so what’s another month?
- I’m going up for a visit at the end of July, the halfway point in his stay. So it won’t really be like he’s gone for four months, it’ll be more like two two-month separations.
- We started out as a long-distance couple, with him in New York and me in New Orleans. We’re used to it.
But it was harder than I thought.
For starters, I’m a different person than I was when we began dating — even different than I was just a few years ago. Between my day job and my car blogging and the theatre company and the hounds and a thousand other little responsibilities, I’ve become far less social than I used to be. It’s not that I don’t have the time, it’s just that I have less of it, and what time I have, I enjoy spending at home.
Many of my friends are in the same boat. We’ve settled into our little ways here, our routines. We text-message and we Facebook, but we don’t spend a lot of time hanging out like we once did. We don’t need the extra stimulation, we don’t color outside the lines.
Jonno, however, is not in that boat. He is immensely social, gregarious. Sure, he sometimes pretends to be gruff and stand-offish, but at heart, he’s a thousand times more friendly than I am. If you follow him on Instagram, you know what I mean. The guy gets around.
I didn’t realize how thoroughly I depended on Jonno for my social life until now. I’ve never, ever been depressed — it’s just not wired into my DNA — but I admit, there were times over the past four months when I felt a little lonely.
That’s not to say I sat around moping. I have a couple of very good friends I can turn to when I feel like that, and I made a new one this summer. And of course, I have the hounds, the loves of my life.
But on the handful of occasions that I was dragged to social events (yes: dragged, kinda), I felt awkward. Out of place.
I don’t like being that person. The kind of person who stands in the corner, scrolling through Facebook to look like he’s content and occupied. The kind of person who fakes a cell phone conversation to pretend he’s got someone to talk to.
In fact, let me be blunt: I hate being that person.
Screw waiting for New Year’s: I’m turning this car around now. If you happen to see me on the street or resting against the wall at a party, looking passively at the glowing screen of my phone, hold me to that.