Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Feels So Good but Damn It Makes Me Hurt

Warning: this post is rated MA (Mature Audience only) for language, violence and adult content. Please send your small children to bed, or go entertain yourself here instead.

It's days like today that make me homesick, for my old life, my old friends, my old routines. If I still lived in DC, Neal and I would be hitting the bars. HARD. For a few days (weeks) on end. I don't know what he'd be drinking -- for all the times we've done this, I've never paid any attention to his choice of liquor -- but I'd be busily attempting to ensure that my blood stream contains more vodka molecules than red blood cells. After the first three drinks have been consumed, back-to-back, no-need-to-set-the-glass-down-until-
it's-empty, invariably I'd say "boys are dumb" and he'd reply "AAMO! AAMO!"* followed by a pep talk about how said boy was a stupid piece of shit. And by the end of the night I'd feel better. Well, technically I wouldn't feel anything, but that generally qualifies as "better." (I'd also wake up the next morning and cry. The ratio of tears-due-to-
hangover-pain to tears-due-to-stupid-boy-pain varies by event, but the tears, they are a constant. And probably the only liquid left in my body.)

*AAMO: Accept. Adapt. Move On.

It's not a bad concept, really. But I'm not so good at the acceptance part. Adapting and Moving On? Those are infinitely easier tasks than Accepting. First, there is a certain way that life SHOULD be, or way in which people SHOULD act, and it's difficult for me to let go of some of those "shoulds." Second, I really, truly want to think the best of people, despite my outermost cynical layer(s) (ok, many, many layers), and to accept that someone is simply evil/horrible/unworthy of my time feels like I'm giving up on them. And I'm not one for giving up. Pretty much ever.

If you listen to me talk long enough (and if you've been reading since January, I guess that's probably long enough) you will hear me say "We all make choices." It's not good; it's not bad; it just is. If I had to have a one-sentence worldview, or choose my epitaph, this would be it. Every single thing we do involves a choice. Whether it's choosing to take an action or choosing to not take an action, at the root of everything is a choice someone made.

Here is my choice: I am getting off this fucking carousel. The music has stopped, the operator is shooing everyone away, and the new patrons are loading. It's time for me to go explore the rest of the fair.

The Carousel Ride from Hell looks something like this: First contact is (re-)established. Then we go about being friends. Then things drift into "more than friends" territory. Then I discover -- in any number of ways, and believe me, I'm running out of ways, so if you have any suggestions, feel free to pass them along -- that there's another woman in the picture. Then we fight. (By which I mean, I speak in polysyllabic words with a strong voice and he refuses to apologize, answer questions, agree or disagree with anything I've said, and generally just waits for the phone call to be over. The height of cooperation and productivity, I tell you!) Finally, we take a few weeks off without speaking to each other. Lather, rinse, repeat.

(Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Keep repeating. One more time. Oops, just kidding! Repeat again! Repeat.)


Of course, getting off the carousel isn't the hard part. No, it's resisting the urge to buy another ticket and get back in line that's tricky. The allure of the music and the shiny mirrors and the pretty horses are sometimes enough to make me forget that this carousel doesn't actually go anywhere but up and down, round and round. It may be a nice little diversion for a while, but at the end of the ride, I'm back where I started. The scenery never changes.

And, in adopting Neal's approach, I have to accept that. Accept that it isn't good for me. Accept that I believed an awful lot of lies, both spoken and unspoken. Accept that he's a jackass who will screw me at every given opportunity. Accept that these facts are not going to change.

I know that this is the right thing, the best way for me to adapt, to move on. Doesn't mean that I like it, but that's just tough, huh?

We all make choices. This is mine.

In keeping with current campaign finance rules, I offer you equal access to media coverage. Op-ed piece, 750 words, published on the date of your choosing. I may not be very nice, but I'm a stickler for being fair.


At Tue Aug 08, 08:36:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Horrible Warning said...

I've been riding the same carousel. Maybe you've noticed me, the one with the bruises on my arms from friends trying to drag me off?

Another woman isn't my issue...it's the whole lack of commitment thing. Same shit, really. You are making the right decision. I need to follow your excellent example.

Maybe just one more spin? Yeah, I'm weak...

At Wed Aug 09, 03:48:00 AM PDT, Blogger ChoosingJoy said...

Honesty, honesty, honesty! Find one who's honest...and kind. I don't care how pretty he is, if he's dishonest, he's BAD FOR YOU. So glad you're moving on!

Best of luck, and there are better rides out there! (Er...well...that sounded dirty. You know what I mean!)

At Wed Aug 09, 03:17:00 PM PDT, Anonymous kathy said...

Give me a call if you need to talk.

At Thu Aug 10, 02:50:00 PM PDT, Anonymous clk said...

B side. Way to get off the kiddie rides. Suspended disbelief is entertainment for the fearful--masking activity as reality. You, my friend, are wasted on fiction.

PS-Can I have your leftover tickets? I am too tired and full of sugar to know its time for me to leave the park. We will miss you here.

At Sat Aug 12, 09:37:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At Mon Aug 14, 08:10:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Aimee said...

That was a really thoughtful and well written post. I wish you much luck and all the happiness that comes with making a decision regardless of the turnout.

found your site via spinthesun.typepad.com


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