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emmy [AT] curious-notions {dot} net
November 2010
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they don’t call them toxic assets

This all started with Dan Savage’s column about singles and established couples. You gotta go read it (just the aside in the first response, although I like Dan Savage’s stuff, so maybe go read all of it?). I must warn you, that what I want you to read does take place in a conversation about a transwoman having qualms about her relationship. But if you read this blog and you can’t handle that… I don’t know what to tell you. I guess email me that you want a summary. I would tell you to put your adult panties on and read it with an open mind, but I try not to tell people how to live their lives anymore.

Longevity is a big question in relationships. Maybe not when we are young. When I was a teenager, I worried about people dying, not running out of time. Maybe that distinction doesn’t really exist, but I promise that I did fear the first and didn’t even realize the second. So if you told me at 16 that I’d be 28 and worried about having (a) child(ren) before I was 35, I wouldn’t have understood. At all. It would have been like you were speaking Greek. But now I’m 28 (almost) and I get how you can think, “Maybe I’m wasting my time on him/this.” or “Maybe I should have a kid now even if I don’t feel ready.”

When I was 16, I had no problem jumping to my relationship with both feet. I had unlimited energy and time and passion. Now that I’m 28, I’m careful and greedy of my energy and time and passion.

I’m pretty sure when my mom was 20 and she was pregnant with me, she never thought that 9 years later she’d be divorced. I’m pretty sure she was still thinking that she could work out all her problems. That with time and energy and passion, things could be fixed. I do know she already knew there was a problem with her marriage.

I know I’ve got friends who are my age (ish) and are questioning their relationships. They aren’t sure that those relationships will last and whether they should keep working at it. They know there aren’t easy answers and we don’t have a crystal ball and yeah, maybe their relationships will fail.

I remember Bear and I having trouble. I remember talking to my bff and my brother and wondering how this relationship would last. I remember the times when our relationship was thin. Except that both of us, even during those times when the relationship was weak, I KNOW we both wanted the relationship. I KNOW we wanted each other. I know these things because Bear and I talked. I know because I asked him and he asked me.

I’ve been questioning lately whether we are guilty of what Dan Savage is so upset about in his column. That people long in relationships tell singles that we “just know” when a relationship is going to work. I think what couples get wrong is that we didn’t “just know” ourselves, but we knew the other person was willing to work. Maybe it’s not about what you know of yourself, but what you know of your partner. Maybe if you are worried about your own dedication, you should check with your partner. If they are dedicated, then that might be the sign you need. That might be the clue that this is something that can grow strong again.

Going back to my mom, I can say with certainty that if she had talked to my father, she would have understood how what he believed completely did not match up with what she believed. If my mother has ever had a failing, it’s her inability to extract information from others and relate it to her own context. If my father has ever had a failing, it’s his inability to see the world in the context of other people’s realities. And if either of them had bothered to figure out what the other’s goals and ambitions were and how determined they were to hold onto the other person, maybe I wouldn’t be here. Or maybe my brother wouldn’t be. It’s hard to wish they hadn’t gotten together, but I do wish they were willing to realize their biggest failings.

So I guess my point is, people always tell me “Bear is so in love with you.” They can see it on his face. He exudes it. Othertimes, I’ll hear “You do so much for Bear.” Bear and I have always known that the OTHER person’s goal was to make US happy and strong. In that context, it’s easier to give to our partner and for us to stay together.

All that said, the realist in me knows nothing is ever for sure.

2 for 1

I’ve written a post before about how my brain and ears have a strange relationship I think…Ah. Here. So I heard “Kick Drum Heart” on the radio:

I picked the live version because it’s fun, but for a clean version go here.

I absolutely love that song. But it made me think of Grace Kelly with Wings by Piebald

They are drastically different songs… and yet to me they are so very similar? I know I’m crazy. Enjoy the music.

Are you steady now?

I’ve been feeling overdrawn lately. Not tired or empty exactly, but like I’m playing a lot of catch-up instead of staying on a steady pace. I have a weird reaction to this feeling. It’s to try and hole up and stick my head in the sand. Which of course makes the catch-up worse when I crawl back out, but that’s my quirky reaction.

Speaking of quirks, my bff/sister/brain/partner-in-crime/Linda, posted about her quirkiness the other day and I got to thinking about quirks. I like to acknowledge a quirk and then get out of my own way. If I’m suddenly overcome with anxiety about the crack on the ground, I walk around it. If I have to have all the lights off before I go to sleep, I get my ass out of bed and turn them off. I don’t berate myself for having the quirk and make myself neurotic trying to overcome it. So here, for perusal, are some quirks that I’ve either encountered or own.

  • If I’m sleeping, all the lights have to be off.

If Bear is awake while I’m trying to sleep, he can have 1 light. ONE. Anymore than that trips my light anxiety.

  • I can’t get into bed unless my feet are clean.

If they’ve been in socks all day, that’s sometimes ok. But most days either I have to get into bed straight from a shower or I go and wash my feet in the bathroom sink before bedtime. Sometimes the rest of me can be not so clean, but my feet have to be.

  • I don’t like bones.

I don’t like eating around bones. I don’t like other people munching on bones. When Bear cooks something with a bone, I’ll eat the drier breast or I’ll cut the meat away from the bone and give the bone portion to Bear.

  • I don’t like raw meat.

Touching or seeing. Because of this quirk and the bone quirk, I’ve flirted with the idea of being a vegetarian. Bear always thwarts me though. Fish are exempt from the bones and raw quirks. I can eat and touch fish with bones or in the raw.

  • Sometimes I get random OCD. Then it’ll go away.
  • If my inbox has a single unread email, I stay anxious and flinchy until the email is read and marked down somewhere.

Even if all I do is put it down on a “to reply” list, I have to read it and decide what I’m going to do. It can’t sit there. (If I’ve got something that needs urgent attention, but I can’t get to it right then or I’m procrastinating, I’ll deliberately leave it unread or email myself to get that unread email in my inbox.)

  • I can’t have music playing while I read something.

I’ll pause pandora while I’m reading over code and then hit play when I’m writing over and over again during the day. If I take a break to read email, I’ll pause. (Actually hitting pause and play over and over again is too slow so mostly I push my headphones back on my ears and off my ears over and over again. It’s faster.)

  • I can’t listen to music when I’m creating (writing a story, spinning).

(Blog posts and emails are sometimes creative and sometimes …more technical. This can be problematic because often I’ll hit play, but then the music gets in the way of what I’m writing and I won’t realize it until I get really frustrated and take off the headphones.)

  • The tv or music MUST be on when I’m doing laundry or knitting. I need distraction from the brainless repetitiveness of folding or knitting.

Dude. Reading all of those makes me think I’ve lied to myself all these years. I say I never get bored, but I think I do! I think I just automatically do something to stop the boredom. I turn on the tv or some music and then when my brain gets engaged I have to turn off the tv or music.

Ok, I’m starting to sound like I belong in a mental hospital and that Bear is a saint for putting up with me, soooooo I think that’s all I’m gonna list. Tell me a quirk of yours (or bash me and point out more of mine if you want).

(Linda, pretty sure that’s a White Stripes song. The reason I picked it… well the song itself might not fit, but the lyric does.)

Take this!

Hi, my name is Emmy and I have a tab problem. I have more of a tab problem than I do an email problem. I try very hard to manage my tab problem and every once in a while I manage to defeat it. I will actually CLOSE my browser with no open tabs. I know I am not the only person with this problem. At work my tab problem tends to be complicated by the two areas of interest (my research reading and my fun reading) instead of just the fun reading at home. In the interest of clearing some of my tabs, I’m going to …oops. I’m not sure about the creative whatevers. I was going to post images. Now I’m just linking.

The first came to me via Linda. It’s the merge of a lighting storm and a volcano. Go look. I’ve had this open for AGES.

The second image I found when I looking for pictures for the feet post. I could post this picture because I can source weheartit, but now I’ve got a whole list of links. Something about these feet is very tough and lean and experienced and I love looking at the photo. (Anyone who thinks I have feet issues would be correct. I have been concerned about my feet since I was very very little. It used to drive my mother and grandmother insane.)

The third is an image that an artist created when he was inspired by a book he read. The book is The Name of the Wind and I found the image because I read the author’s (the book author not the image author) blog. It’s staggeringly gorgeous.

The fourth image came through my rss reader. This is a freaking ADORABLE kid. It’s a fashion blog, so I’m sure the cute clothes were meant to be the focus, but jeepers. The cute little sweater! The little cautious grin! The KNEES! The sweat/water slicked hair! GAHHHHH.

Now these things are documented and I can close 4 tabs. Hopefully someone enjoyed. If not, thanks for assisting me in making that small step forward with my problem. It’s a disease really.

(Brain, the title is a reference to Zelda, “It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this!” and there’s an internet geek image macro where you put the image of something and subtitle it with the quote.)