Friday, August 21, 2009

It's comfortable, it's familiar ... it's boring as hell

It's so easy. Too easy.

Come home from work, ditch the pencil skirt and heels and crawl into a comfy, ratty pair of sweats.

It feels good. I can curl up on the couch and have lots of room to move, to kick around, to just relax.

Sweats were banned from my wardrobe for years. They had no place next to my skirts, trousers, blouses and even jeans.

Yoga pants were OK. But anything that resembled fleece, especially in a grey tone, was banished.

For four years, I dated a guy who wore sweatpants almost every day of that relationship. When he wasn't wearing sweats, he was sporting athletic shorts . . . and everything -- EVERYTHING -- was emblazoned with the logo of his favourite Pac-10 football team.

We started out as best friends. We hung out, we watched movies, we went shopping . . . and everyone -- EVERYONE -- expected we would end up together.

And we did. It was comfortable, it was familiar . . .

It was what I needed at the time. I was suffering the Attack of the 30s. I was 28 and Aug. 18, 2001, was looming.

There I was, single, unmarried and babyless.

Comfortable and familiar sounded perfect . . . the right way to transition into the Life I Was Supposed to Have, thanks to conventional wisdom.

And like that pair of old grey sweatpants, I slipped comfortably into a four-year relationship of predictability, familiarity and absolute, outright, shameless boredom.

"What do you want to do Friday night?"

"I dunno, what do you want to do?"

Inevitably, we would do the same thing every Friday night.

Nothing. But we'd do it together.

Oh, sometimes we would kick it up a notch and go to a friend's place to play board (bored?) games.

But like the old saying, familiarity does breed contempt. For the last, oh, 12 months of our time together, I could swear we loathed each other.

We couldn't help ourselves, though. It was what we knew.

And when I finally realized it was over -- long after he did and had moved onto someone new -- I pitched from my closet everything made of fleece.

Some years later, I'm still single, unmarried and babyless. But I've allowed sweatpants back into my life.

Because the sense of comfort I get comes from knowing I'm more familiar with myself.

And I know I can slip comfortably into another relationship, but one that will feed my desires for adventure and spontaneity in addition to my need for familiarity.

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