Posted by: alphafemme | July 13, 2009

a little bit of distance

Mi’lady is out of town this week. She left on Saturday, but the last time I saw her was Friday morning when we rode to work together after having spent the night spooning. She had band practice Friday night, and I had friends visiting from out of town, so we figured it wasn’t really necessary to see each other the last night. Especially since she’s gone less than a week — she’ll be back on Thursday, and you can bet I’ll be seeing her that night.

I realized after my friends left Saturday evening that I was anxious. I was anxious that mi’lady’s absence would make me have a breakdown, make me realize that I was completely dependent on her, that I rely on her completely for my social life, for my sense of self-worth, for my feelings of usefulness. I was afraid I would find out that without her around, I have absolutely nothing to do. See, when she’s actually around, it’s hard for me to know whether I rely on her completely, because she’s just there. It’s like you don’t realize you rely on water to survive until you’re thirsty, and there’s no water available. Since I see her almost every day, it’s hard to know whether seeing her is just a pleasant habit, or whether she’s like water to me. I was afraid of it being the latter. Afraid because I don’t want any person to ever be my water. I want to be my own water.

So Saturday evening, returning home to an empty apartment (subletters are out of town) with no girlfriend to keep me company, friends departed, I was worried that I would crash.

But I didn’t. I didn’t crash. Instead I looked at my list of ways to self-care, and then I made a weekend-specific list of things I could do (both personally fulfilling and errand-like) to keep busy and be a whole person without mi’lady. And it worked — not only did I not feel the panic of being thirsty when no water’s at hand, I didn’t even get thirsty. I was completely able to occupy myself, and was fully happy to do so. I watched a movie I’ve had from Netflix for the past few weeks (Monster with Charlize Theron — mi’lady didn’t really care to watch it with me so I’ve been waiting to watch it alone). I talked for an hour to my friend in Portland who’s going to come visit for a week sometime in the next month. I cleaned a bit. I took care of my dad’s birthday present (totally late… His birthday was June 4th, oops). I slept. I woke up Sunday morning and cooked breakfast, talked to one of my best friends from college on the phone for about 2 hours (she’s also going to come visit in a few months!), talked to my parents back in New York (haven’t had time to really talk to them much lately), had my new roommate over for a visit to talk about moving plans (I’m moving in with her next Sunday! Finally!), played piano, cooked dinner with my subletters who came back over the course of the afternoon, applied for some volunteer positions at various non-profits I’m interested in here, picked up a few groceries, wrote a to-do list for my upcoming move… I did a lot of stuff! And felt completely occupied and fulfilled and happy.

Got a text message from mi’lady around 6:30, saying she missed me, and can’t wait to cuddle.  A call from her late last night as she was going to bed east-coast-time, in which she re-affirmed that she missed me, sounded almost wistful that I was going about business on my own without her. She has co-dependent tendencies too, she’s said as much and I recognize them in her. Can relate to them too, so I’m particularly aware of them when I see them. Just got another text message from her now, actually: “i miss you wish i was home with you.”

A little bit of distance. It’s good for me. It’s good to know that I can be okay without her. I don’t have many friends in this city yet, but I have a lot of people who love me in my life, and I have things that make me happy and complete without mi’lady. And so that makes me extra happy to have her in my life, and to welcome her home on Thursday. Funny how that works — the less I need someone, the freer I am to just … love her.



  1. I’m so happy you found my blog! As you can see, I am also an alpha femme, although, I may have longer hair. I have way too many posts for you to possibly go through, but I read your blog. It’s really interesting to see such an honest portrayal of just dealing. Also, I have this inner reading voice that becomes super whimsical every time it reads “mi’lady,” which is probably the best moniker I’ve ever heard for a person. We should be facebook friends! Just search Ellen Cassidy on the Stanford network.

    • yes, you definitely have longer hair. I don’t know, maybe you can’t be an alpha femme if you have long hair… I think you have to have short hair. maybe you can be a beta femme. ;)

      I read maybe your last ten posts, the ones since July. you wrote a play! omg. that’s so cool. I used to write a lot, and then somewhere along the way a little alter-ego started sitting in a bubble in the back of my head watching everything I do and everything I say and it mocks me, the little bastard! so now I can’t write without a-e laughing at me, which means I just stopped writing. except now I write in this blog again, so there’s that. (I blame it on Annie Dillard’s book An American Childhood, but that’s another story.)

      I think “mi’lady” is just for lack of a better pseudonym. I can’t just give her another name, that’s weird. I considered doing the whole first-letter-of-her-name thing, but for some reason that sounded too Catcher in the Rye or Bright Lights Big City or something. not that those books use single letters to name people. but somehow the tone sounded weird to me. so mi’lady it is. also, it reminds me not to be too serious.

      thanks for commenting :)

      • i embrace my role as beta femme. you shouldn’t let the voice in the back of your head keep you from writing! you just have to go into a zone where there’s nothing but your characters and the world you’re creating. like you’re completely in another universe where even the rest of yourself doesn’t live. you’ve probably tried all these things before, but that’s so sad that you can’t write! for me, blogging is like warming up for other writing. it gets me in kind of that stream of consciousness state of mind, like never even reading what you wrote until you’re done.

        sidenote: mens are freaking me out today. first this dude followed me in a pickup truck. now, jose my free coffee guy is sending me over cookies and checking on my table. i just want to be on my laptop! and drink my latte! leave me alone!

        alphafemme: eww, gross mens! totally sympathize. that’s sweet that you get a free latte though, haha. re writing… yeah, I need to re-train myself to just fully immerse myself in another world, and leave myself behind. ever since reading Annie Dillard’s An American Childhood when I was in college, I haven’t been able to do it anymore. I was just so dazzled by her total self-awareness that I started being that self-aware all the time too. Like with this inner narrator that followed me around trying to make my life sound as beautiful as Annie Dillard makes hers. And when I realized my inner narrator was nowhere near as brilliant as Annie Dillard, that’s when the inner narrator just started to mock me incessantly. Sigh.

  2. […] a little bit of distance […]

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