The email politely invited me to join Beloved on a trip this summer. A trip that would have Beloved meeting a prominent person. It isn’t the first invitation I have had for such a trip or even such a meeting. I have, since being with Beloved, found myself at dinner parties, galas, dances and such where there are far more prominent people that I need to know. I may have become a bit jaded by this as it doesn’t actually impress me all that much.
When I phoned Beloved and explained to him that I was thinking of declining, a close friend who was visiting made such a loud gasp that surely half the universe must have heard or felt the effects of it. She had seen the name of the person I would be meeting, and she could not fathom turning down a once in a lifetime type of meeting with such a figure. Beloved wasn’t surprised by my response, he is used to me declining things due to health and, well, I reckon my own independence.
He suggested, in his gentle way, that I should not respond to the invitation yet, to sit with it and think upon both attending versus declining such a meeting. This too is not new for Beloved always makes these suggestions when I am faced with the fact that being in a relationship with Beloved has a very heavy dose of interacting and meeting prominent people. I knew this aspect of his life when we first were together. But it was his life and I was free to have my own life.
Beloved finds it charming that after all these years, these invitations and such rankle me. I rail against the idea that I’m property or something to be brought along because I must be occupied in some way. I know that isn’t really what is happening and it’s a nice thing to be invited along and so on and so forth. But there is a part of me that digs in my heels and points out that it is his life, his professional choices that have this aspect to things. It isn’t my choosing or my life.
I do not ever insist that he come along with me on any of the things that I do for my professional life or even for the advocacy work I do. Those are part of the make up of my life. Yes Beloved and I have a life together, but we are also two separate people with different interests, needs and passions to fill. Sometimes I think people, especially people Beloved spends time with, forget this wee aspect.
And now if you will excuse me, I need to save the universe from another incredible gash while I sort out how I shall politely decline this latest honor.