Tuesday, September 30, 2014

on being this age: a rant

be'jeezus! what is it that you need in a mate at this stage of your life, when you've had your babies, when your career is flourishing, when you know who you are, when you have good friends, solid friends, the sort of friends that show up for you. what is it exactly that you need from a mate? i think it's this: someone who's as in it as you are. what do i mean by that? i am so done running around after someone. i truly believe -- and this may sound arrogant -- that i'm worth it. hard not to sound like a l'oreal ad, but let's face it, i'm not high maintenance, or a princess, or need to be fed bonbons, but if i'm willing to put in the effort, i need to be with someone who's equally as psyched to be there too. so to be put in second place, to not be thought of, to be denigrated to an "ordinary" status is dull. my girlfriend says, don't react. lie on your bed and take it. let it run through you. don't react. and i say, i don't need that at this stage of my life, to be lying on a bed, gritting my teeth, trying not to react when i could be walking hand in hand with someone who loves me, smiling, looking at trees, breathing in the beauty. nah. it's not worth it. it's just not. you bend, you bend, you bend, you grit your teeth, you bend, you have a moment of bliss, you bend more, and soon you realize you're in a knot. you're not walking tall. you're pretzelled. nah. that's not okay. it's not okay. it doesn't matter how good the in between is or how lovely they are for short bursts, it doesn't matter one bit. walk with me. take my hand. be there. don't make me ask. don't put me in that situation. and whatever you do, don't me feel ordinary. i'm really not prepared to be ordinary. not yet, anyway. i don't want to be hidden. i want to be paraded around like i'm someone to be proud of. i want to go get matching tattoos of peacock's feather, like my friend C did, in Paris, last week. and a year ago i would've said, what? and now I get it. tattoos. mad. ridiculous. painful. and brilliant. walk with me. be my love. don't make me feel ordinary.  capisce? it's not that difficult. love me. treat me well. be kind. that's all.

“Perhaps the feelings that we experience when we are in love represent a normal state. Being in love shows a person who he should be.” -- Anton Chekhov


LPC said...

I just wanted to feel like the prize. I didn't know that's what I wanted, but it was, and then it happened.

It's out there.

Miss Whistle said...

yes, that's it @lpc. that's exactly it. xoxo

Anonymous said...

I wonder...is he an addict? Sober now? Sounds like one I knew...off
and on - the great times kept it going, the lulls, the forgetting me were excruciating. You're worth it. s

Katherine C. James said...

I am not sure I want to be with another person after the end of my marriage, but I do understand what you desire. The end of my marriage was protracted, exhausting, complicated by other circumstances, and painful. I realized my husband, who had done all the things to make it seem like I was the prize, was superficially doing those things with physical affection, cards, love notes, flowers, gifts, and talking about how wonderful I was to me and everyone around us, but underneath there were subtle signs, things that are obvious in hindsight, that all was not well. I was so very unhappy, but I was ignoring my own feelings and trying to shoehorn myself into happiness because I thought I should be happy. I am relieved to be shut of my ex; I am surprised how quickly I went from upset to past him once the divorce was final. He was a symptom of things I needed to change. He was proof I did not value myself.

It has been 14 years since my dad died, and I realize that my dad loved my mom as @lpc says, as his prize. Last year, I read love letters from times they were apart early in their marriage that I found in a box of things I sorted through when I closed my mom's house for sale last year. What stood out for me was my dad's admiration for, and pride in, my mother. It was evident in those early letters, it was evident as I grew up, and it was evident at the moment of his death, with my mom on one side of his bed in his ICU room and me on the other. My mother did not bend herself to fit to my dad. He understood her, and his understanding included her flaws; he cherished her as she was. My dad embodied what a therapist told me about love when I was trying to puzzle out what had occurred that caught me, my family, his family, our co-workers, and our friends so off guard when my husband shut off like a faucet: she said do not gauge love by what someone tells you about how they feel about you, instead, watch what they do daily to demonstrate that love.

In the book, Alice, when Calvin Trillin talks about his wife after her premature death, he says a young woman wrote to him about a potential husband of whom she was wondering, "But will he love me the way Calvin loved Alice?" I do think being the prize, beloved center, partner, equal, is all that makes the daily connection to another person worthwhile. I hope you find it Bumble. I do think, as @lpc said, that the person is out there. I think you will encounter them as you live your rich life. (Someday I will write a succinct reply to one of your blog posts, but right now I'm still traveling in an upward spiral that contains a lot of words.) xo.

Anonymous said...

I have been there in the 'can't live with, can't live without' that makes you equally miserable in both phases. when it happened to me, after far too many years, I had a little revelation which was: you are not going to leave this man right now so give in - this is different from 'don't react'. (think surrender, like you do in yoga) love, or desire, or whatever binds us to someone is like a river, there are rapids, and shallows, and sooner or later it runs into the sea. so give into the flow, let it take you, ride the pain and enjoy the pleasure, because one day, without you making any effort at all, it will simply let you go. i put my man in metaphorical brackets - that is i stopped paying our relationship so much attention, and i attended to me - friends, work, the smell of coffee in the morning, writing - and once 'i' had developed some kind of separate identity the letting go happened. (I think one of the reasons we fall into these relationships is because after a long, tightly-bound marriage, we are so frail in our separateness. It takes years to develop an autonomous self after a long marriage. You are doing great Miss Whistle, and you are a very good writer (I'm the Rilke lady, by the way, was thrilled to see it tweeted about,)

Marcheline said...

The odd thing I've found is that there are men who are financially successful, and there are men who will love you the way you want to be loved. But I just don't think those two things coincide. The best relationships I've had were always with men who barely made a dime. The ones with money were jerks. Of course I married the one that I can't live without, the one who loves me like crazy, even though we will struggle with finances until the end of time. I guess what I'm saying is - there's no prince riding up on a white horse who has all the bells and whistles. To find the perfect relationship, you have to know ahead of time what you're willing to give up. No one rides for free.