Mara And Everquest II

I’m getting ready to leave. I have to be in the Birmingham area by midnight. Theoretically I could leave early this afternoon and make it on time, but I’m not going to do that. In spite of essentially not working Monday and Tuesday of last week, I’m still going to wind up with decent miles for the week. I’d rather not let that advantage go to waste.
I’ve been looking around the house this morning. I filed our taxes last week. Assuming we get back what we’re supposed to (the Feds might whittle our refund down a bit), it seems to me that we should finish the bathroom. It wouldn’t take much money, really, and it would do wonders for our general outlook on things. I’ll have to decide soon between vinyl and ceramic tile for the floors, and wrestle with the question of whether or not to put up a vinyl liner around the shower or to re-tile the walls. All I know is that I’m sick of looking at that mess. Even if the IRS fucks us over (which they would have every right to do), we should get enough money back from North Carolina to at least get started.
We need to get out of this holding pattern that we’ve been in for so very long. There’s a lot to be done, but every weekend I come in and don’t do a damned thing. Sometimes we think of it as a money issue, but if I would stop buying shit we would have extra money. I guess I’ve just been excited about feeling the noose about our necks loosen a bit. But I should remember that however easier I might be able to breathe now, we’ll never be back to having the kind of money that we had when we were on that dedicated run.
My God, we made $30,000 less last year than we did the year before. I still have no idea whatsoever what we did with that money. It certainly didn’t go into the house. As much as I like to whine about the almost $2,000 that went into Mark’s pocket for the laughable “work” he did around the house, that’s a drop in the proverbial bucket.
Oh, well. In other news, I’ve been worried about Mara and I. It’s beginning to look like my fears were founded, and that without Everquest II as a middle ground, we’re drifting apart. I feel like we live two totally separate lives. I didn’t get home until about 16:00 Saturday afternoon. Between that time and last night when Mara went to bed, she did nothing but play Everquest. The only time I saw her was when she wandered through to go to the bathroom or get something to eat. And she seemed greatly annoyed any of the times that I needed her attention for something.
Mara, of course, thinks that everything is fine. But that comes from the standpoint of someone who just wants to be left alone. As long as her gaming didn’t get interrupted too much, I could make comments to her (my computer is behind hers in the same room) and she would answer. But by the second or third comment, I was usually tuned out.
If Mara were to read this, she would see it as an Everquest rant. But the game itself is beside the point. I don’t mind her playing that game. I’ve certainly spent my entire weekend parked in front of the computer before, doing the exact same thing. What worries me is that it feels like the game is the most important thing in her life, and I, and Mama by extension, are mainly distractions. I told Mara last night after we went to bed that I felt like she was on a raft that was slowly drifting away.
But nothing will be done or resolved here. I’ve tried to point out our problems to Mara, and she dismisses them. Well, actually, she gets angry, and then asks me what I want her to do. Talking about this becomes some sort of oppression, since I’m clearly asking her to make changes to suit me.
I don’t mean to make it sound like things are bad between Mara and I. I love her. I enjoy her company. This is not as big of a deal as it sounds like. I usually come in and just let her be, and go do my own thing. That seems to be what she wants, and in a lot of ways that’s just fine with me. But I would be lying if I didn’t admit that Mara doesn’t feel much like a wife anymore. She’s more like a gaming friend I know with whom I share similar interests. I’ve reached a point where I genuinely feel like any affection, a touch, smile or a kiss, that comes my way is simply a way to pacify me and smooth things over. It doesn’t seem very genuine anymore.
It’s hard to take it seriously when she takes my hand and squeezes it when I come by her chair, when there is a limit to how long she can look up and smile at me because she is monitoring what’s going on in the game. However it may sound, I don’t think it would solve our problems if Mara were to stop playing Everquest. But at least then she might have to face the fact that we have some things that need to be attended to.

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