Marriage is what brings us together today

I had dinner with a friend last night, and we were talking about how we both still had to send in our rsvp for a friend’s upcoming wedding.  We discussed briefly what we each would do for our own wedding invitations, and I made a comment about how crazy it would be in the first place, if she were to receive an invitation to my own wedding.  ‘You, too, eh?’ was something like her response.  A conversation ensued about my views for myself on marriage.

It has been a recent discovery for me – meaning just in the past year or so – that I cannot quite see myself ever being able to marry.  To me, anyway, there is a sanctity to marriage that includes the line ‘no matter what’.  I do my best to say what I mean and to mean what I say in life.  And I do my best to correct what I have said, when I discover afterward that I have erred.  I believe that I could not honestly say and mean that I would be willing to commit to remaining in and working for a relationship no matter what.

To put an extreme example to this, I have read Jane Eyre.  (Have you?)  For those who haven’t read it, but intend to read it, and don’t want anything given away, ignore these next two sentences, and pick up at the bold font.  Essentially, Jane Eyre falls in love with the ward of the girl she is tutoring, and she wants to marry him, but then finds out that he can’t actually marry, because his mentally insane wife lives in his attic (or something very close to that).  So, she leaves him and is in shame for having loved a married man, the crazy wife eventually burns down the mansion and dies (I think in the fire she sets on the house), and Jane and her love are reunited years and years later, when he is old and blind (or, again, something to that effect) and legally single again.  Not that you needed so much detail, but it’s a ridiculous story, and there is no part I would be willing to play in it.  ‘No matter what’ includes ‘your spouse has gone mentally insane and tries to kill you’.  And I know that this is an extreme example, but it is merely an example.  There are a multitude of situations in which I would not want to find myself, if I couldn’t let a relationship go.  I know, too, that they are all incredibly unlikely.  But they are possible, and I would be lying if I agreed to staying together and loving one another no matter what.

This isn’t to say, of course, that I would be unwilling to share my life with someone.  I am definitely willing, should that someone come along.  I just cannot honestly say that I could ever marry that person.

Now, that is my recent discovery – one that really surprised me, when I discovered it – about marriage and myself.  As dinner was ready just as I finished explaining it to my friend last night, our conversation topic turned in the direction of food.  And so, recalling today that we hadn’t ever gotten to the ‘you, too?’ comment that began my non-marriage-details reveal, I sent the friend a message about it.  The following was exchanged between me and the friend, revealing her thoughts on her own possibility of marriage.

……………………..

H: Also, we never finished a certain conversation. I seem to recall that you had visions of yourself not ever getting married, but we never went into details on it

Friend: Definitely a conversation to be continued!
I think I’d like to find someone that I’d think about marrying. But my life is pretty great when I pull my head out of work and enjoy it! I don’t agree that there should be pressure to find someone to share your life with to make you complete. Also, I’m realistic about what it would take for me to get to that point with someone (a lot). I don’t trust new people that deeply very easily. And I don’t date a lot. But there ARE things I’d like to be better at fitting work around: horses, fitness, my dog, friend time, trips I want to take. So I’m focussing on that. If the guy thing happens, it happens. Sometimes I get a little down about it, but usually I just try to focus on all the good things and don’t worry to much about it 😁

H: Oh, my goodness.
Yes.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That’s perfection in words.
(Minus the missing o near the end)

……………………………..

And so, there you have two modern-day female views on marriage for themselves.  I hadn’t considered the topic in quite the words she used, but similar ideas have definitely arisen for me.  Yes, I want to share my life with another/others who are close to me.  No, it ultimately does not have to be a spouse.  I just don’t like living alone in the first place – I want loving people around me, supporting me and being supported by me in everyday life.  I want to share the joys and successes and failures of my own life with someone, and vice versa.  But it doesn’t have to be someone with whom I have romantic ties.  That’s part of why I loved so much how my friend listed the things she loves and on which she wants to put more focus in her life.  I believe that, when we do the things we want to do, and we go the places we want to go, we find the people we want in our lives.  (I even said something almost exactly to that effect in a video I did for a class in college, talking about one of my study abroad semesters.)  And so that is my goal in my daily life. Sure, I would love to find that someone perfect.  But doing the things I love to do, and going where I love to go, and spending my life with people I love and who love me… that’s the most important goal for me in my daily life right now.

Post-a-day 2018

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Rocks with that?

I was reminded today of how I used to have a chunk of charcoal in my water bottle.  I haven’t thought much about that at all recently, (however, I might start doing it again) but apparently the lacrosse team I used to help coach thinks of it often.

First off, the charcoal in the water bottle is something I learned from Japan, though, via my brother before I moved there (and then it was emphasized while I lived there).  It has to do with cleaning up the water, essentially, from what I recall.  (Note: It is not drinking charcoal mixed with water.  It is a stick of this specific charcoal that sits in the water bottle, so that its pores can absorb unwanted stuff from the water.)

Anyway, so I had this stick of charcoal in my water bottle.  I carry my water bottle pretty much everywhere with me in life, so lacrosse practice was included back when I was coaching (and teaching).  Apparently, one of the girls has held on to the fact that I had ‘some kind of rocks’ in my water bottle, though I have doubts as to whether she recalls what the ‘rocks’ actually were (the stick had broken in half, so there were actually two pieces in the bottle, instead of one, but they didn’t really look like rocks).  In memory of my water bottle, in a sense, that particular girl regularly drops rocks into other people’s water bottles, telling them that it is healthy, and reminding them of how I did it.

Yes, my wonderful lifestyle rubs off in the best of ways.  😛  I guess it gives us a new meaning for ‘on the rocks’, now.

Post-a-day 2018

from nothing to nuts

Tonight, I am well and good exhausted.  Why is it that plans all happen right around the same time as one another?  For weeks, I grow lonesome in the world, with everyone being unavailable or uninterested in doing anything together, and my having loads of free time.  And then, the one week that I am suddenly booked for work, so many things happen, and people reach out wanting to do things.  Of course, I want to go do those things with those people, and so, even though I don’t do them all, the ones I do do are totally exhausting after the already booked work schedule of the week.

Crazy.

Also, I love this scene from “Clueless”, a movie based on Emma, a novel by Jane Austen.  We talked about it tonight while having more cobbler and ice cream back at the house, after midnight, and after we’d already gone to a play-plex to be semi-children for the celebration of our birthdays.

Post-a-day 2018

My life in a novel

I feel like pieces of my life – almost every day – could be parts of a Sophie Kinsella novel.  Perhaps that is how she writes her novels; she combines all the ridiculous bits of her own life, with the plot of a made-up person’s life.  Even if she doesn’t do that, I think this is good enough validation for me to do that myself.  I mean, let’s be real here: I’m wearing a would-be engagement ring around these days, as though it’s no big deal, and I’m about to start telling people about how amazing it actually is, and how I think it’s a great thing for women to try at some point when they aren’t actually engaged.  How is that standard white bread normal?  Plus, wouldn’t that be a great part of a book about smart yet silly, somewhat crazy girl in her mid-twenties?  Exactly.  I need to start writing my own Sophie Kinsella novels.  She has inspired me and shown me that my life has just enough ridiculous for such a story.

Post-a-day 2018

Teatime with the girls

A sort of short story about a girl’s casual, 30-second train of thought.

……………………………………………..

“…I go on a job interview there, and that’s how we finally meet up, and discover that we really do like one another in a dating capacity.  And so, I start working over there, and we start dating.  That’s easy enough, you see,” says Eliza.

“Okay…” replies Karen speculatively.  “And then?”

“Well, and then we realize that we totally love one another,” continues Eliza, “and we’re ready to get married.  But the question is whether we get married here or over there.  If we got married there, it would be totally classy and cool, but then all of my family and friends here likely would miss out.  But then, I think, what people here do I really care about having at my wedding?  Most of them would be invited only so I could show off my amazing husband and wedding to them, anyway.  And wouldn’t it be accomplishing the same thing by getting married in Europe instead, where my husband is from?  It shows how he’s exotic, and so am I, getting married over there.  Plus, then all the ladies could wear their fabulous hats and everything would be so chic and practically straight out of some fashion magazine.
“I would have a dress that is inspired from the princesses’ wedding dresses in London over the years, with a hint of French flare and loads of my own personality, all tied together beautifully and stunningly.”

Karen cuts her off, “You have the dress planned already?”

“Well, I’m not sure about the whole thing exactly, but I know how the sleeves would look, and they’re spectacular and classy.  And YES, they do exist, despite all this recent fashion of sleeveless wedding dresses.  So not my style.”

Karen shakes her head, and takes a sip of tea as Eliza continues.

“Anyway, so that could be cool.  And we’d have a super-fab old Church for the wedding, and that would be amazing and not cliché, because it’s actually just normal in Europe.  But then, we’d have to have some kind of something here in the US afterward.  I’m not sure what, exactly, but something to celebrate specifically with everyone here who couldn’t make the trip.  But nothing lame.  Too many people do a lame ‘Oh, we couldn’t invite all of you to the wedding, but we still want to celebrate with you’.  Aka ‘Give us presents, even though you weren’t good enough to be invited to the wedding.’  Not to be harsh, but you get the point…”

“Who’s she talking about?” whispers Lorena, who has just returned from flirting at the tea bar.

“The guy from the photo I showed you yesterday,” replies Karen, sighing.  Lorena accepts this, and begins to process what Eliza is saying.

“Then we’d continue living over there, and it’d be perfect, because it lines up with my wanting to live over there, and we’d be so close for an easy trip up to visit Christine and her husband whenever we wanted for a long weekend or whatever.  Or I could go alone super easily.”

Astounded, Lorena cuts in, “You mean you’ve already decided on wedding plans with this guy?!  You haven’t even gone on a date, yet!”

“He hasn’t even asked her out,” chuckles Karen.

Only slightly defensively, Eliza replies cooly, “Well, if we can’t agree on a wedding location and place to live, then it isn’t really worth bothering dating in the first place, now is it?  We’d be wasting our time if we knew so soon that it never would work out, yet went forward with it all, anyway.”

“She has a point,” allows Karen, raising her eyebrows.

After a pause, Lorena replies, “True…  I still hold that you’re nuts, Eliza.”

“I’ll second that,” throws in Karen.

“Third it!” laughs Eliza.  “Oh, I know I’m totally nuts.  That’s why it’s so important that a guy and I be compatible through and through before we bother starting anything.”

They erupt in giggles and laughter, enjoying the ridiculousness of the conversation, and knowing how true Eliza’s statement really is.

“Weirdo,” says Lorena, playfully.  “Okay, let’s have some lunch.  I’m hungry, and now all I can think about is smoked salmon…”

The other two frown questioningly at her.

“What?  You were talking about weddings.  Weddings always make me think of smoked salmon.”

“Weirdo.”

“Total weirdo.”

Lorena laughs, “Whatever.”

……………………………………………..

Post-a-day 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tying up dirty boys with grammar

Changing laundry from the washing machine to the dryer (It’s a machine, I know!!!!!!!*), I saw a towel on the floor between the two machines.  It was originally intended for the load of red shades earlier today, but the load was too large for comfort, so I pulled out the towel.  I left it on the floor, because a towel load needed to be done today or tomorrow anyway, so why bother bringing it back upstairs just to bring it back down only hours later?  But that isn’t the point.

The point is (sort of) that I saw the towel sitting there, and I had an almost-urge to pick it up and put it in the dryer with the laundry I was transferring.  Not that I wanted to put it in with the clean laundry, but that, usually, whenever something is on the floor there, it is because it has fallen in the transfer between the two machines.  So, I simultaneously wanted not to touch the towel, to put it in the dryer, and to move it to the dirty towels upstairs (since I wasn’t doing the final two loads tonight, but doing them tomorrow).  And, for a good moment, I was worried that I would pursue the final of the three, and accidentally fulfill the second in my tiredness and in the middle of routine muscle movements, and then wish for the first.

I managed to let go of having to deal with the towel now, and I left it on the floor, for fear of the second result.

As I thought about that possible second result, I was practically distraught at how it would ruin the fact that I had already put the load of clothes on to wash.  By putting one single towel in the dryer, I thought, an entire load of laundry would be considered dirty.  Now, why doesn’t that work the other way around?  Why does one piece of clean laundry not make a load of dirty laundry clean, when mixed together?  The dirty still win out.  And how come a whole load of clean laundry can’t overpower the one dirty article?  The clean just can’t overcome.

And then – now, this is the point of this all – I wondered about what is life is like this, if anything.  Almost immediately, I thought about gender pronouns (and particularly in Spanish and French, because I learned those first).  It’s just like guys and girls.  A group full of guys, the dirty clothes, is (let’s use French) ils.  Add one girl, the clean clothing, and it stays ils.  A group full of girls is elles.  Add one boy, and it becomes ils.

So, no matter what, if there are any boys, it is ils, dirty.  The only way to keep it elles is to have only girls – no boys allowed.

And how odd that the boys are the dirty laundry and the girls are the clean… so like life, and I hadn’t even intended it to be so.**

Anyway, isn’t all of that fun?!  Towels to grammar to life comparisons – I do lead an extraordinarily interesting life, huh?  😛

 

 

*Japan doesn’t exactly do dryers.  People are expected to hang clothes outside, because every has a stay-at-home wife, you see… not.  Everyone used to have a stay-at-home wife, but the lifestyle hasn’t changed.  It just takes days and days to do laundry as a solo-liver, because weather can decide to soak your clean clothes while you’re off at work, or hide the sun from them, or be too humid for them to dry at all until they start to smell of mildew…  I just hung mine all indoors, because I’d heard too many stories from my brother’s issues.  Plus, supposedly people steal women’s underwear from the drying clothes in Japan.  I didn’t need to deal with any of that nonsense.  So, I set my air conditioner to a daytime setting to keep the apartment mildew-free, which also helped dry my clothes!

** I once wrote a poem about how boys are dirty.  I didn’t exactly believe any of it, but I knew that people thought boys were dirty and smelly, and I rolled with the idea.

Post-a-day 2017

It really is all relative

Tonight, I was reminded of a girl I met, while I was living in Toulouse, France.  She was in school (high school, I believe), and doing a temporary internship at the place where I was doing my volunteering.  She was from a small country that was at war (and it might still be, but I haven’t kept up with the news).  She had a boyfriend and a baby of her own, in addition to a younger sister, I believe.  She taught me much.

What I was discussing with my mom tonight is how relative things are in life.  Just as in Aesop’s last fable today, with the bunny rabbits about to drown themselves in their exhaustion of living in fear, and suddenly discovering the frogs at the pond afraid of them, causing them to realize that someone had it worse off than they did, so is life.  No matter what one’s struggles and turmoils, there’s always someone worse off.  And I feel like our turmoils and struggles are saddening next to the real turmoils and struggles of other parts of the world.  This girl spoke to me about her country of origin, and how they moved to France.  And, when she spoke about it all, it were as though she were telling me about a class project, or how she went grocery shopping yesterday.  Those, however, were not the subject matter.  What I remember most of her story, is how people broke into her house one day/night, beat up her parents (and possibly her, too), and then took her father.  Her family tried offering money as a ransom for her father’s return, but no information was even received regarding her father – they never found out if he even was alive or dead, or who had taken him.  Just some men, she’d said.

I mean it that it were as though she were telling me about what she did yesterday after work/school.  She was not sad in her words, nor was she hauntingly depressed in her eyes or spirit.  She was living life as I was, and merely sharing about something.  ‘Yeah, I don’t know where Josh went after dinner, but he left.  We called him, but never got a response.  Maybe he went home, instead of coming for coffees with us.’  That’s was the easiness with which she spoke – no premeditation or practice.  It was just what’s so, and so that was how she told it.

I say a prayer for the world tonight.

Post-a-day 2017