Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

A Sense Of Ownership

I fell asleep on N's bed (again) last night. Before Baroy went to bed, he came and shook me awake. This is what we do. This is fine.

I stumbled out to our office/family room, remembering that I'd left my computer (an iBook) open on my desk, and wanting just to close the cover before I went to sleep. It was off. This is what Baroy does. This is NOT fine.

He and I have had this conversation about a million times before. It is my computer, I'll tell him. There are often reasons I don't want it shut down...programs that are open, documents I haven't saved. But that's not even the point. The point is that it is my computer. Mine.

There are so few things in this house that are mine. Baroy and I share a room, a bed. (Not that I'm complaining, mind you!) We share an office, which is also our family room. The food in our refrigerator is everyone's; if I buy myself a treat, it's just as likely to be gone when I go for it as it is to still be there for me. Em is already at the stage where she likes to borrow my clothes (they're still too big for her to go out in, but she often sleeps in my shirts) so I never know if something will be there when I want to wear it.

Of course, Baroy and I own this house together, but somehow, in one of those ways in which I've not quite fulfilled my earlier-life dreams of self-sufficiency, I do not feel like it's really mine. I don't know how to fix things, or even where everything is in the house and how they work. I've abdicated that responsibility to Baroy in certain areas, and I'm OK with that. Same with "my" car, which has both of our names on the registration, and which Baroy takes care of in terms of maintenance, etc. But it does make me feel like a fake in many ways. Not a real grownup. Real grownups have ownership. I'm being taken care of.

A lot of the 'big' things in our house are someone else's. Our big old plasma-screen TV was a present for Baroy's 50th birthday, and he treats it as his. (That's fine with me; I no longer watch regularly anyway. There isn't a single series on TV right now I'm interested in.) The TV in the family room is one we bought for the kids last year, so they would have something to watch when Baroy is settled in front of the plasma. I sometimes almost feel like I need to ask permission to sit down and watch a movie on a DVD player; it's a stupid feeling, but a feeling nonetheless.

There are a few things I feel ownership over, and I guard that jealously. There is my iPod. There is my Blackberry. And there is my computer.

I waited until this morning to say anthing to him.

"Baroy," I said, swallowing hard so it didn't come out sounding nasty, "I have a favor to ask of you."


"Please don't turn off my computer at night; there's usually a reason I still have it on."

"Oh," he said, looking genuinely surprised, genuinely confused. "I'm sorry. I didn't know."

It's the same thing he says every time. But I just thanked him and went on my way, secure at least in my ownership of feeling like a big old baby.

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