whew. that was an adventure and a half. so many people, so much activity, so much hustle and bustle. when we closed the door behind the last guest at 1:00 AM, i was so knackered i could barely keep my eyes open.
but we laughed, we ate, we played rock band with a pack of really sharp little kids (who NAILED "smells like teen spirit," despite having been born a solid decade after "nevermind" came out). it felt like one of those scenes from a movie where you look at the house from the outside and all you can see is light and laughing family through the windows.
i don't know why i was so apprehensive in the days leading up to this. as is my custom, i built it up to be way more high-stakes than it was. i put so much pressure on myself for things to not only be perfect, but to reflect back onto me. this was actually a good exercise in letting go, being out of control, and just... breathing. and it's funny; it felt so nice to just be a helper, then a guest.
on this day of thanks, i want to call some people out for being amazing.
1) my parents. they rock, and i love them.
2) the man. thank you, love, for EVERYTHING. i love you more than words can say.
3) my friends, non-blog and blog. a few in particular:
a) the high-school crew, those who knew me when it mattered. (love you all, boys and girls.)
b) the law-school crew - i miss y'all more than i could ever imagine.
c) my blog friends. y'all have sustained me through it all. thank you, thank you, thank you.
take a minute to love your nearest and dearest today. give thanks. it's worth your time.
this is a quiet, still evening, watching TV and hanging out. tomorrow, a loud, crazy, boisterous party breaks out at this place. it's going to be sloppy, foolish and stressful, and it'll be enervating.
but it's also proof that, no matter how dark i think things are, there's love, support and friendship all around me. it takes weird forms, but it's so, so reassuring.
the circle is the ultimate symbol in our culture, isn't it? completeness. union. that's why rings mean so much. class rings. promise rings. purity rings (well, if you're into that whole creepy "my daughter's virginity is a commodity that belongs to me, and i'll decide who gets it, thanks" thing).
engagement rings. wedding rings.
after some ugly and protracted negotiations, documents are signed, agreements have been made, and the cords binding me to the old life are nearly severed. it was strangely... calming. i mean, it's been pleasant to deal with him, now that the yelling has stopped. all that's left now is the small stuff: sorting possessions and deciding who gets the little things. DVDs, cookbooks, silverware, etc. but one thing he asked for, and the one thing that i was simultaneously happy and heartbroken to hand over, was my wedding jewelry. hell, he bought it; it belongs to him. the diamond came from his family.
but the experience of handing those rings back to him, even done as cavalierly as i did (in a parking lot, on my way back to the train, on my way to make a filing deadline), was... surreal. it cut me back instantly to that day in july when he handed them to me first. how young. how giddy. how... yeah. the courts have a little more business with us before it's all said and done - name change order, etc. - but the end came today, in that moment.
that circle is closed, all right; it's closed to both of us. the two are now one and one again. what was joined together, we have violently torn asunder. so much for that. it's the right thing; we weren't good anymore in that way. but i'll tell you this much: as angry as i've been, as sure as i am about the course my life is taking, and as hurt as we've made each other, i don't want to give up on him as a part of my life. he's woven into me, and there will never be a way to undo that. in time, once the scabs have formed, faded and healed, we can see each other and smile.
there won't be a ring, but there will be a circle.
this post isn't today's post for real, but i have some bloggy business to attend to. so here goes!
1) the amazing kim at perfectly cursed life, one of the bright spots on the internet, has bestowed yours truly with a really nice (and totally flattering) honor: she named me one of her "thank you for blogging" award recipients! i'm very touched by this, and as per the rules, i'm naming my own set of winners here. everyone i read rocks in his or her own way; these folks have touched me in particular...
a) to be determined. jolene describes herself as a "puppies and rainbows" blogger, but seriously, this woman needs to be in the self-help book business. she's inspiring as hell, and in an actually useful and authentic way. no platitudes here. she is AMAZING.
honorees: kim's rules are that if you get a TYFBA, you have to give at least four of your own out, and you have to say why you're giving each one out in at least three words. (you can tell that i'm a heavy tipper, especially when it comes to compliments.) enjoy!
2) and funny thing about that - that leads me into the next order of business. i am a guest poster over at diary of a mad woman today. i got a little... adventurous, let's say. suffice it to say that i contributed to the "sexy time" series. explicitly. you've been warned...
enough housekeeping. stay tuned for the meat and potatoes later tonight!
i have been known in my life as a fairly fierce defender of those i love. it goes deep with me. when i was four years old, i got into a fight - a physical altercation, no joke - with a kid in my class who made my best friend cry. i have always felt it necessary to go to war for the people who matter to me. it's one of the ways i show my love for people.
weirdly, the troubles of the last few days have only intensified this feeling in me. as people i know suffer from everything from annoyances to serious tragedies, it sharpens the anger all the more. being in a somewhat weakened emotional state to start with has converted me from (and GOD ALMIGHTY, how i hate that sarah palin popularized this phrase, because it's a really good one, and it fits here) a mama grizzly to a WOUNDED mama grizzly. and when i'm wounded, i lash out hard.
the strongest manifestation of this instinct these days is, weirdly enough, aimed at myself. i see the strain i'm placing on my boyfriend with my... episode the other night and its attendant fallout. the boy loves me so much (you are the most important person on the planet to me), and he is so damn scared of this. i've never, in all our years together, seen him so scared. i hate to see him hurt, even as i hurt myself. so it's this really awesome negative feedback loop: i hurt; he's scared; i get upset that he's upset. lather, rinse, repeat. it's a multiplier on the stress.
i know this is crazy. there's no other word for it. and at the end of the day, my fealty to myself trumps my need to keep my loved ones safe here. looking out for #1 is my main job. in a backward sort of way, though, the need i have to defend my loved ones may just be the extra kick in the ass i need to shake the cobwebs off and get over this. not only do i owe it to myself - and it is CRYSTAL clear that i do - but i owe it to the man who loves me more than life, too. and if that's the inspiration to get through the fog, well, so be it. defending others leads me to defend myself, it seems.
gallows humor is one of my favorite survival tactics. it's funny, if you think about it: i don't like to be teased about little things (i.e., my insane clumsiness), but the big things lead me to be viciously, bitterly comedic. it's received differently, depending on my audience. it's one of the things the ex used to do well, actually. he understood the need for me to vent more than, really, anyone else in my life has.
i don't always judge my audience well. it's a flaw i have. i have sometimes gotten myself in trouble with making a dark, angry joke that wasn't received in the spirit in which it was intended. see also last night. we went out in the world, an attempt for me to slowly ease myself back into normality after my little... episode. but when you've sworn off alcohol to maintain your sanity, there's just not a lot to do past 1:00 in the morning. i mentioned to the man that, since there was nothing left that was permissible, we should just head back to the car. and then i made the joke. something small, based on something i thought he'd said the other night. a little lighthearted treatment of my self-imposed sobriety, a little gentle tease.
suffice it to say that the mark was missed. BADLY. he got angry, offended. i was absolutely stunned. i apologized, and we walked in silence. we then drove in silence all the way back home, and the longer i sat, the more confused and angry i got. what the hell is this about? i can't joke about my life? i waited until we got inside, then i chose a mature and reasoned response: "what just happened?" i was legitimately, completely lost as to how things devolved.
well, turns out that he and i have the exact opposite approaches to crisis-time humor. it also turns out that the little joke i thought he'd made - which i'd enjoyed, which took the edge off and made me feel a little lighter in some very dark moments - was me mishearing a serious affirmation of his belief in me. he takes his responsibility to me very, very seriously, and he does not find a drop of humor in anything that's happened. i would never joke about that. it's not funny. it's not right.
it's no longer just about me and my strategy. i have considerations. this is what it's like to totally let him in, to show him the worst of me: i have to be prepared for his reactions. i've seen this happen in other people's lives, and now it's happening in mine. so since it's too close to home, and it's too near the bone, i'm going to let the jokes go. they're just not funny anymore.
girl-type person, not quite 30. lawyer. excessively educated. hopeful cynic. devoted girlfriend, loyal daughter, tenacious friend. staunch defender of the gulf-coast way of life. lover of cities, sports, and music. liberal. chaser of adventure. hater of capital letters. master of duality. writer of fictions.
i write my life here, but with a slight fictional twist. sometimes the things i say here are 100% true, but other times i've taken license. i don't name names; if you know me, though, you may recognize yourself here. be warned. now let's get down to business.