Sunday, April 3, 2011
In Defense of Nesting
When I was single in my late thirties and early forties, I used to refer to those women whom I never saw out-and-about as "nesters." I would see/meet them at work functions or large community events like Pride, but wouldn't see them at potlucks, dances, coffee groups, etc. Surely I didn't own the term "nesters" but I appropriated and it seemed to fit. It was never meant derogatorily, but more as a way of differentiating between the busy, bouncy singles and those who had homes and partners to tend.
The truth is, maybe I was a little bit envious. After all, even when I was married to the man-husband in my early twenties, I didn't really feel compelled to nest with a partner or feel nurtured by couple-hood. I had my kids and was very interested in making sure they had a comfortable and healthy home, but we were on the go quite a bit and staying home or staying in was not necessarily experienced as a good thing. I spent so much time as a single or solo parent and there were always soccer games, sleepovers, and other events to manage and attend.
When Teri and I met, we met out-and-about. In the early weeks and months of our courtship, we did a great deal of dancing, meeting for coffee, movies, house parties and other public wanderings. We were very social and both of us quite busy with our different (and shared) activities, jobs and social circles. I have come to understand that there is a season for everything and we don't feel the slightest bit guilty (despite criticism) for the fact that while we still might go out to the ocassional dance or wander over to lesbian coffee every couple months, our lives are in a different space.
As Teri explained it, we are together and we enjoy each other's company--but we have never moved exclusively in any one "community." She pointed out the nature of our different work worlds makes it so that we interact with a variety of people constantly so often we find balance and solace in each other's companionship. We don't really ever get the chance to get lonely! We actually work to carve out the time to be together when we have some leisure time and an evening at home with just the two of us is such a delightful treat--if that makes us nesters then so be it...
We have watched as some of our friends have matched and mated and also shifted in how and when they socialize. It is always interesting to watch as women meet and begin dating and then, if there is a break-up, usually at least one of them resurfaces and starts bouncing around in the single scene again--grumbling about "nesting." The fact is, relationships need care and attention; they need to exist in both a private and personal realm, and as a unit in a more public/community setting. I genuinely love spending time with Teri as my friend and companion--in addition to being madly in love with her. I have other friends too, and we socialize individually and as a couple, but often if I have my druthers, I'm happiest just being sequestered with my girl.
This is new for me, after five decades of wandering all over this planet and bopping and bouncing in and out of homes, coffee shops, parties, and all sorts of events, it's pretty darn nice to have a comfy nest to settle into with the perfect-for-me companion...