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.

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