Log in

No account? Create an account
Montecristo Captain Quixote


The World Line of the Horizon Star

Some would say I was a lost man in a lost world

Previous Entry Share Next Entry
Tin Man Captain Armored Heart

J.A. Prufrock referees a wrestling match between his libido and his inertia

It was another warm sunny day today in Alameda. Fall is here. I guess this is Indian Summer. I love this time of year. The work being done on Stargell Ave. has reached a point where the whole street and walks are torn up. They closed the entire street to even to pedestrian traffic and put up a detour. I ended up walking all the way around the college today on my walk. That lengthened things from my usual 3.85 miles to probably about four miles even. Since I started keeping track of my noon walks back in May I've racked up about 160 miles.

I used to like to address my ex as "Wife" when we were married. My reasoning was that anybody who addressed her could address her by her name and call her Crystal but only one human being on earth could address her as wife and that was me. Every once in awhile I used to like to call her by her middle name as well, for the same reason, not everybody knew it. To me it was like a True Name by which only I could conjure her. Jackie's nineteenth birthday was the eighteenth, last Friday. Last Thursday was the sixth anniversary of the day Crystal left. I don't know, maybe that explains the dream the other day. Nah, nah, hey, hey, kiss her goodbye. My subconscious has its secrets that even I don't fathom.

I'm a creature of habit. It is hard for me to make change in my life. I haven't written the lady on OkStupid again yet. I'm pretty sure that I want to but I am not certain what to say. There is a part of my brain that keeps bugging me about what it is to which meeting new people could lead. Change. Change can be good. I resist it anyway. Change can bring loss. There is a part of me that enjoys this Spartan existence. I don't like losing things. You cannot lose what you don't have. It's a silly philosophy, I know. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Stagnation is merely death warmed over. I can tell myself that all day long. It's just so easy to sup with the devil I know.

I got a message in the OkStupid mailbox today. Speak of the devil... It wasn't from anyone, just a notification from the system. Some lovely twenty-two year old Russian girl with beautiful dark eyes who looks great in a bikini added me to her favorites list. Right. She's three years older than my daughter. She's got to be kidding. There's a scam afoot, she's going to pitch something, or else someone is fishing for a green card and a sugar daddy or something. She's not contacted me, which is just as well because I am not contacting her. Sheesh. Hugh Hefner I am not.

Nah, I'm going to write to...she has a very intractable handle; I wish I had a name for her...again soon, probably tomorrow when I've had time to do a little more pondering on what I want to say. I'm certainly going to request a first name. It couldn't hurt and I have a fiercely itchy curiosity and a mountain of tenacity to match my inertia.

  • 1
I think that would really bother me (being called "Wife"). I understand your reasoning and what made it special for you, but I like being called by my name... it tells me you're speaking to *me*. If you call me by my title, I feel like you're speaking to who-you-want-me-to-be and not being accepting of who-I-am.

Does that make any sense at all?

I had someone in my life once who called me Wife for awhile but I really, really didn't like it.

Maybe because I'm not a very good wife, so it was a constant reminder of his disappointment in me with regards to my inability to satisfy the requirements of that role to his satisfaction. It felt like a reminder or a rebuke... like "Here you are being all 'September' on me when I really want you to be 'Wife'!"

Disappointments are inevitable; we just have to avoid allowing them to poison us.

You know, what you said does make sense. I can understand it. Certainly the ex had complained before that I was seeing in her someone I wanted her to be more than she herself. I don't know how to answer that charge. I guess I could point out that it is never in someone else's power to redefine who you are no matter what they see or do not see. It's interesting that you didn't like it and I wonder if that has anything to do with how the term was used, how the speaker meant it.

How can you call yourself "not a very good wife?" Did your own attempt to participate in that role disappoint you somehow or is it only frustration or disappointment at not meeting someone else's arbitrary standards of what "a good wife" should be?

You can only be who you are. If the relationship works then if the relationship is marriage you are, by definition, being "a good wife." If it doesn't work, maybe you weren't being a good wife for that person's tastes, but that doesn't mean that there's some universal standard against which you're measured and found wanting. My ex wife wasn't all that good a wife to me but she certainly seems to be doing quite all right by her second husband. Whatever works, survives. Darwin actually said: survival of the fit, not survival of the fittest. There's a significant distinction in that.

It's strange, the perspective you open up with this comment, even if it isn't a new one for me. As I said, I understand the perspective, even if it is alien to my way of thinking or seeing existence. Crystal was always afraid of being pressed into a mold or "limited" somehow. I explained that, to me, it was a question of perspective. "Wife" is not a mold into which anyone should or can be pressed. It is something that is taken on and taken into oneself and defined by the person who takes up the role. When I was discussing this with Crystal I drew an analogy: Consider human beings as wood. Wife is not a shape into which the wood is cut like a two-by-four or a geometric shape component of something like furniture. Rather, it is something that is part of what the person becomes in their whole self, like the grain of the wood — it's part of what the wood is to the wood's entire extent.

I never separated out what she was from what role she played in my life and our relationship. She did some things that I think no wife should ever do, and I don't think she'd disagree with that, however justified she may have felt about doing those bad things. Nevertheless, whatever else she was, or whatever else she did, she was still my wife — the good and the bad, the bitter and the sweet, all of her, the things she did that inspired me and endeared her to me and the things she did which frustrated me and scoured my soul. If that's not seeing who she is in her entirety then I don't know what is.

Re: Disappointments are inevitable; we just have to avoid allowing them to poison us.

I failed at being a wife in many ways, not just the ways that were important to my ex-husband. Ways that were important to me, too. (First and foremost in the ability to choose a good mate. Major fail. F-.) And just to be clear, I didn't fail just once. I failed twice. At age 31 I was divorced for the second time. My first husband was my high school sweetheart and a forgivable mistake. We divorced when we were both 24 after five miserable years. My second was... just... terrible judgment on my part. We divorced after only three, knew it was wrong before we even made it official, but didn't want to disappoint everyone. Bad, bad, bad. And I did some bad things, too.

You know, I'm not generally well-dispositioned toward arguments having to do with gender, but it does seem like a very common fear among women of our culture, to be forced into a mold of society's casting. Obviously, I share this fear. "Wife" is the name of a very, very common mold in our culture. The standard may not be universal, but it certainly exists.

  • 1