Friday, March 5, 2010


i bought myself some nice posters when my student loans came through this semester. y'know, grown-up art-type posters, the kind that have to be framed. i picked them up from the framer today, and they are lovely. (seriously, you should check this guy out.) but as i looked at them, i realized that for as mysterious and circumspect as i think i am, i am about as opaque as glass.

the pictures i chose all have themes. "teach me something." "how long can we do this?" and the most transparent of all: "she loves him more than anybody. i don't think he cares." could the connections to the other boy be more obvious? it's a good thing for me that the ball and chain has no sense of how deep my disaffection runs. (he would also never dream that i could ever be as evil as i actually am in the parameters of our relationship, so that helps.)

i try so hard to be discreet. i try to be aloof. hell, there's a reason why everyone's identities are so couched around here. but at the end of the day, i am who i am, and i'm a woman who wears her heart on her sleeve. it's funny; part of my affinity with the other boy is my admiration for the way he handles his emotional life. he is always in control, always on top of things. he handles his business, one foot in front of the other, no matter what's going on inside. he doesn't feel the need to talk about it. ever. (in fact, he will actively avoid these conversations - it's only our long history, and my persistence, that has led to the maybe ten times he's shared deep emotional stuff with me.) i wish i could be even a tiny bit like that. but my emotions spill over the sides and splash everywhere. i am an open book, right down to the posters on my wall.

makes living a double life a dangerous proposition indeed...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


maybe other people don't do this, but when i have an important decision to make, i like to convene what i call my "cabinet." i stole that terminology from the shrink i saw last year (that's another rant for another time), but it's pretty spot-on. i have a small retinue of close friends who fit this label, and i run anything vital past them. i tell them what i think i want to do, then i ask them to weigh in. pros, cons, etc.; it's basically a board of directors for my life.

or it was, anyway. as i get older, it's slowly dawned on me that, while my friends have given me great advice, this is no way to live a fully adult life. first and foremost, they don't always tell the unvarnished truth. on three separate occasions over the last two years, i've had to say, "i asked you this question because i want an honest answer." they were basically undoing the purpose of the questioning and discussion: they were holding back uncomfortable criticisms from me.

nowhere has this been more obvious than in the long and stupid saga of my marriage. apparently, as i blissfully hurtled towards the altar, the people who know me best in this world were talking to each other, and all they could say was how insane i was for doing this. not once, however, did anyone say anything to me. the closest anyone came to questioning me in my rational decision-making skills was my father, and his entire treatise on the matter was something to the effect of "why don't you just shack up?" not exactly a statement that will cause serious reflection.

now, as i stare down the end of this boondoggle, i find out that everyone felt this way. i asked my best friend, "why didn't somebody say something to me?" the response was, "well, would you have listened?" a fair point; i probably wouldn't have. but then again, i don't know about that. i have always trusted so much in what my brilliant friends have said about my life. i can't say for sure that this situation would've been any different. there's no way to know, but i never had the chance to find out.

so these days, i tend to follow the unitary executive model of decision-making. not that i don't trust and love my friends, mind you. they're still wonderful people with interesting perspective, more than willing to support me. but i choose to let them support decisions i make on my own now. they're still on my team, but it's clear now that i am the star.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

suffer the children

over the last two years in particular, i've noticed a certain feeling that comes over me when i'm being tested. the physical sensation that comes over me is much like a wall going up around my heart. the thought that crosses my mind is, "why the hell should i be put through such agony?" i have never understood why people take all the lumps of life without pushing against them. do people expect misery as a part of life?

and lo, here came this blog post. the myth of redemptive suffering. i've beaten this horse a time or two already on this blog. i have always chalked a lot of our society's problems in general to this idea that misery is necessary to reach some kind of higher achievement in this life (and the next). for so many reasons, i don't go for that idea.

one of the quotes that hit me where i live is, "atheists have only their own, ongoing concept of decent behavior to get them through the hard times: suffering need have no cosmic meaning for a decent person to know that the only proper moral response is to try to ease the pain. ... our only ethical injunction is to cause as little suffering as possible and to try to alleviate it when and where we find it." so true, and i'm so good at that... except when it comes to my personal life.

suffering. yeah, that's pretty much where i am all the time. i work hard to keep the facade up, but it hurts. it hurts to be stuck. it hurts to hurt him. it hurts to not be able to do what i want. i don't understand this, and i know there's nothing i can do. but it's not noble, it's not good, and "my reward is not in the next world." the hurt i'm going through, temporary though (i hope to all things on this earth) it is, will not gain me anything. and yet here it is. suffering makes NO SENSE. but it's part of life. all i can do is persevere.