Friday, February 5, 2010

unmitigated chaos

traveling is so much fun... except the act of getting where you're going. air travel in particular, as we've all gotten used to in the last 8 1/2 years, has just become the biggest bitch to deal with ever. and that's on a day when the sun is shining.

enter snow-pocalypse redux. i'm in the airport right now, hearing celine dion caterwauling "my heart will go on" (over the music playing on my ipod), waiting with bated breath to get on what is probably going to be the last flight into DC for a solid three days. see, i made the apparently terrible mistake of deciding to watch the super bowl with my nearest and dearest again this year. ha, ha. joke's on me. with a potential for 26 inches of snow this weekend, i've had to reschedule flights three times. in order to make this one, the last hope i have of getting there before the snow, i had to drive for six hours to get to an airport that's two states away. GAAH.

i've been awake for 22 hours and counting. i drove in that condition. when i land at the airport, i still have to take a commuter train, then the metro (subway, for those of you not familiar with DC), and then walk about half a mile before i get home to crash. then i have to figure out when/how to take the metro to my friends' place. all while dealing with 2" of snowfall per hour for around 13 hours. this could get ugly quick.

i hate snow. i really do. when i was a kid, snow was fun. then i went through a blizzard as a working adult, and now i never want to see that fluffy white scourge ever again. there's nothing amusing about this. this is a nightmare. all i wanted to do was see my friends. it shouldn't be this hard. sigh...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

singularly productive

it's funny how being alone instantly reintroduces me to my ambition to get things done. when the ball and chain is here, i don't do chores until the messiness or lack of clean clothes reaches critical mass. tonight, on the other hand, i have been a juggernaut of important household tasks. i used to get so much done when i was a kid and lived alone. i wrote, i drew, i did all manner of things that mattered to me. when i got into this relationship, though, it became all about spending big, empty chunks of quantity time with him. ugh. so retrograde of me.

getting so much done tonight makes me that much hungrier for the time when this is my life all the time. i cannot wait. it'll be so nice to get back to the way i used to be before all of this. the balance of things will be restored at last.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

in the life

when you're carrying on two relationships at the same time, there's a lot you have to keep inside. really, it's a lot like what i imagine being involved in organized crime is like, except there's no community to fall back on. even mafiosos have friends "in the life" to talk to when things get weird or stressful. here, not so much. you're pretty much on your own. the only person i can talk to about the other boy (at least in his role as the other boy) is, well, the other boy.

or so i thought. turns out that i'm not the only one with this little wrinkle in her life. i have a friend who also has another boy. and my god in heaven, there's NOTHING better than being able to talk this out with someone who doesn't have a vested interest in the outcome. when i have weird feelings, or things get too intense, i can go to her and talk it out. thank. god. it's saved my sanity a couple of times since all this started.

just goes to show you that there's really no such thing as an easy way out. there's always a wrinkle you never saw coming. thankfully, i have a friend in the life to keep me in check. makes the whole double life thing just a tad bit easier...

the other boy

i began five days of blissful alone-ness today. the ball and chain is on a vacation far away, leaving me in the house with nothing to do but contemplate what my life would be like if this was my reality. it's not a perfect situation; i'm in charge of the dog he made us get when we came down here, and that dog's already eaten a tube of burt's bees lip balm and one (thankfully cheap) dress shoe. but even with that little wrinkle, this is a nice place to be.

even better, come friday, i get to go back to the place i call home. though i live in the southeast for school, home is the mid-atlantic, and i get to step into the other life i lead. by the time i get to the airport, for a little window of time, i get to forget the ball and chain and fall comfortably back into my old pattern with the other boy.

yeah, that's right: the other boy. a girl's gotta have some diversion in this life, and he's mine. how this happened is a long, drawn-out story, but for the last year-plus, i've been deep into some extracurricular activity with this guy. he's been a part of my life since we were teenagers. i was secretly in love with him for years, but it never came to pass. but through a long series of twists and turns, we ended up sharing a hotel room over a new year's weekend. a long talk alone in the dark, both of us vulnerable and lonely, and that, as they say, is that. i never had a chance. neither did he.

you'd think i'd feel guilty about this. nope. i feel ENTITLED to this. i sacrifice so much in my daily life to keep the ball and chain happy. the other boy is my reward for this. the other boy expects nothing from me except the occasional trip to the sack. he spends as much time with me as i request, gives me everything i want, and cares unconditionally. now, it's not like this relationship isn't riddled with complexity (at least from my perspective); it certainly is. but at its heart, this is so easy. it's so nice to spend time with a full-grown man.

i take my share of responsibility for the disintegration of my relationship with the ball and chain. i helped create the monster i'm stuck with now with the way i subsumed everything to him. but i will NOT live the puritan way of suffering through the mistakes i've made. i'm going to be proactive and do something about it. until i can get free, and there's still some time left on the calendar before the inevitable dissolution, i will not deprive myself of what i want. i'm just not that kind of girl.

the rest of the world can live by some antiquated standard of sacrifice. i choose to fulfill myself. after all, loyalty to self alone is the purest kind of loyalty. i will never let myself down again.

Monday, February 1, 2010

i didn't take you to raise

there's a song out there, a minor hit in the mid-90s, "sometimes love just ain't enough." i'm starting to think that there was some kind of prescience in how much i loved it at the time, because by god, it's the story of my life.

teenagers make stupid decisions about as often as they breathe. we all know this. i made my share, your share and that other guy's share of them myself. but one that i was fiercely proud of was the loyalty i showed to my boyfriend. i took up with him as a seventeen-year-old freshman in undergrad. met him day one, started dating day three, and that was that. we were engaged by senior year and married the summer after graduation. in the interim, i transferred colleges - TWICE - in an attempt to stay as close to him as possible. i moved heaven and earth for this relationship, and i thought that my hard work and sacrifice would pay off. in some respects, it has. he's a good-hearted guy, tons of fun, and a lot of laughs. but to paraphrase matthew mcconaughey in dazed and confused, i've gotten older and he has stayed the same age. the back-breaking work i put into this relationship has turned into a habit. his life is so easy, and i carry the burden.

even breaks from him involve more work than should be necessary when dealing with a thirty-year-old. essentially, i am the mother in this relationship. the friend he's going to go visit in the morning said, "i envision her packing your lunch and pinning your itinerary to your jacket with your mittens." ha, ha - big laugh all around. really funny line... if it wasn't the truth. i guess it's the fact that i'm so focused on being a grown woman these days, but i am just not willing to be the mama anymore. he's got a mama. (more on that tangled web later.)

this situation makes me angry. it makes me rebellious. it makes me act out in obvious and bad ways. (more on THAT later, too.) if i wasn't a student, which means i'm broke, i'd walk out the door tomorrow. i am not interested in being the rock that someone relies on in that way. i'm much more interested in taking care of myself. some people think that's selfish. i think that you can't possibly live this life in the old puritanical selflessness model, where everyone else's needs take priority over your own. i don't like myself when i'm resentful, and i'm resentful almost all the time. the only time i'm truly happy is when i'm not with him. this is NOT a good thing.

baby, sometimes love just ain't enough.