Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Men in My Life

Last week I gave a party, a really big party in my really little house, for approximately 65 people. I insisted on cooking everything for the party myself, as cooking and entertaining are among the ways I enjoy giving to others, and this was a group of people to whom I really wanted to give a gift. Among the attendees were artists, friends, colleagues, and customers, and we all ate and drank and talked and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Nestled among all the other party guests were three important men in my life: my son who acted as sous chef, my husband from whom I am separated, and my lover who had recently ended our romance. I was happy that they were all there together (though I made no effort to introduce said husband and lover to one another!)as they each mean a lot to me in very different ways and I continue to want all three of them in my life, though not in their former roles.

My son is no longer my boy, but rather a man working on making an independent life for himself as an actor. He has chosen a difficult career path, and it is not being easy on him. To see him at ease at this party, handling the multi-tasking kitchen responsibilities with aplomb, made me proud, and yet it was such a different pride from that I felt when he was younger. I am proud to know this man, to have an adult relationship with him, and to watch him as he experiments, succeeds and fails, all on his own terms.

My husband (since I am technically still married, though separated) wanted to be at the party, and it was wonderful to see him handling the situation on his own, particularly after the setbacks he has experienced from his brain injury. He and I shared many years together exploring much of the world of art, and as this was a night all about art and artists, I was glad that in spite of no longer being a couple, we could both enjoy this world which was equally important to us both.

And then, my former lover, from whom I have sufficiently recovered from heartbreak and with whom I am navigating the waters of friendship: why had I invited him and why was he there? While it is true that I had been crazy for him, and was deeply, painfully hurt by his rejection, I also know that I don't fall in love easily, and the love doesn't go away easily, if at all, for me. And he and I, too, enjoy the world of art and artists together, and hope to continue doing that in some way or form going forward. Did we smooch in a corner for a second and forget for a moment that we were no longer doing that kind of thing? Of course we did; the chemistry is still there. But the relationship with this man, as with the others, has also moved along.

I went home with none of these men that night. My former lover left, my son and husband helped clean up, and I went to bed - alone, happy, comfortable with all three relationships.

(Sculptures by Suki Diamond, ceramic artist)

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