The Housemate left for Antarctica last night. He'll actually spend a few days in Chile before boating down to Antarctica, but he's gone.
As a parting gift, he gave me a Build-a-Bear Jedi bear. Best. Boyfriend. Ever. It's the perfect present because
1) It's a Jedi! He even has a plush lightsaber.
2) I think it's a very cute bear, and the fur is incredibly soft. And
3) When I opened the box the Housemate said, "It's a snuggle bear!" in reference to the fact that one of my favored pet names for him is "snuggle bear" (...I am so embarrassed right now). See, he got it for me so I'd have someone else to cuddle with at night while he's away.
So far I've just been calling him "Jedi Bear". I was trying to think of some cute clever pun on a Jedi's name (err, Bear Kenobi? --yuck), but I haven't come up with anything yet. Any suggestions?
I gave the Housemate a fleece slanket to take to Antarctica. If you watch The Big Bang Theory, it's what Penny gave to Leonard when he was leaving for the North Pole: a blanket with sleeves (she gave him the red one, I got the hunter green). It's no good to walk around wearing, but if you're sitting and want to use your hands--for reading, using the computer, talking on the phone, etc.--it's the perfect thing to keep you warm and cozy. It's not any use here in Hawaii (unless your office air conditioning is way too high or something), but hopefully he'll enjoy it in Antarctica.
He may need that extra warmth. I am sorry to report that he has left for Antarctica with no more warmth than a bunch of long-sleeve t-shirts and a single fleece jacket. He meant to bring a nice fuzzy sweatshirt hoodie as well, but he forgot it at home. The thing is, that's all he owns. Having lived his adult life thus far only in Indonesia, Arizona, and Hawaii, he doesn't have much in the way of warm clothing. At least he has the fleece jacket, which I told him to buy from the outlet stores when he was in Maine last month. I meant to make him order more stuff from L.L. Bean (they ship for free, at least in the current season), but never got around to it. I guess he can buy stuff in Chile, but it may be that his one fleece jacket will just see a lot of use. Which is good, because he can't get his money's worth out of it here.
I drove the Housemate to the airport in the mid-afternoon (any excuse to leave school early!). As I often do when driving to the airport, I sang "Leaving on a Jet Plane." I started singing it innocently enough, but was taken aback by how the lyrics came across to me this time, as they hadn't ever resonated with me the same way before (even though the lyrics are from the point of view of the person leaving, not the person left behind):
I'm ready, I'm so lonesome I could die...
So kiss me and smile for me
Tell me that you'll wait for me
Hold me like you'll never let me go
'Cause I'm leaving on a jet plane
I don't know when I'll be back again
Oh, babe, I hate to go
OK, so I know he'll be back in February, but I don't know when in February! He still has to decide if he wants to do any traveling in South America before coming back up to Hawaii. And I felt lonesome, and I wanted him to kiss me and hold me like he'd never let me go. It still seems strange to find myself feeling this way about someone.
When we got to the airport, we found that his flight had been not just delayed, but "rescheduled" for two hours later. So instead of going straight through security after checking in, he stayed outside to hang out with me. We went to the little Starbucks right there (mocha coconut Frappuccino is sooo delicious!), then sat together on a bench sipping our coffees. We played with his fancy new camera, taking shots of the plants and the pigeons and sparrows and the Starbucks signs and each other, though the lighting wasn't ideal (very gray and cloudy). He gave me a shoulder massage, which was awesome because I was really sore, probably from doing all his lab dishes for hours, but possibly also from my encounter with the PlayStation Move Gladiator duel at the local Best Buy. It was a very pleasant hour and a half or so, just us hanging out together there with nothing to do but enjoy each other's company...
And await the inevitable. I did find myself occasionally blurting out "Don't go," still, but my sorrow at seeing him go was now tempered by my excitement at the experience he was about to have, so I also kept saying things like "You're going to have such a great time!" So while the sadness--and sometimes tears--would creep up, there was also that happiness to console me. I waited in the line for security with him, then watched him go through security to make sure that he didn't have anything he couldn't take through and needed to pass off to me. He got his shoes back on, put on his backpack, went around the corner and was gone.
It hasn't really hit me yet. I mean, he's left for a week at a time before, so this isn't so out of place. But I think as the weeks go on, there's a definite chance that I'll get lonely, unless I change my habits and start hanging out with my other friends more. The problem is that he's not just my boyfriend--he's also my roommate and my best friend. So I've lost my snuggle bear, my moral support, my grocery shopping pal, my personal chef, my TV-watching companion, and my movies/beach/weekend activity buddy. I guess I've made the mistake of putting all my eggs in one basket here. "All Housemate all the time" is very convenient when he's home, but when he's gone it leaves "all nothing all the time."
I'm sure it'll be OK. I'll have a new roommate (a subletter for three months) moving in probably next week, so hopefully I'll get along with her. Maybe she'll want to do grocery shopping and cooking with me. I'll try to make more of an effort in hanging out with my other friends. And there are a number of things at home that I've been meaning to do. I have books to read, shows to watch, games to play--I still haven't done the Shadow Broker DLC for Mass Effect 2 or the Morrigan DLC for Dragon Age: Origins. Plus, there's always school work, which could definitely use more of my attention.
It might turn out to be good for me to have some time away from the boyfriend. But I miss him. I know now how nice it can be to have someone who wants to take care of you, even if you're expected to take care of him in return--that can be nice, too. Independence is simple and has its own advantages, but for me, right now, I find that I prefer having a boyfriend. Especially since my shoulder still hurts.
Have an amazing time.