When his late wife’s morning glories – the same kind I’ve planted – didn’t come up last summer, Daniel was upset. He talked about it whenever we stood by that spot by the fountain where they once grew. Personally, I didn’t sweat it – the flowers were cheap, easy to replace, and I didn’t think it was the worst thing in the world to show him via landscape that things change over time.
The widower’s home is something he never dreamed he’d have. It was a good deal in a lousy market in an area he thought would always be beyond him. Once those two moved in he began doing renovations and, of course, the wifey instantly filled it with the belongings she had accumulated over her fifty years of living.
Spiritually, Danny believes they will be reunited one day in heaven. He waits.
My name is Autumn May. I’m the consolation prize.
I have been feeling like a visitor in their home, very much like I just don’t belong. I am 33 years old and in the stages of creation. I’m learning about table settings, patterns, styles and all of the wonderful things that make home, home. Dan has informed me that every fabric, every color, every item tangible with their sentiments intact, shall remain right where they are, forever.
Last night I saw no reason to make it through the Pottery Barn magazine (issued in her name). I just threw it away.
Well then. That’s a shame because the red and white checkered curtains look like a picnic cloth vomited all over the windows, and I could too easily go on from there. So that’s kind of a real bummer. But it isn’t the permanently outdated fashions that concern me about this little house ruling.
His home is the material conclusion of everything he possesses. Some women would date him for the house – I am not one of those women. As a result, I am feeling crowded out. There are simply limits to how accommodating, understanding, and ultimately boring I can be. And our relationship requires a space that’s all our own to flourish in to US, but his little fixer upper in Farmington Hills is exploding with someone else’s shit.
He calls me crazy for having issues with this. The painted paneling and wooden floors are his obsession and he is ready to devote his life to every material and texture. In his mind, he bought and arranged the perfect box for the perfect life and the objective to live together with his wife inside of it was tragically ended prematurely. That doesn’t seem to have stopped him from trying to play out the same story line minus the main character, anyway. In fact, he thinks he is generously making room for me when he plants my hostas under the bird feeder and gives me my little operation in his marital home.
Yes, his entire scenario was threatened but he refuses to let go of the slightest part of his broken dream. I watched and helped him with several projects last summer and if his step children desire anything more they will have to win in court for it. He can’t see why I am suddenly proceeding with hesitance down this path of material sadness.
I made the decision to co-habilitate with him very early on. I was headstrong in love, confident in my feelings and I couldn’t imagine any sort of “stuff” getting in the way of my relationship with him. But I would instantly and always tip toe around her, her memories, her possessions, as if she was going to be home from the store at any moment. It was easier to look past the creep factor and just remember that she was never coming back, when I still had so much more to figure out. As I came to envision a real long-term relationship and not just a “in the meantime” guy, I began to consider what “forever” meant, and I realized that our environment was not built to last.
He doesn’t consider us. He doesn’t consider our future. He doesn’t care to know which articles are a stinging trigger for me, and even those he is aware of, are looking at me from every angle. His structure is a dark castle that separates him from the onward world outside of it. Every item is a weight that keeps him firmly planted in the time capsule I not-so-lovingly coined as “The Dead Wife Museum” the other day in argument. The way this is all going because of how it has to look – he wants it, and has forbid me from changing it.
He is basically telling me that I cannot stay. And I have to acknowledge the way he sees things and confess that I am not the kind of girl to kill time with until you meet back up with the wife in the afterlife. I deserve negotiation and equality to start, and love to last.
This morning the long-lost morning glory wove a late vine around some leggy daisies and bloomed for me to see before I went to work. Beautiful, bitter sweet flower. It said to me, that Dan and his wife are the ones meant to live there. They are the item, waiting on their next date. After everything I did and how hard I fought against everything and everyone, this truly breaks my heart.
I wanted to be with him. I wanted to be a real world, real girl, real chance opportunity for a good life filled with love and happiness… but it will never come at the cost of this melancholy house rental agreement (literally, I have a lease and I pay rent). The love of my life is probably not going to insist that his Irish girlfriend be drowned in Greek décor and someone else’s name embroidered on the bathrobe hanging on the chair.
Autumn, I know that you picked him. But it might not be a good thing.
Maybe one day he will meet someone who makes all of this clear to him. Maybe he will catch on that women will typically not want to be replacements in his marriage. Maybe he’ll find someone who uses her coffee mugs unabashedly and even fits in to her clothes. Or maybe he will never let his heart be spoken for anyone besides his late wife.
No matter how it plays out, I wish him peace and joy in his life.
Things do indeed change over time – but I didn’t expect it to be me in this scenario. I really want him, morning glory.