Archive for the relationships Category

SOMEBODY MAKE IT STOP

Posted in musings, personal, relationships, social commentary, writing with tags , , , , on February 9, 2009 by kimmy

One can only be pestered so much.  Sooner or later the lid will blow, so it’s best to take cover before being wounded by your own shrapnel.   It doesn’t matter how many times you warn bystanders; they never pay attention.  If your warnings aren’t strident or colorful enough, they think you’re joking.  Therefore it’s always best, even if it’s not your style, to break a few dishes as you calmly argue the point. 

Of course then you’ll be asked to explain.  Never mind the original point at issue; the real question is why you broke the Pyrex casserole dish.  Watch as your needs are buried under piles of minutiea, knowing that it will take centuries before archeologists stumble upon them.  Listen as you’re upbraided, criticized for failure to meet expectations and judged unworthy.

And if that’s not enough, try to maintain your poise while being hammered repeatedly with the same argument.  It doesn’t work.  Invariably, your assailant will find the chink in the armor and gleefully put you off-kilter.  If you think tearful pleas are effective, think again.  That type of drama just encourages them.  Once they catch sight of your weakness, you might as well give up.  It’s a feeding frenzy and you’re the chum, Chum.

Then again, you can always pull the plug.  There’s no law that says you have to participate in madness.  Trying to reason with a person caught up in the unreal is ridiculous; you’ll never succeed.  Instead of grieving over the impossible, why not celebrate?  You escaped with your wits intact.

Advertisements

THE END OF ALL THINGS

Posted in musings, personal, relationships, social commentary with tags , , , , on January 31, 2009 by kimmy

So, it plays out like the last scene in a Chekhov drama.  The family members are distraught, looking at the flayed remains of their pack,  and silently accusing the others of sabotage.  Family secrets are just that:  secret.  No one needs to know the pain, the mortification, the grief.  A loyal member carries these in silence and passes them on the subsequent generations.

But invariably, there is always one among them who can’t stomach the pretense.  It wouldn’t be a drama otherwise.  The rebel, or traitor depending on viewpoint, divulges family intelligence  and the infrastructure collapses.  What was really important to this family, the well-being of its members or the collusion?

The poor treatment of the whistleblower is a clue.   Branded as disloyal, he’s relegated to non-person as the injured parties take center stage.    Under the spotlight, they tell tales of woe in the best Method acting possible and the audience shivers, knowing they are all carrying the same dark secrets.  And what scares them most, that they’re dysfunctional or that someone might out them?

Pain is an interesting phenomena in that people are willing to live with it rather than do anything about it.   They not only co-exist with it, they elevate it to an artform.  Look how I’m suffering; I’m a really special person.  The implication being that pain creates rank.   If you loved me, you’d agree to wallow alongside.  Nothing proves sincerity more than shared ignorance.  How could you do this to me?   Perhaps the real question here is why do you do this to yourself?

Not that leaving behind learned behaviors is easy.  It’s not only the action that’s abandoned, but all the players as well.

ALL THIS AND ANGER, TOO

Posted in musings, personal, relationships, writing with tags , , , , , on January 25, 2009 by kimmy

Just think of what pearls of wisdom they’ll offer. Shake hands and come out fighting like a man.  Great advice, except I’m not a man and I don’t enjoy fighting.   Don’t get mad; get everything.  I suppose that worked for Ivanna Trump, that is until she wound up on the losing end after recklessly marrying/divorcing an enterprising Italian boytoy several decades her junior.  Guess she learned nothing from her experience with the Donald.

I should have listened to my mother.  Had she bothered to offer any advice, I might have done it.   Sadly, she was too wrapped up in her own dysfunctional marriage to care.   You should have thought twice.  Okay, I admit I did not.  Instead I thought a zillion times and it still backfired.  

Maybe you ought to accept your lot.  I really love this one.  Not only is it a dig, but it just drips with resentment.  The implication being that I think too highly of myself and don’t exhibit enough solidarity toward my sisters who choose to stay miserable.  Is this my only option?

No one likes a quitter.  That’s true.  Better to beat a dead horse than be labeled a shirker.  Everyone has to do his part to maintain the illusion.  Think of the widespread panic if we all were to re-evaluate our relationships.

There’s no such thing as happiness.  Now that’s a downer if ever I’ve heard one.  Why don’t we all just commit mass suicide?  At least we’d be out of our collective misery.

Only men benefit from marriage.  If that’s true, why are so many women hell-bent getting to the altar?  If they knew what was waiting after the honeymoon, they’d throw back those multi-carat solitaires and invest in their own futures instead.

It’s God’s will.  When all else fails, starting quoting scripture.   You’re sure to find a passage to either absolve you of guilt or press the cause for reconciliation.  In addition to the self-righteous rush, it’s a real pleasure to condemn another.  Think of it as the ultimate trump card.

MY BRILLIANT PLAN

Posted in musings, personal, relationships, romance, writing with tags , , , , on January 25, 2009 by kimmy

I amaze myself.  How many years were spent concocting crazy schemes and goofy plans that, although solid in theory, yielded unexpected results?  Even more unbelievable was my steadfast refusal to give up.  Surely with a little tweaking, the plans would produce the visions I had engineered in my head.  Fabulous schemes made real by will alone!  Bending natural law to suit my mood!  The reanimation of dead tissue!

It’s a good thing that none of these succeeded or I’d really be out of control.  There’s nothing worse than mental gymnastics.  The cerebral exhiliration they produce is usually used as a substitute for real emotion.  Who cares about the unpredictability of feelings when provable outcomes are only a theorem away?  Safe inside my double-blind test laboratory, I can perform experiments to prove my hypothesis that the heart is an unreliable source of data and subject to quantum fluctuation.

There’s no room for that nonsense in a three-dimensional world.  Give me facts, theories and concrete evidence and I will construct a brave new world free of circuitous meandering and romantic idealism.  Who needs music and candlelight?  You can’t see a damn thing through the microscope with lighting that bad.  And will someone please tell the contralto to shut up?  I can’t think with all that racket!

Ah, that’s better.  For a moment there, I thought I might quote Byron and start openly weeping.  That wouldn’t do at all.    Hey, what’s this on my cheek. . .?

UPSIDE DOWN AND UNDER GRACE

Posted in musings, personal, relationships, writing with tags , , , , , on January 22, 2009 by kimmy

It seemed like an ordinary moment within a non-descript day.  The usual indicators were there:  hostility, suspicion and frustration.  Despite fervent prayers and non-stop chanting, the pain in my solar plexus wouldn’t let up.  The pressure was so intense, something had to be done before the combatants disintegrated into intractable heaps of dust.

Without warning the balloon burst, not with fanfare and a choir of angels, but quietly.  Before I even realized it, the deed was done and the opponents fell away neutralized.   The haze lifted and the parties regarded each other with detachment and new found respect.

Were they so weary of the stand-off that they gave up, or was what transpired beyond human reach?  It stripped away the egocentric posturing and the juvenile resentment that impaired an otherwise friendly association, and for the first time in years, perhaps ever, they stood as platonic equals.  Without the burden of expectation, they could see clearly and realize that the task ahead was not necessarily a bad or good one, but only one that must be faced with compassion.

It’s hard to receive loving kindness unless you are first willing to give it freely and without condition.  You cannot tie your gift to expectation of return.  It must be given without attachment.  You might be deeply cherishing a specific outcome, perhaps understanding, love or freedom, but none of these are obtainable through the usual routes.  The boundlessness we all crave is only found when you stop your habit of binding. 

How can you expect infinite love or joy from another if you demand prerequesites?  I want perfect love and happiness from you, but it must take this shape.   Perfection has no shape.  It exists quite happily of itself without the intervention of well-meaning but clueless interlopers who are determined to box everything in manageable piles.  

Formlessness is untidy.  We feel compelled to sweep the portions available to us into bite-sized pieces that are less threatening and more digestible.  Maybe it’s the grasping of our minds onto that which cannot be held that makes us so jumpy.  However, it’s only when you’re willing to let go of what you want that it actually comes to you.

FUBAR

Posted in musings, personal, relationships, social commentary, writing with tags , , , , , on January 4, 2009 by kimmy

If there’s a solution to this mess, I’ve yet to discover it.  I’m treading water in a garbagey pool, trying to avoid the messiest chunks that float nearby.  What is it about raging domestic disputes that pull you down, down to the bottom of the ooze?

I often wonder why people involved in intimate relationships feel so free to attack.  Does the connection give them the security to behave like idiots?  When the rings go on, the gloves come off.  And there’s no referee, unless of course the fights are waged in front of a third party. 

Why do these associations trigger the worst in us?  Can it all be reduced to that shopworn adage Familiarity breeds Contempt?

Perhaps it’s less contempt than laziness.  The bond is taken for granted and the backsliding begins.  First to go is the effort to make the connection special.  This is quickly followed by the re-introduction of offensive habits and refusal to modify alienating behaviors.  Lastly comes the defiant stance, challenging the offended party to discard her sensibilities and become a mindless participant.

Once you’ve agreed to play this game, you cannot change the rules.  Any questioning is considered betrayal.  You must continue to support the players in their ignorance because asking more of them is simply not done.  Downsize your expectations and learn to love mediocrity; it will become your closest companion.

Or, risk it all and face the trash heap.  It’s covered with all your hopes and dreams.  Picking through the wreckage is dangerous, but you might find a few that are still viable.   Do you have what is takes to revive them, or will you succumb to the guilt and reproachment for forfeiting the game?

COLORING INSIDE THE LINES

Posted in musings, personal, relationships, writing with tags , , , , , , on January 1, 2009 by kimmy

Sometimes taking the high road is a pain in the ass.  Whatever happened to operating in a consequence-free environment?  Perhaps such a place doesn’t really exist at all.

Behaviorial curbing starts early.  Mrs. Bristol, a tall brunette with matte red lips and a lacquered beehive, stood over my shoulder in first grade and complimented my artistry with the crayons.  “Kimmy,” she said, her waxy red lips bouncing together like helium balloons, “you stay within the lines so perfectly.”  It was the first time she had singled me out; that she praised my self-imposed containment only reinforced my determination to stay on the straight and narrow.

It wasn’t hard to figure out how to manipulate adults.  As long as you do as you’re told, repress your natural instincts and defer to them in all things, they will leave you alone to your own devices.  Pretending to be good is just as acceptable as the real thing.  In fact, it’s probably better since you don’t have to surrender your soul.

This mummery can last indefinitely . . . and usually does, unless you start to question the value of social disconnection.  Staying hermetically sealed doesn’t really make for meaningful relationships.  However, opening up can be frightening, especially if you don’t recognize any of the people around you.   How did you manage to surround yourself with all these strangers?  Were you completely asleep at the wheel?

Once you realize how unwitting your involvement has been, then comes the tricky part:  Reconciling new understanding to the old model.  How will those around you react?  Will they find you as foreign? 

We’ve been told that change, however small, effects everyone.  Those affected by change have two choices, either to modify their own behavior, or to fall away.  It’s easy to become impatient with those balking at adjustment; they don’t see the need for it any better than the tiresome adults of our youth that never questioned rote learning. But we are no longer children; we don’t have the luxury of shutting down and walking away.

What is our moral responsibility to another who is stumbling to catch up?   Patient spoon-feeding at the expense of self?  Maybe it’s watchfulness, learning to stay fully present and alert to the signs which indicate a successful or failed transition.