My husband is due back from a business trip tonight. He's been away since Monday and with his return incipient, I'm contemplating how much I've expanded the fill the space around me while he's been away.
We live in a small house, a cottage really. There's one living room that's small enough to mean there's nowhere to sit if you have more than four guests. At one end there's a dining table which has to do double duty as my art studio in between meals if I'm in a painting or drawing mood (there's no room on my desk!)
Without t'other half here the house is big enough. It's spacious. I can recline on the sofa and watch telly. I don't feel as if I'm being squashed into a corner or forever having to move to make room, or get out of the way. Men take up a LOT of physical space, and my bloke isn't a slimline version. He's not obese, either, just medium-sized and slightly chubby enough to have a real presence in a room.
It's the same in bed. We have a queen sized bed, and I sleep soooo much better when he's away. When he's there I find myself sleeping perilously on the edge of the bed, to get away from the heat he generates, having sleep/morning breath blown straight into my face (which I hate) and the bloody snoring. When he's not there I spread out and feel myself truly relaxing. I can toss and turn without worrying about waking him up. I envy the British upper classes with their penchant for separate bedrooms. Having slept alone for most of my life before we two hooked up, I still have trouble sharing my sleeping space after four years together. I don't like sharing my bed. I really don't. It's a daft bloody idea.
We both work from home, so that means I get very little time truly alone to enjoy some solitude. I'm a loner by nature; he understands that and does understand that I like it when he goes away on trips, not because I don't love him, but because I do need my space and solitude.
It's been so quiet here... nobody else thumping around the house, talking loudly on the phone (he seems to think nobody can hear him unless he almost shouts), interrupting my thoughts.
This does sound like a whinge, doesn't it, when I'm a very lucky person to be married to this man. But it's strange how the tenor of the house changes when he's not here, and how my own personality can expand to fill the space.
And it's so nice without any snoring!