Saturday, April 10, 2010

Never Thought I'd Need A Drink At Disney Land

I used to believe that one person's biggest problem FELT as big as another person's biggest problem, no matter how different those two problems were. The removal of a wart versus the removal of pre-cancerous cysts--I was certain that if the wart was truly the Biggest problem that person had ever encountered, it must have FELT as big as the pre-cancerous cysts.

Even as I write this I begin to realize how absurd it sounds. It's simply the first time I put two such drastic circumstances next to one another and see that my theory doesn't quite hold water.

But I really started to realize that this weekend.

I went to Disneyland with my Guy and he was...out of it. Broody, moody, distant. Didn't even appreciate my sexual advances on the back of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride and just as I am about to reach for Captain Jack Sparrow's rum...he apologized. He simply said "I'm sorry. I just have a lot on my mind."

And I know he does. He is involved in a law suit right now for goodness sake. But I was frustrated. So, so frustrated.

"Why? WhyyYY can't you just be here? Now? We only see each other 2 days out of the week! And we're at freaking DISNEY LAND!" I implored him desperately after i'd dragged him Out of the theme park and into Downtown Disney since I desperately needed a drink and they just don't serve alcohol where Mickey Mouse lives.

"Because I am stressed out!" While I wanted him at this moment to look at my dejected face, sigh, grab my hand and say "but enough of that for now" and race me to the next ride....that's now what happened.

So I had to chew on this for a while. Stress? I think I understand stress. I THINK that I do.

I'm a firm believer in trying to live in the moment, during those few, very few precious moments when it is actually ok and inconsequential to do so. If you couldn't possibly DO anything about the thing causing you stress right now, then don't think about it right now! .....THis is what i've been a firm believer in.

...But, I'm realizing that it may be easy to be a firm believer in that when nothing particularly FIRM is happening in my life.

I asked a friend of mine "Do you ever feel apprehensive about seeing your guy when you know he is stressed out?"

"Stress?" She shrugged her shoulders, "He doesn't get stressed. Stress, he says, is for other people."

Wow. Wow, her guy owns his own company--one with enough money riding on it that it's got him living in one of the wealthiest areas in southern California. And "stress is for other people" he says? Apparently one of those "other people" is my guy

I am totally at a loss on this one. I didn't know whether or not to call BullShit on my guy because...I didn't know if it was necessarily bullshit. Do some people just have less capacity for stress? Or, do some people make less effort to pull themselves out of it when they actually could...Do some problems really just FEEL bigger than others? Would my friend's guy "have a lot on his mind" at DisneyLand if he were in the same situation as mine? (And I know now I am doing that God Awful thing of comparing that my guy hates..)

More importantly (I mean, I am the one in this relationship) would I, ME, deal with it any better if I were the one dealing with a lawsuit?

I think my real question is, is my theory all Bullshit? Can we, if we want to, pull ourselves out of stress and IN to moments? Or are there some times when that is just beyond us?

Are some people just born with less capacity for stress?

Here I am bouncing around and DisneyLand trying to get freaky by robot pirates and I do have a research paper to begin, blog ideas to come up with for my internship, a story to write for my workshop...etc.. you get the point.. I have stresses, obligations, who doesn't ? But they begin TOMOROW. but not today.

but....will it all not be quite so easy when things get a little more...well...firm?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

If You Won't Let Me Love You, At Least Take This Pillow

Is love any different than just plain sympathy?
I'm beginning to notice the kinds of moments that make me feel in love. I think every time I see some one suffer a little, but willingly, i all a little bit in love.

But I have to see the suffering, and the person must be silent about it. No complaints. Like when a person gets up at 4 in the morning to drive me to the air port and they yawn and say "oh, it's fine" but I can see it in their face, when they don't think i'm looking, that pitiful, bleary-eyed face that seems to look forward at the street lights and ask "am i dying?"

It's not necessarily suffering in the service of kindness that makes me fall a little bit in love either. The pure act of holding one's temper--that makes me fall a bit in love. Because, well, it can feel so. damn. good to lose your temper, can't it? It's like a relief and sometimes holding it in is suffering.

My poor boss at work today had to explain something to me about ten times, and it was the end of the day, and everyone was leaving, but I just couldn't get a hold on the concept. And he would just give me a tired smile and say "ok" and begin again. And I just wanted to hug him.

I think it is my instinct to fill in the comfort that he didn't provide or take for himself at that moment. Offering a little soft pillow when he was willing to do everything the hard way.

"Marry someone who is kind" is my professor's advice. Kindness, true kindness, tends to look just like suffering. I mean honestly--being being, spiteful, condescending, temperamental--that's easy! It is absolutely no struggle to be those things. No struggle means no suffering.

Kindness requires suffering, and I think our impulse (or at least mine) to love feels about the same as sympathy.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Can Piano Concerts Reduce Infidelity?

I underwent a little interrogation by a friend the other day.

She was telling me about all of the events she and her boyfriend attend; piano concerts, book readings, art exhibits by artists they follow etc..

I nodded and said "mhmm. mhmm." But that's all i had. I didn't have similar stories to share and well... I didn't mind that.

But she did.

"Does your"

"novels?" I responded. "no."

"Oh. Well, what does he read?" She was trying to hide her disapproval.

"books on photography, and finance. he is a commercial photographer afterall."

"Oooh. Well that's good." She can't even look me in the eye at this point, but continues into her lap "I just...I couldn't date someone who wasn't a literary person or wasn't into music and just...the same things. I think it would would just lead me cheat on him! You know?"

No. I did not know, but I felt that she was trying to get some sort of confession from me that I had been tempted to cheat before, or atleast thought about it.

But I hadn't. And my guy is not a "literary person," and we don't attend piano concerts. We sit side by side and play the same cheezy Broadway ditties in the piano book he still has from childhood at his parent's home. We roll around on the floor with the dog. we sleep, we eat, we have sex. Sometimes we just lay together and say nothing. We've been doing this for four months.

"Does it bother you...that we don't do those things?" my guy asked when i reitterated my conversation with the friend.

"No!" I exclaimed. And I meant it.

But what do others think? Is it common interests that keep couples together? Or common traits? Or....common morals?

Either way. My friend and her "literary person" broke up. She cheated on him.