Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Land of Pre-Canna

My California days are numbered. I’ve only got three days left until Driving Excitement, the boyfriend and I head back east. I’ve got a lot on my mind to sort out and maybe five days of driving will bring some clarity. Or delusion… either one could be interesting.

I had a long conversation with my best friend, Chris, down in San Diego this past weekend. We’ve gotten into the habit of going for long runs when we get together. By default, he has become my non-profit psychiatrist who just happens to run a 3:10 marathon.

The first twenty minutes we spend catching up on family stories and plotting out the course for our seventeen-mile run. Then we dive into bigger life issues- graduate school, spirituality, work… Finally, as I hit run-induced delirium about mile 14, we cover relationships. I think you need to be in that pot-smoking state of mind to open up to Chris sometimes. His questions are simple- my answers typically aren't.

Chris first asked what the boyfriend thought about potentially (quitting/relocating/selling the house/dropping his life) to move to CA. Everyone has asked this question and I’ve discussed this with the BF many times.
I’m committed.
He’s committed.
He’s willing to make the jump.
Next question please.

“That’s a lot of pressure on a relationship when you two have never actually lived together. Finances, arguments, bad days at work, the little things. Are you guys ready for that?”

It’s easy to say I’m ready for that. Sure I am. Because I really don’t know what the hell I’m getting into. The BF doesn’t either. He hasn’t seen me cranky. He probably doesn’t know that I have the willpower of a twelve-year old school girl when it comes to saving money. When I’m upset, I’m emotionally detached from everyone and difficult to deal with. I'm sure Freud would have a field day. So how can you predict the effect these things will have on your relationship? It’s like throwing paint on a wall in hopes that you’ll like the picture when it dries.

Chris could tell I was floundering. I didn’t have any way to predict an outcome and for a logical thinker, that just ain’t acceptable.
So Chris talked about his experiences before getting hitched. In the Catholic religion (and others, I suppose) couples have to go through a quasi-counseling program (called Pre-Canna) prior to marriage that broaches some tough issues. It involves quite a bit of personality testing to help couples understand their partners better- what communication styles work, what actions set them off. It deals with finance issues… where each person stands fiscally and how money will be handled. It explores the topic of parenting- what are the expectations of each partner, how many children do they expect to have, how will the family be supported?

While the jury’s still out on my stance with organized religion and its narrow-minded view of non-traditional relationships (we covered that between mile 9 and mile 13), a program like Pre-Canna just seems right. Maybe there are organizations out there that offer similar services to gay couples. I’ll have to start investigating. In the meantime, Chris will be moving to Chicago in mid-August with his wife to begin a masters program in Pastoral Studies at Loyola. I think he’s better suited as my personal running shrink, but the pay sucks.


Blogger btyguy said...

i hear you, michael! i'm in a similar boat with my bf - who lives in chitown, btw ;)

if you find that counseling, send a tip my way!

12:30 PM  
Blogger Riley said...

Your boyfriend suggested I congratulate you on the conclusion of your internship.


12:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you really were on a pot induced hallucination and dreamed that whole thing...I was in Tijuana all last weekend.

And no one can really run 17 miles at one time, can they?

3:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

from his me, if you haven't seen him cranky, you may want to get out's not pretty. And "cranky" doesn't do it justice, more accurate would be "all out bitchy"

3:53 PM  

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