Saturday, May 30, 2009

Something Amazing

There is something amazing about pain. About memory. Memory and its ability to pull out the strings that make the correct neurons fire and bring the pain to the surface. About how no matter how removed I can be, how happy I can be, there are still pieces missing. I think we are never going to be a perfect and completed puzzle, but being incredibly aware of those pieces missing is hard.

A lot has brought this on and it goes beyond one piece of my life or story, my history. It is big. So big that there can hardly be a context. Like all things amazing, it is more than, in my great fallibility and human-ness, that I can start to categorize or compartmentalize. Let alone start to understand.

So instead I will just let it be. Let myself cry. Then let myself sleep.

Good night.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Guilt

So we hung out and I remembered why I like him. He is a really nice guy and Kyle would swear up and down that his friend is not like that jerk who did that to me when I was 21 and that while "He can" is his reason he apparently doesn't just sleep with them and when he sees that there is no future really (a minimum of 6 months being the foreseen future) he ends it. I still disagree, but feel better.

Am I a jerk?

So, here is the situation. I have a friend, well he is one of Kyle's best friends really and I have a dilemma. He is this great guy, super nice, interesting, kind, I like hanging out with him and I like how he is an important part of Kyle's life. But he often dates younger women. He is 31, maybe 6 months or more older than me and he sometimes dates 21 year old girls. When I told him I should harass him for this (trying to be light hearted about something I am REALLY serious about) because it's wrong, I asked him why he dates them and he said, "Well, because I can." And since he is not a lecherous person I do not think he means this in a pejorative manner, just that he can. You know when I say it there it seems there is no way for it not to be pejorative.

Anyhow so Kyle just says that it has to do with his friend's interests aligning more with someone who is younger, but frankly I find that to be a terrible reason. Which personally leads to my having to ask Kyle if he were single and “could” if he would date 21 year olds? Now while his answer is no and I believe him and I know even when he was 21 he was always interested in women a little bit older than him that makes it believable, BUT he is also just a smarter man than one who would say something insanely stupid like, 'Well if I could' because that would be really a bad idea. But I digress.

So his friend asks us on this double date tonight and I think it is with this girl that he had not too long ago started seeing, this girl who is our ages, but when I ask Kyle says no, it's some new girl. To which I respond, "How old is she?" Because I should be able just to go out with friends and meet their dates regardless, but if it is some girl 10 years younger I am so disturbed by it. And I know this is a personal problem - but I also view it as a social problem.

Personal part: Most of my friends know this but why remember it? I was 21 and had this crush on this guy at work. I drove him home once and my crush increased. The next week he asked me to dinner. So I drove out to meet him (Hollywood/Los Feliz area) and we went to Melrose where there was this amazing restaurant. Serious some of the best food I had ever had to that point. And then we walked around and anyway, it was a lot of fun. Then he asked me to come upstairs to his apartment, I said it was too late, but he said we should play a game of chess. We had talked about chess at some point at dinner. Anyhow I thought, 'Wow, he is so smart and interesting. He is 31 and so great and cool, why on earth would he choose to go out with me?' Oh right. I was 21 and he could. But I went upstairs and he had the chess board set up in his kitchen and I thought, 'Wow, he is serious about chess.' Then I went into the restroom. I came out and the bed (it was an old building with single apartments and Murphy beds) was down and lights low. And I asked about chess and he kissed me. This seemed like a good idea at the time. But it got out of control and I wanted it to stop. So I said so, but he didn't believe me. To spare the next part of details perhaps it is good to note that I was a virgin, I didn't just have sex and I realized none of this mattered to him. And I know I said no and I know I said please stop and I know and I know and I know. See he wasn't trying to rape me, but he did not understand that I was really saying no. Which seems impossible. And I thought it was my fault, what an idiot I was for coming up to his apartment. Finally I was able to push him off of me and quickly gather myself and get out. He insisted on following me out to my car (it was a shady neighborhood at best) and he kept saying he was sorry and that he thought we were having a good time. He kept saying he was sorry and was confused. I turned to him when I got to my car and said, "But I kept saying no!" And he responded, "But I thought you were kidding." No, I was just lucky that he wasn't REALLY a rapist. But that is what it would have been.

So when a young girl, of 21, even one who does have sex with boyfriends or whatever kind of hook ups, a 31 year old man should not see this as an opportunity. That means there is something wrong. It is demeaning to the girl. Gives her a false view of relationships and trust. And having worked with enough young women with low self esteem - myself included - who knew their value had more to do with their ability to be cute - and I imagine with many girls "sexy" that they are being taken advantage of. And it isn't like these are real relationships with true long lasting commitments or the prospect of. (Oh here, I have slipped into the social aspect) I simply think it isn't right. And that may be judgmental, but it is how I feel. Yeah, yeah I know there are exceptions to the rule - but there is a reason there is a rule. You know what I mean, not a REAL rule, just something about right and wrong.

So what do I do? I joke that I won't go out on a double date with a girl who has to be "born on today's date in 1988" to go into a bar with us (or you know fits closely into that) because it makes me sad. I have nothing against 21 or 22 year old women and I think that it is an age of maturity and I don't doubt them as grownups, or most of them anyways, I mean I was married at 22 - as were many of my friends - but I just don't see it as the same.

Sure my interests were similar to the 31 year old attempted-date rapist, but not enough.

So, am I jerk?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bad Blogspot! Bad!

What happened to my blog? I changed my template and figured that was why all of my "info" and links had dropped to the bottom of the page, but now every template puts things at the bottom.
I would rather not be inhibited by these pesky templates but not having any clue how to make one on my own I am trapped - if only I could work better within my trap. Grrr.

Cigarettes

Tonight is one of those nights where I wish I were a smoker. It is raining and I can't sleep. I was laying in bed listening to the wind and the tapping of rain against my apartment building, the droplets falling into the pool and thinking that I would like to sit on my patio and smoke.
I have never been a smoker, but I have smoked occassionally. I always liked the allure of sitting on an apartment porch (not balcony/porch, but usually steps like on a Brownstone or a 1950s apartment, not my 1975 townhome) and smoking. Not like my neighbors who stand outside their front doors and haphazardly smoke, or those who smoke in their apartment and somehow their smoke gets into the vents and into my upstairs hallway . . . but like my false image of what smoking + cool could be.

When I was in my early 20s I am sure I did that at some point; sat on the porch in the middle of the night pretending there was nothing in the world that mattered, trying to fight off the thick wet heat of a California summer. Tonight it felt like a summer storm, it was so hot today and then I came out of class around 9 and it was still warm but raining. By the time I got home it was no longer a summer storm, it was just Portland.

By the by, I don't really want to smoke in that I don't want to be a smoker. I can't stand the after taste, the after smell, the lifelong effects . . . But I would like to sit on my patio listening to the rain and watching smoke slip into the night.

Instead I will envy Kyle's ability to sleep and listen to my smoke-free rain.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Father/Daughter

It has been nearly a month since I posted anything. I seem to start blogs but not finish them. This isn't for a lack of content, well usually that is not the reason, for some reason I cannot seem to complete one. Perhaps this one will be different.

Last night I was watching Last Chance Harvey with Dustin Hoffman. Harvey (Hoffman) goes to England to go to his daughter's wedding and it is clear that they have a strained relationship and it is all around awkward and his daughter is close to her step-father Brian, whom everyone treats like her Dad. So at the end of the rehearsal dinner he tells his daughter that he won't be staying for the reception rather leaving after the ceremony and she tells him that since he has been so involved the past few years that Brian is going to give her away.

I watched this and felt the quiet pain they did a good job of expressing between them. Kyle said something about how mean they all were to Harvey. And I said, "No. You don't know how hard that would be. You don't know." And I cried silently to myself. I cried because not only have I been in that situation - as has my sister and countless women with 2 dads - but because for me it remains unresolved. I tried to separate myself from the film by saying something about how complicated blended families are, but that isn't even the right term. I guess I thought if I could intellectualize it then the feeling that this is close to me could disappear.

The reality is that father-daughter issues don't disappear. That unresolved family issues don't go away. That loyalties do get divided and hearts get broken and children, even grown up ones, get hurt, as do their complex families. So, I was sad. I was sad because it is sad. I was sad because for years I couldn't barely even talk to my father, even mentioning him - through much of high school and into my late teens - I would burst into tears. This was around the same time that we moved in with Chuck and I didn't know how to, and I believed I had to, divide my loyalties. Only recently did I realize that it is probably around the same time that I learned how my parents actually got separated, I imagine those two factors had a huge impact. But underneath it all there still remain unresolved issues.

For example I recently told my Dad that when Kyle and I get married that it will be up here, probably in Washington actually. And he asked why we couldn't just do it down there. I told him because I want it to be up here, it is beautiful and will most likely be on his aunt's property. I also said that we wouldn't have the money to help him fly up or rent a place to stay so he should start saving. He did not seem pleased. He asked why we couldn't just have it in my mom's backyard or just have a reception down there. So I told him we would probably have a reception in California eventually so, no, it was not that big of a deal. He said, "Well, it is your second wedding." I said, "It isn't Kyle's, but you're right it is mine. If you can't make it when it happens it won't be the end of the world, I don't expect most people will make it up. We'll do something in California eventually." And part of me meant it because I don't want him to stress about saving up to get up here when it happens and part of me didn't want him to feel bad, but part of me was sad that he made it sound inconvenient. I doubt that is what he meant though, really.

When Harvey gets to his daughter's rehearsal dinner he says something about how far away England is for getting married and she says, slightly hurt, "I'm sorry for the inconvenience" and he says, "No, no, it was a joke. I was joking." He mostly meant that.

About Me

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Portland, OR, United States
I am a daughter, sister, friend, wife, counselor and colleague. I am a work in progress. There may be some pieces out of place and things might be messy, but it's okay. I would rather accept that I am still unfinished than think that this is it. You can find my comments on faith and spirituality on my blog: http://themessinessoffaith.blogspot.com/ And my comments and anecdotes on life at: http://sheisaworkinprogress.blogspot.com/

Books That Matter. Well, some of the many that matter.

  • Magical Shrinking: Stumbling Through Bipolar Disorder, Chris Wells
  • Pride & Prejudice, Jane Austen
  • An Abudance of Katherines, John Green
  • Dave Pelzer
  • Franny & Zooey, J.D. Salinger
  • I Was Told There'd Be Cake, Sloane Crosley
  • The Cloister Walk, Kathleen Norris
  • The Developing Mind: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are, Daniel J. Siegel