Tag Archives: relationship

9E71: a time out

home-1Last week Mar and I saw a play (Rx at 59e59. Very cute). I haven’t seen her in years and it brought me back to our Time Out days. Her photography is beautiful. Like me, she’s not particularly commercial, though she leans toward fine art and I toward documentary. The cover image at right (mine) is still one of my favorites. I was in Uzbekistan when it was published and didn’t know it made the cover until I came back and saw it in a bookstore.

Jpeg is back Monday, thank god. I missed him, but in a nice way. He’s classy enough to call regularly, not use the “ah, oh, yeah, there’s no internet here” line on days we don’t speak, and didn’t need to pick up a Russian prostitute to keep him company on his travels. Respect, gentlemen. That’s all we ask.

Danchik likes to analyze why I stop speaking to people, just cut them out completely. It’s not that I’m angry or upset. It’s that I’m done being angry and upset. After I’ve explained that certain behaviors aren’t acceptable (e.g. lies and inconsistency), not once but ad nauseam, and it’s clear he’s incapable of basic civility, I lose all respect. A line is crossed and I am done. I never really know where this line is or when it will appear, which is perhaps what causes confusion (“she put up with it before. What’s the problem now?”). Sooner or later, clarity descends and the person’s little world seems both toxic and boring. I’m no longer able to look past the trite and unnecessary excuses and lies, justifying them because of the person’s obvious pain. I finally see my own behavior as aiding and abetting, and I’m done. Danchik doesn’t get the respect thing, and he doesn’t get why I haven’t cut him off, a self-proclaimed asshole.

“You’ve always been good to me. Well, maybe there was a short time you weren’t, but you were a baby and I let it go.” Behavior that is understandable at 19 is not acceptable at 25, and definitely not at 49. And that’s the issue. The bottom line is that Danchik is good to me. We have a history. As Bij would say, “He’s family.” I can’t say that for those I can no longer be bothered with. (No, I’m not talking specifically about you. You are typical. You are one of many. And that is, actually, the bottom line. It’s not all about you).

There was some time to think about this with Jpeg out of town. I say it because I’m relieved I broke a 5-year string of bad luck (disingenuous, selfish men) but also because bad behavior seems to be a dating trend in both women and men. I own my misery—it wasn’t bad luck. I let poor behavior continue, and chose to ignore the reality for what I’d hoped was there. Or put up with bad behavior because I felt sorry for the guy. It’s fucking hard to be close to someone, and I’m sure I will always fear it. But I will no longer choose men with whom closeness is impossible—for recreation or relationship. It causes dreadful problems and more pain than simply facing my fear of intimacy and the hurt behind it. But it’s familiar. And easier. Easier to look outward to solve problems than within. Not just for me, but for many.

Take this depressing blog, “Uptown-Lowdown,” about a young woman’s adventures on the dating site OkCupid. My gawd. She started off genuine and endearing, but then somehow got wrapped up in the need to exude freedom and cool, and she lost her voice in the process. It reads now as if having deep feelings for someone and risking vulnerability is wildly unhip for either gender. “Women can be douchebags, too!” Wow. I think most of us got that awhile ago. The need for young women to flaunt it seems to indicate just how far we haven’t come. Or just how scared we all are. Better to justify excitement about a guy in his FULLYPAID invite to Jamaica than to admit vulnerability and excitement the person himself. Sad times. Sad times.

Further, it is amazing how poorly behaved people are willing to be, in writing, in an age that such behavior can be published at large on the internet (and I’m not talking about a dating blog). It’s especially shocking when such people have PR as their first and only concern. But then, in an age of narcissism, nothing should come as a surprise.

 

i want my (love stories)

dacha

Oh shut up. Whatever. So I wanted to write them in August but I’m still getting to the stories, still waxing on about this addiction-to-lust meme, and not even consistently. You should be used to that by now. I’ve been wanting to write the next bit forever, but this, then that, then that, and more that came up and in the course if it, changed what I have to say.

The fabulous news is that I’m almost up to date with my digital photo archives, a project I started in January of 2009. I’ve selected from over 20,000 photos, tagged over 10,000, and put over 5,000 online. I’ve finally reached this summer in the archives, and once I’m through the UK pics, I’ll be up to date. And I only need four more birthdays to have all 366.

I am happily shocked that things are coming together. Ten years ago I was troubled by the fact that my photos seemed to tell one story, and my words another. Though I was tour guiding abroad, where you’d think it’d be pretty easy to illustrate a story with travel snaps, my photos didn’t mesh with my writing. They were saying different things. Shortly after, my acupuncturist told me that my yin and my yang were not in sync. In other words, my masculine and feminine energies? “Not on speaking terms,” he said. They didn’t come together. Not a subtle metaphor, is it. While masculine and feminine dichotomy seems a bit cliché, there is truth to it. But more than that, we have so many identities and stories within. How do they mesh? Do they harmonize? Fight? Or not even communicate?  Maybe that is (they are) part of what inspired me to organize my photos into a tagged archive, so that I can pull up a shot that illustrates my words, and bring together different parts of my life and self. Even the little flickr plugin (in the column at right, which pulls from the archive) charms me with its collection of different moments in my life, different parts of me, all true and sharp and real, thrown together at once.

My original intent with the love stories was to share some happy tales I came across when I visited the UK in August. The last few posts introducing the topic were more about post-modern confusion between lust and love than the successful romance and love that these stories convey, but they brought up some interesting conversations.

I went to see Sam’s spectacular play last week at Ars Nova. It made me laugh. And it made me wonder if some of the pretty hilarious dating stories I have from the last few years shouldn’t be shared. Sam advised, “I think you should definitely write the narcissism-&-modern-lust stories; so many people would relate, and appreciate, and it would be a Great Good to the world.”

Yes, maybe, Sam. A Great Good indeed (what more love and encouragement can a girl ask for, right?) But I’m not sure if I want to dwell in them. You know, the negativity. Nor I do want to jinx something so lovely and nice and new that I don’t dare mention it. Nor do I like the profound irritation of knowing that people read what they want to read—even though the text is write there in front of them for reference. Some just see what they want to see and make it all about themselves instead of stopping for three minutes and considering what another has to say. Generally annoying, sure, but even more aggravating when it comes to matters of the heart. But, unlike the corporate-minded, I will not punish the majority for the transgressions of the few. At least, if I don’t write the narcissism-&-modern-lust stories, it won’t be for that reason. I promise.

A final note: I’m moving my site over to another server, so it might be up and down in the coming weeks as I fix stuff. Just come back later if you can’t get through.

fear and loss

The “why her won’t marry her” bit raised some comments and questions on where I’m coming from. Am I bitter because he wouldn’t marry me? Well, no, if only because I’ve been quite careful to avoid a he, to date only guys whom I knew I could do without. This doesn’t mean they all aren’t lovely (too lovely) in their way, just that I’ve chosen men that I don’t quite want forever, so that saying the inevitable goodbye wouldn’t break my heart.

I’ve finally figured that this doesn’t work. It’s not strength. It’s not living. It’s the behavior of a weak and frightened soul who clings to a semblance of control, keeping safe distance from others to avoid feeling that incredible pain of loss again. But did I even feel it properly the first time? Or did I sense a tinge of the pain and reject it, bury it, let it grow into cold and fear? Perhaps finally feeling it, living it, grieving it will let it go, give it up, so that I can breathe fully again.

On some level, my mind and body always wanted to be rid of the grief, to finally feel the pain. The casual relationships with the guys whom I’d never meant to be mine magically transformed into bad relationships that kind of hurt and then inevitably ended dramatically, short-lived but always too long for I’d never intended to be there with them. In these patterned relationships I provided myself a chance to see, to feel, to release the abandonment and pain I’d stuffed deep down into my being, yet I preferred to be strong, closed and unemotional. I’m amazed—frightened even—of how well I’ve managed to fool myself. To hurt myself. Anger was the only emotion I allowed, and it grew hotter by the year.

So you see, no, I’m not aching to get married. Even as a small kid I don’t remember fantasizing about a fabulous wedding. When I was about ten I told my dad at dinner that I never wanted to get married. Even then I sensed the potential loss of personal freedom in the whole game, which lives in my genes related to but apart from my fear of grief and loss. Even now, when I wake up in the night with one of my boys beside me, it seems that my giant bed has lost mass and I feel panicked and suffocated. Trapped. Are women supposed to feel this way? Not according to the headlines, we aren’t. This, I find irritating. And in this, I know I am not alone.