Wednesday, December 22, 2010

All I want for Christmas is more closet space

Jedi got a B in Math and an A in English this term! Yippee! (Certainly better than the "F" in English he got last winter!)

I am much relieved and I hope he keeps this up for the winter term. I know the winter term will be tough because he's taking 3 classes (he normally takes two, but now his work schedule is only 4 days a week) and one of them is online. The online one will be tough-- the course he stumbled on last winter was an online course-- because I think Jedi needs regular interaction with the professor to fee connected to the course. 

It's really too bad because it would be a GREAT thing if he could do more online courses.  We live in podunksville and he has to drive 45min each way to get to school (community college.)  We also live in the northeast and so, as you can guess, weather is not great in the winter. I'm always afraid he's going to go off the road-- esp. since he grew up in the South and is not used to driving in the snow. He's still  not very confident driving in it.

If he goes on to get his BA, which he wants to do, he'll have to go to a school that's at least 1hour-1 1/2hours away-- one way.  If he could take online courses instead of driving that would be fantastic, but I'm worried his grades would suffer.  We'll see-- the class he's taking this winter will be an experiment of sorts.

In other news... we still haven't won the lottery! Shocker, I know... but unless we win (or somehow get $20k a year raises) we're pretty stuck for the time being in my condo.  My condo would be big... if we lived in Manhattan.  For some reason though, we have Manhattan prices in the middle of nowhere. (Actually, I know why we have crazy prices-- the local University & Hospital are basically the only major employers in our area.  This gives us lots of doctors, professors, and retired Alumni.  They have money... the rest of us who do staff work, or work at the bookstore, or local diner... do not.)  So, if you want to live in close proximity to work, you pay CRAZY housing prices. (No joke-- I pay more for my studio apartment here than I did in PARIS.)

Sure, there are cheaper places to live a bit farther away--- and super cheap places if you want to live an hour away (which MANY people do)-- but to me it's not worth the quality of life trade off.  Not to mention the dangerous driving conditions 1/2 the year, and it's not really appealing to me.

This has just been bothering me lately because Jedi and I are bursting at the seams in my tiny 600 sq foot place. I only have one closet and the doors keep coming off the rails because there's way too much crap in it.  And it's not because we're extravagant and HAVE massive amounts of crap (I think), it's just normal life/living stuff.

And so, I've been perusing the real estate ads (this is a general hobby of mine anyway) with real lust.  And there are some deals to be had with the various short-sales and real estate market decline. (To give you an example, Npapaya paid $5000 less for her 2 bed condo next door to mine this year than I paid for my studio 4 years ago.)

There's a house I'm in LOVE with at the moment. On the outside it doesn't look like much, but inside it's STUNNING. And it's got views of the river and is only 6 min away from work. It's $200k, which is a STEAL in this area. (Well, actually, it's a foreclosure.)

The problem is, at this point, $200k, might as well be $200 million-- that's how unattainable it is.  There really is no possible way we could pay that mortgage, those heating bills, plowing (a necessity up here), electricity... and then life's essentials, like food & clothing & doctor visits.

I just find this maddening because I feel like it's such a modest dream and yet I don't see how this would be possible for us.  I know other people manage! How do they manage?

I was even looking at some other condos in our area that are being sold and that are comparatively cheap.  Even those are out of our range... and they are in no way a "dream" for me, so even though they would be a bit more space than we have now, I know we would quickly outgrow them and I'd soon be looking at a house like the one above.

I don't know what we need to do to get to that point. I thought I was on the right track. When I got my new job I did get a raise.  I had calculated that I would be bringing home $300 more a month, which to me is enormous. What I didn't take into account was the fact that our health insurance is on a sliding scale, which means that I'm actually only bringing in $67 more per month.  It makes me want to tear my hair out! What do we need to do to get ahead?! And yes, I'm putting pennies away for retirement, but they're just that! Pennies! Or, about $150 a month. It's all I can really afford, and it's certainly not the $500 a month that Suze Orman would probably suggest.

Anyway... I know in this season of Christmas i have a LOT to be grateful for. Don't get me wrong, I KNOW that. Friends, Family, Jedi, a roof, heat, a job I enjoy, food on my table. And I am very grateful for it.  I know my administrative assistant is having to go to the food bank and get her presents from the thrift store. (I'm anonymously sending her gift cards to the local grocery store... I wish I could do more.) So yes, I get it. I know there are people who are much worse off than I am.  However, it does make me very covetous when I see the standard "middle class" existence seeming so far out of my reach.

And so, I keep playing the lottery in the hopes that one day I'll be able to have a second closet, because right now that seems like the only way it's ever going to happen.

Ho! Ho! Ho!  Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

10 things I love about you

Now, without further ado... 10 things I love about Jedi

1) He loves me. (Is that cheating to put this up here? Maybe... I don't care!) Jedi is so overwhelming in his love that it's impossible for me not to be sure of it. Every word, every action reassures me. And yes I do need that reassurance. Because of my own upbringing I find it so hard to believe that anyone could love me -just as I am-- and I still find it astonishing that he does.  When I'm sick, and grumpy, and haven't showered in 3 days... amazingly, he still loves me.

2) He's a boyscout. Literally (he's an eagle scout!) and metaphorically. He has such a strong moral compass... (and fortunately that compass wasn't all tuned by the BSA either... He's a complete believer in equality for lgbt folks.) That's not to say he can't see things in shades of grey-- but let me also say that one of my favorite things to do with him is watch reality tv shows. He gets morally indignant every time some idiot on Teen Mom won't stop playing the video games and go change a diaper. (In fact, he was even more indignant when the same idiot went and bought a video game system instead of diapers... coming from a hard-core gamer who has about 6 systems, I think that's a pretty good indication his priorities are still in order. :-)

3) He is very resilient. I know he probably wouldn't characterize himself this way, but I think it's true. He had a pretty rough start in life. His mom remarried and her husband adopted Jedi, but he's had a lot of conflicts with his adopted dad. His dad loves him, I know, but I think he was often jealous of the amount of time Darth would spend on Jedi and would take it out on him. I've seen them interact even recently and this dynamic comes out. There have been times Vader has been physical with Jedi, slamming him against a wall, nearly coming to blows.  I bring all that up only to say that in such circumstances a lot of people would have turned mean and angry and violent themselves. Jedi took the opposite route.

4) He is a very gentle spirit. I know, that may sound weird. Men aren't supposed to be gentle, are they? Phooey. And they say it's the feminists who hate men when it's the anti-feminists who impose the tough-guy persona on men.  In many ways he reminds me of my grandmother. There is something about both of them that is very calming and soothing-- just their very presence.  I tend to be very heated, quick to anger, but Jedi can calm me like no one other than my grandmother can do.

5) He's a snappy dresser.  Superficial, but it's true! He's got kind of an old soul and that's reflected in his dressing, I think. He has a fondness for things like fedoras and pin stripe suits. And he looks smoking hot in them. :-)

6) He loves to clean and organize.  Let's just say that the two of us are like Oscar & Felix. How he manages to live with my disorder, I don't know. I have to give him credit-- and thank his incredible patience. But the truth is he LOVES it. I don't think he can think of a better way to spend his time than reorganizing something. He's constantly asking my permission-- "Can I reorganize the cupboards!?" "Can I reorganize the DVDs?"... I enjoy doing my part to keep him happy and giving him lots of things to organize ;-p  And, I always tell him, "This is your house too. Reorganize whatever you want."  Because I'm a giver ... ;-P

7) He's a great brother. He and his sister have a fantastic relationship and he really looks out for her and protects her. (Very different from my own childhood where it was more like Lord of the Flies...) (I do have to point out though that it's kind of easy to be a good brother to his sister since his sister is one of the sweetest girls I've ever met. ha.)

8) He has a good work ethic. He slogged away at a job for several years that he hated.  He could have just quit and played video games all day, but he didn't.  He's struggled quite a bit with school, going to 3 different ones in the past 4 years... but he's not given up and he's almost completed his degree.  I know I complain a lot about him playing video games-- and I know he uses it all to procrastinate a lot-- but the truth is that he does what he needs to do in order to be responsible.

9) He gives without counting.  He doesn't just do this with me-- he does it with everyone. I do think he inherited this trait from his parents.  He helped someone he hardly knew put in floors and drywall.  He gives random people rides home from his school. He helps acquaintances move from a an apartment with no elevator and 4 flights of stairs. He never does anything in the spirit of selfishness-- he is, next to my grandmother, the most unselfish person I've ever met.

10) All the little things... bringing me tea when I wake up... remembering special dates (which I always forget)... being able to finish my sentences... not even minding my grumpy early morning alter-ego... going out of his way to find a certain book I'd been wanting... bringing me lunch... letting me drive his car (most precious possession!) ... insisting I drive his (safer) car during bad weather... remembering my favorite chocolates... always telling me I'm beautiful... always making me feel like I'm the most important person in the world.

Well, ok, maybe I fudged a little. That might be more than 10.

I hope I make him feel the same way. He says I do... but I also know that he is a fundamentally better person than I am.  I know I'm a very lucky girl.  Sure, there are things about him that drive me nuts too... but in the end, those don't really matter. In the end I sure am lucky to end up with him.

and more...

I said I would share things I love about Jedi, and I will, but before I do I wanted to clarify another point from down below.

Ramses read the blog and said that to him it sounded like I was planning on NEVER talking to Darth again. That is not the case-- nor was it ever. I just didn't want to talk to her until I had cooled down and could talk to her without shouting.  So, for any of you who were confused by that, I hope that clears things up.

I'm actually meeting with her tonight-- although, interestingly enough, at this point it's Jedi who is still angry with her.  When I said I was going to see her he was basically like, "Let her stew. We can talk to her in January when we get back from the trip."  Which, frankly, I don't think is a wise idea.  But I did find it interesting, considering that Jedi is the most even-keeled and forgiving person I know, that he would want to hold a grudge.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Slice of Life

That's all a blog is. It's a slice of life. It's also a pretty public journal in which I vent and kvetch about life.

It's a lot easier to write when you have something to kvetch about... and so this slice of life is pretty narrow. The joys and good things don't make an appearance as much as they should, probably.  For example, I recall telling you that Jedi was unhappy with his job and desperately looking for a new one SEVERAL times... and yet after he got a (wonderful!) new job I don't think I mentioned it until he'd already been at it for a few weeks. Oops! My bad.

That's not to say that I wasn't overjoyed when he got it. That's not to say that I'm not overjoyed with all the good things in my life... it's just easier to write about the bad/annoying things.

Yeah, I just complained about my future MIL. I may have given the impression that I dislike her. In fact, I probably gave the impression pretty forcefully. That's natural. I'm pretty mad right now. But I don't dislike her. In fact, I like her quite a bit. And so, in the interest of fairness, let me enumerate her many wonderful qualities.

1) She's a wonderful mother. She really is. Yes, in many circumstances I find her to be over protective and coddling of her kids (certainly different from my own growing-up experiences), but that's only because she cares so damn much. She's made a lot of tough decisions in her life made exclusively with her children's welfare in mind.  Whereas I have spent my entire life doubting whether or not my mother really loves me I know that Jedi has never had a shadow of a doubt. Her love is an all enveloping thing.

2) She's incredibly thoughtful. She invites people she barely knows over to her house. She makes their favorite foods. She accommodates special request, she always fusses over how people are doing, she tries to be as inclusive as possible. She hardly knew me at all last Christmas and yet she made me feel like I was intimately part of the family. She welcomed me with open arms.

3) She is genuinely concerned about things like racism and social justice. She acknowledges that she's not as knowledgeable about such things as as she'd like to be and she actively tries to learn more, since it's only since starting her job 3 years ago that she's been exposed to these issues. She's very concerned about her students and strives to make them feel welcome.

4) She's a wonderful daughter. By all accounts her mother is a terribly difficult person (though it's not something I've personally experienced, though I'm told I need only wait.). Her mother is racist, and mean and selfish and a bully.. (um, ringing a bell, anonymous commentator? I could tell you some stories about what it looks like when someone is actually those things), and yet Darth deals with her lovingly, with patience, and with care.

5) She's a wonderful friend. She's the type of person you can call on at 3am to pick you up when you're stranded in the middle of nowhere. She's the friend you call on when you need someone to help you host a party. She's the friend who takes in a homeless dog. She's the friend who doesn't give up hope or support for the friend who is in an abusive relationship. She's the friend who volunteers for everything. She's the friend who buys the perfect Christmas present because she heard you mention that you liked it 6 months ago. She's the friend whose home is always open and whose refrigerator is always full. She's always there when you need her and she never asks anything in return.

6) Superficially, she has excellent taste. Her house looks like a pottery barn catalog...  on 1/10th the budget. Which leads me to point 7...

7) She's frugal! 8) And industrious! She (and Vader, to be fair) take on daunting projects all the time. Painting, sanding, building lamps out of spare parts, hand-making gifts... her home is always impeccable (though she always claims it's a mess).

9) She's generous. Not just with things, which to my mind, are easy enough to be generous with. She's generous with her time and her skills. She didn't think twice about helping me and Jedi refinish and paint cabinets-- which took about 5x the amount of time and labor we had estimated. Never once did she complain or bargain and say, "If I do this, then you do XYZ."

10) She's the good kind of Christian. She lives by the golden rule. She is open minded. She lives simply and in kindness, always striving to do good. She never thinks of what she can acquire for herself, but what she can give to others.

... I could go on... Perhaps at some point I will... But 10 things I like about my future MIL. That's 2 more than the things I'm angry about.  And this is what goes on in the background. This is the little slice of life that you, dear readers and commentators, don't see enough of.

I may be, at times, alternately selfish, childish, a bully, judgmental, etc. At times I may have been all of those things. But that too is just a tiny slice.  I like to think those aren't my overwhelming characteristics since there are some people who seem to find my presence tolerable. (But what say you, readers I know in real life? Are you all masochists, which is the reason you hang out with me?)

This little slice of the internet is my own corner where I can work out my issues. Since there are often no commentators on any posts it's easy enough to imagine I'm writing for myself in my own journal. And so, I know the full background of any issues and situations, though you may not.

I enjoy the commentators though because you do often prompt me to look at things in a new way. 

Similarly, I realize that it probably seems as though I'm holding the "wedding" as some sort of ransom tool to get my way in things. (For Jedi's grades? Yeah, I"ll cop to that. I totally am-- Only because I do not feel that goofing off and playing video games instead of studying is a "grown up" thing to do... and I refuse to marry someone who is not a grown up.  He's stepped up to the plate, which is all I've asked of him. I don't think it's an unreasonable request-- much in the same way that someone else might make "hold down a job" an ultimatum to prove that a partner is responsible enough to take on marriage.)

My issues with getting married have as much to do with my own familial issues which I've only briefly touched on in this blog. Rest assured that there is 20+ years of traumatizing experiences that say "MARRIAGE IS BAD" to me.  So, for me to have gotten to the place where I have a DATE on which I'm going to get married is a big fucking deal.

And so, again, I want to point out that my waffling on marriage is NOT because I'm waffling about Jedi. It's because certain situations/events are things that I find triggering and cause a resurgence of doubts that tell me to run away as fast as I can. It's taken about 6+ years of therapy to get to the point where I can stand still and let someone love me the way that Jedi does.

And so, again, all you're seeing here is a very brief slice which surely make it seem like I not only have cold feet but that I have my feet permanently encased in ice. I get that. It's certainly easier to write about those times I have doubt than all the times Jedi has made me feel loved, and secure, and as though the only right thing in the universe would be for us to be together forever. (But then again that's pretty schmaltzy, and who wants to read about schmaltz?)

Then again, perhaps tomorrow I'll enumerate all the reasons I'm with Jedi and why I love him and truly want to be with him. And that too will only be one small slice.

Comment response

Because blogger will not let me post this response to a comment (as it's too large) I'm posting it here.


Judgmental? Really? When you see only a small segment of my life and pass this judgment on me?

Interestingly enough I am actually fairly thin-skinned and so to be called childish, self-centered, and a bully might, under ordinary circumstances, be something that would bother me if I felt there was a basis to it... and yet, I feel not a twinge of guilt-- because I know these accusations are ridiculous.

Oh, sure, I recognize that I have certainly been those things in various other circumstances in my life, yet with introspection I can honestly say those don't apply in this situation.

So let me address your points one by one, oh anonymous commentator:

1) I do in fact take responsibility for my own part. I said as much. I apologized to Jedi's mother numerous times for the jokes I made. (I may say to you, anonymous internets, that I still find the jokes funny, but I am sincerely sorry I hurt her feelings. I  apologized several times for this.) Anyone who was present when I made those jokes (and people who were there were laughing and making comments as well) would be hard pressed to label them as "intentionally cruel," I think. Especially since Jedi's mother was the one who started off by saying she found Tom creepy...

2) Yes, really, I initiated our "conversation" via text. Because that is in fact how we usually converse because... Da da dum! Darth's phone has been on the fritz for a month ever since she dropped it in water. Only the text function is still working and she doesn't want to spend the money to get a new phone. (And they don't have a house phone.) NOW who's the judgmental one...?

3)She did actually give me her side of the story in the email she sent me. I accept the fact that she felt uncomfortable and disrespected by the jokes and I APOLOGIZED for it. The side of the story I don't agree with are spelled out in points 1-8. This didn't need to get where it is, this could have been halted at joke #1 because, as unfeeling as you seem to find me, I actually DO FEEL BAD about hurting her feelings. Sincerely.

3a) I find it suspect that NOW she wants to talk after having been unwilling to address the issue when it came up.. and the week in between. She had AMPLE opportunities to talk. She's the one who went about this in a roundabout way. I don't want to talk at the moment because (as you may be able to tell from the heated nature of my previous post) I do not trust myself not to do more damage to the relationship until I cool down. I am not cooled down. Why would I rush to talk when it would only make things worse?

4)I think point 3a- about not calling her until I've cooled down-- actually shows a pretty good ability to temper my behaviour to the people in my life.  I agree I shouldn't "shout my mouth off [sic]" WHICH IS WHY I'M NOT CURRENTLY TALKING TO HER.

5) Touche on the throwing the wedding around part. Frankly I'm NOT sure about the wedding... however, I AM sure about Jedi. There is a significant distinction. I don't need a wedding to know I want to be with Jedi for the long term.  However, weddings mean joining FAMILIES and the issues involved. Nothing is perfect but there are some issues I don't necessarily want to take on either. A "wedding" definitely makes those issues MINE.

I'd be curious as to which other entries lead you to your conclusions. You have also made assumptions that I didn't ask people about their motivations. Um. Wrong.

Additionally, I have never said I was blameless and it wasn't my intention to portray that I was. I said that the jokes I made were ones I probably shouldn't have. I think I've been pretty clear about owning up and apologizing for that.

However, the issues go beyond this one incident.  I'm actually pretty introspective and I recognize that I only helped inflame the situation in this instance by insisting on not dropping the issue when Jedi's mother wanted to drop it. I did that because I felt that the usual MO of brushing things aside is not productive. I'd rather get the air cleared now than live with brushing things under the rug for 50 years.

I've also asked Jedi to be very honest with me and tell me if he thinks I'm off base. Our relationship is such that he DOES feel comfortable telling me when I'm wrong-- he's told me so in other situations in fact, situations in which I believed I was completely correct-- and in those cases I've reexamined my behaviour and realized that I was in the wrong, and apologized, and changed my behaviour accordingly..

In this particular case Jedi (who I will admit, is a much better person than I am) believes his parents are very much in the wrong.  Frankly, if I had any doubt about my "rightness" (Not blamelessness-- two very different things) the fact that he feels the same way I do would assuage that.

I also want to add that this is not actually about "proving" my "rightness"-- If that was what it is I would quit right now. This is about not wanting to have the same pattern of behaviour for all my future interactions with Darth. I don't want to have passive aggressive interactions with her forever -- but that's the way she deals with conflict. All I want is for her to take a look at where this incident went off the rails-- and it went off the rails when she made the choice not to speak with me directly.

NO, I haven't asked Jedi to intervene or to not see his parents or anything of the sort (he's seeing them tonight as a matter of fact.) I would never interfere with his relationship with them, nor would I want to.  I want him to have a loving and caring relationship with them. However, he's told me that he's had many similar issues with his mother due to her passive way of dealing with conflict and that he understands why I feel the way I do.

So, sorry random internet commentator-- Jedi's opinion matters more to me than yours.  When he starts thinking I'm a self-centered childish bully, well, then I'll start to worry.

Is Paris Worth a Mass?

 I'm having a fight with Jedi's mother... (And by extension I suppose, his father.) Have I nicknamed them yet? Hmmm... Perhaps I shouldn't nickname them while I'm in foul mood. But, I mean, after all, if Jedi is Jedi... shouldn't his parents be Darth Vader and whats-her-name?  (Actually, Jedi's ringtone for his mother is the imperial death march that's the Dum Dum Dum from Star Wars...) So, I suppose it's appropriate to dub them Darth (mom) and Vader (dad). Let's go with that, huh?

It's kinda funny, because I've never had an issue with his parents before. I mean, anyone would tell you that they're the nicest people, but right now I'm just so angry with them that I just want to say to hell with it for the wedding. I just keep thinking-- do I really want to be shackled with these people for the rest of my life?  Sure, Paris is worth a mass... but is Jedi?

Ok, ok, yes, I'm being melodramatic as is my wont, and it's this same flair that got me into trouble in the first place.  So, here's a little background to catch up up quickly:

Vader reconnected with an old friend of his --we'll call him Tom-- on facebook. They hadn't seen each other in 20 years and then suddenly, within a few days of reconnecting Vader unilaterally invited them to come up and visit.  Tom then invited himself to stay overnight for 2-3 nights.

Now, when Darth related this story to me she did so laughingly but also in saying that she was annoyed that Vader had invited them without asking her, and that she found it weird and creepy that they were staying 3 days, these people were virtual strangers, etc. On top of that both this guy and his wife have been unemployed for a long time.  I told her she should stand up for herself, grow a spine etc...  (laughingly, mind you! But I stand by it!) and then made some further jokes about how they were probably grifters who were coming to live with them to take over their lives and that I better send Jedi over that weekend to make sure they were still alive. Darth laughed & agreed and we went about our merry ways.

The Monday after the weekend I happened to be at Darth's office (if you recall, we all work in the same place, which is how I met Jedi-- Blind date set up by Darth's boss Ramses.)  I decided to stay for lunch and people were talking about what they did over the weekend.  Darth mentioned her visitors and I made another joke about how they were lucky they hadn't been killed and how Tom totally looked shady in his pictures. I had his picture on my phone (through facebook) and I handed it to Ramses and I joked, "Doesn't he look like he belongs on "To Catch a Predator" or something?" (BTW readers, he TOTALLY does.  The joke may have been in poor taste (ymmv, I didn't think so) but I stand by my assertion that he would fit right in on this page. Even if perhaps I shouldn't have said so.)  Well, Darth laughed (even though she's now claiming she didn't,) and said, "You're so silly," and the conversation moved on and that was it. Or so I thought. Hell, we even went and looked at wedding invitations after that! Darth seemed totally normal and in good cheer. (***make note of this because it's where my major source of ire comes in.)

Well, several days later (because this happened on a MONDAY, mind you) Jedi is at his parents' house and his dad comes up to him and tells him that "Hypatia has really upset me/us with what she's been saying. It's totally inappropriate... she exaggerates... It's really upset Darth... You need to have a talk with her (*note source # 2 of my ire)... we're very angry... etc." Jedi got out of there pretty quickly he said because he didn't want a confrontation and also, didn't have much knowledge of what was going on in the first place.

Jedi comes home and now HE'S all upset because of what his dad said and also because his dad apparently intimated that he would withdraw his support for the wedding.

Well... fuck this. I was livid. Do I really need to itemize the reasons I'm angry? Please tell me I'm a reasonable person and that you would be angry about this too.  Why am I angry? Let me count the ways:

#1) If Darth was upset she could have simply pulled me aside and said, "Actually, what you said made me uncomfortable and I'd appreciate it if you could stop that."  Result? I would have apologized and we would have been on our merry way.

#2) Darth in no way every indicated or let on that she was *so* upset.  I'm not a fucking mind reader.

#3) Not only did she not in anyway indicate that she was upset, she acted as if everything was fine. AGAIN, I'm not a fucking mind reader.

#4) She didn't address me directly. Instead, she went roundabout and had the "menfolk" deal with it. How fucking passive aggressive.  I learned how to deal with my issues head on in 2nd grade. Apparently she missed the memo.

#5) The whole thing with Vader sure seemed a lot like he was telling Jedi, "You'd better control your woman." Darth is totally passive and submissive, but I sure as hell am not. (and PS- Jedi LIKES it that way.)

#6) Jedi is now upset and drawn into this, which was totally unnecessary.

and... #7)  This one requires a bit of background.
I made comments to Darth a few times about, "I wonder what you say about me when I'm not around."  She was pretty offended and exclaimed, "I'd never say anything bad about you." (yeah, that's the side-eye I'm giving my gentle readers through the screen.) I brought it up a couple more times... each time she was very offended.

But, um, duh. Do you think I might have a REASON to think she does so? Like, maybe the fact that she is all sweet to a co-worker she can't stand? Hell! She gives her a ride to work sometimes, she even gave her an award and talked about what a great employee she is... and yet, to me, talks all the time about how she can't stand her.  She does similar things with her mother, her best friend, acquaintances... Why the fuck would I think I'm somehow immune to that?  I didn't.

Don't get me wrong-- I don't think Darth does this maliciously-- I think she's just venting, like we all vent. THE DIFFERENCE is that Darth really is very passive.  She hates conflict and so never addresses issues head on.   It makes me roll my eyes to even write that because I cannot stand people who complain about shit yet never do anything to make it better. There's a difference between venting and trying to manipulate people into doing your own dirty work. (In this case, Vader confronting Jedi so that Jedi would confront me, so that Darth wouldn't have to confront me herself. ew.)

Frankly, this is so different from my own modus operandi I hardly know how to react to someone like this. I'm very straightforward (ok, confrontational), in-your-face, I don't mince words.  Now to most people (aka my soon to be MIL) these are not only undesirable traits but in the same way I don't know what to make of her, she doesn't know what to make of me, I think.

In my own family we're a crazy loud bunch of yellers-- which, ok, probably isn't so healthy either-- but at least you know where you stand with people. With Darth I don't feel like I know where I stand because she's fundamentally not honest about what she's feeling.  And I have a major hard time dealing with that.

Like, seriously-- how am I supposed to intuit that I've upset you? Just speak the fuck up already!

Frankly, if Darth wasn't Jedi's mother she'd probably be a friendly acquaintance at best because I feel like (while not intentional or malicious... I know it's just how she copes) I can never trust her to be honest with me.

So... anyway... Darth and I went back and forth over text and then email a few times (She tried calling me, but as I said, I come from a family of yellers and I know I could not have kept myself from yelling at her which certainly wouldn't have helped matters-- so I opted to write an email instead.)

In her email she also mentioned that she was upset that I had said that she needed to stand up for herself and get a spine. (Again, I stand by it!)... But this gets to another issue-- #8) The fact that every time we go back and forth about this it turns out there's something else that comes out that she's upset about.  And so, while this is ostensibly about this particular incident, I also think that it's about the untold number of times that I've upset her in the past year and that she hasn't felt comfortable saying something. Which, again, is fucking annoying.  And, also-- It's not my responsibility to know when you're mad.

I feel like there should be a statute of limitations to how long you can be annoyed about something that you haven't fucking had the guts to confront someone about. Why should it be that other person's problem? Especially if you're going around and acting as sweet as peaches and cream to that person! How on earth is that person supposed to know? 

In the email I basically... pretty much... laid it out for her as I did here. Including-- yes-- the part about how I don't feel I can trust her because she's not honest about how she feels and she is two-faced about other people as well.

Ok, so maybe that wasn't the most conciliatory thing to say, but at this point I don't give a flying fuck. (Have I mentioned that a few times? I think I have.)  And frankly, it's the truth.

She wrote back to say that what I wrote was very hurtful and that she wouldn't discuss this over email or the phone, but only in person.

You should be proud of me for not writing back, "The Truth Hurts."

Frankly, I don't really feel like discussing this in person. If she thought I was hurtful in person I know she just be even more hurt by my yelling.  I also feel like I said what I needed to say... but that I also know she's not going to change. I mean, she's gone 50 years sweeping things under the rug. What's another 50 more, amirite? Bleh.

I know I should just suck it up, apologize, let her sweep it under the rug and let things go back to being peaches & cream... but... I just can't.  I know I should, for Jedi's sake, but I just can't.

Because? Well, frankly, I haven't married him yet.  And I don't fancy spending the next 50 years of my life dealing with this passive aggressive bullshit.  I say lance the wound rather than letting it fester.

Getting married is important to Jedi. If we have to put off the wedding until his mom gets her shit in order? Well, it may not happen. But right now I don't fancy dealing with someone I can never be sure is being honest with me and with whom I can never be sure my words and actions won't be held against me in ways I won't know about until it blows up.

Fuck. My family has enough issues of their own. I don't want to sign up to take on these issues too. I've had enough therapy to sort out problems stemming from my family. I really can't, for my own mental health, add other people's bullshit to my own.

What say you, wise and worldly readers? 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I can't get no satisfaction

What is WRONG with me?

No, seriously... (well... maybe not. Maybe I don't want an answer to that.)

Everything in my life at the moment (knock on wood) is coming up roses.

I have a great new job (that will-- knock on wood--become an officially permanent one... otherwise I'll be SOL come July) that is much more fulfilling that my last one. It's also much more relaxing. I have a really great boss (who will, sadly, not be my boss come July--her choice to move on), I feel respected, I feel valued, I'm treated like a grown up-- (unlike these poor women who work for the world's worst boss.), I'm told I have future opportunities for professional growth.

I have Jedi in my life-- the kindest and most thoughtful person I've ever met. Jedi has a great new job which has helped his health issues.

The wedding planning is going along well... things are (mostly) within budget. Think I may even have a reasonably priced honeymoon location.

I have my health, I have a roof over my head, (knock on wood!!!)...

There's nothing wrong... and yet, somehow, there's something wrong with me. 

I'm just so dissatisfied for no reason at all. Really! Not a single reason that I can think of for being dissatisfied! (well, other than I would like a larger closet. But other than that...)

And yet, I look around at my life thinking-- "Is this all there is?" 

I know that some of this stems with my annoyance with myself in regards to my writing project. What--other than myself-- is keeping me from actually doing it? What's kept me from doing it the last 10 years? What will keep me from doing it 10 years from now?

Five years ago I actually wrote out a contract with myself promising that I would have not one--but THREE-- completed manuscripts by July of 2010.

Heh. You can guess how that deadline fared.  While I do want to give myself a deadline for this new project I worry that it will have the same fate.

What's that old definition of insanity again...? Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. *sigh*

I know I would feel better if I could just start getting something on the page. I've felt, for a long time, that it's something that is important to me in my life.

Well, if it's so important, what's keeping me from doing it.

I know I CAN do it.

There are people who say, "what you're afraid of isn't failure, it's success."

Um. No. Sorry. Bullshit. I don't believe that. I'm looking forward to success :-)  I just worry I won't be successful. I'm afraid I won't have the stamina or drive to get there.

You always hear stories about people like Steven King who wrote 30 manuscripts and got rejected 400 times before making it big.  Yea. well. I already know I don't have that kind of drive.  So, I am afraid of that.

However, before I get to the rejection stage I have to get past the writer's block stage. (And, can I even call it writer's block? I mean, I'm able to write semi-coherently on this blog just fine... in fact, the more i procrastinate the more I write here! Lucky you.)  I just can't seem to get the ideas in my head down on paper and I can figure out what's stopping me and I have a feeling that this dissatisfaction with life in general won't be solved until I figure that out.

Just for fun

I discovered a blog devoted to hilarious (and offensive!) nail polish names!

Have fun wasting your time and procrastinating.