The Great Compromise

How does one write a brilliant yet understated blog full of sentiment and worthwhile down to earth advice? It’s difficult. And time consuming. And for one that always has the last word…It is less than comical how long it can take to find the words to write even a single entry. Life intervenes as it will, and we are at the mercy of it’s tirelessly ridiculous never-ending distractions. And I am human. Mostly. Just like most of you are, mostly.

That being said. There has been much to report in the days since last we spoke. I will gladly get to those things, once Spotify would kindly stop pausing mid-song during my listening to the everlasting,ever hopeful, gloriously underwhelming rhythms and sounds of

Which for optimal listening pleasure, is best enjoyed using headphones, and in the dark. Or by tape deck should you have one. And should have you have tight pants, bangs you have to “Roxberry” style head-bob (I made that word up) out of the way and a cellular device you can mute to passive-aggressively announce your anti-social tendencies…

You will be all set, and ready to write. Or cry. Sometimes I choose crying. But only on the inside. Karate man only cry on the inside! (Eddie Murphy anyone?) (Bueller…?)

Okay. Screw it. I’m a writer! A writer writes! Always! The night was moist…

This blog was originally supposed to be about a boy making his way through the complicated, overrated , overdramatized, dating stages of life. A courageous adventure , an epic, a tale of such gargantuan proportion and complexity of the unknown, inner workings of dating at large, that not only could my readers live vicariously through me , but could help to come to avoid the pitfalls that would most certainly bring upon a swift and painful end. Hell hath no fury as a woman scorn after all. And if you don’t believe that… You’re going to need more help than I thought.  you…*cough* So. Back to my point.

Instead I find myself in a happy, healthy relationship, and to my surprise, an entirely different set of questions now lay before me. Questions I hadn’t even considered answers to, as I have felt mostly in my previous life at least, would be answers that would have to be made as I came to them. Not counting chickens before they hatched so to speak. Luckily I have no chicken eggs. Nor chickens for that matter. I’ve seen evidence of how evil and aggressive these seemingly harmless creatures can be. And as Pablo Neruda has written…

“I am weary of chickens. No one knows what they are thinking, and they look at us with dry eyes and consider us unimportant…”

I’ve been waiting to use that quote.

Anyhow. As we speak, she moves gracefully through the apartment, cleaning dishes, packaging leftovers, (that she will undoubtedly remind me to take for lunch tomorrow), and doing the many things she does that makes my life that much more special and comforting. And the questions I spoke of,  are no longer for myself, but for us as a whole. A single person has nothing to worry about.

If I felt the need to quit my job, live off of Top Ramen and Rainier, sell the fungus between my toes as art, and adopt a misshapen, hairless muskrat to call my precious… There is nothing that would stop me ( that may or may not have been me four months ago) . It was always easy enough to think for myself, and go where the wind blows. I even admired to a point, the idea of living for one`s self…

Outside of the fact, that none of it was working for me.

And then one day, it all just fell in my lap. As its said it happens..But these questions now, back to the point… Are even harder at times to answer, despite two heads being better than one. Before, I had thought that the idea of compromising was this magical give and take game, where everyone got to say what it is they wanted, and you could agree to disagree. No harm, no foul, sometimes things just don’t work out. And sometimes that’s true. Sometimes I didn’t feel the need to indulge certain habits, tangents, temper tantrums, bugaboos. That is to say, compromising isn’t the same thing as learning a situation isn’t working for you and not accepting that it needs to change…

I haven’t figured it all out. I couldn’t tell you why I let my girlfriend dress me. Or why I spend my Sundays now, watching football with a bar full of drunken hooligans ( and yell along with them ). I even watched an obviously terrible movie. On purpose. Just for her. And I did it without kicking and screaming. Not one peep. Until the end. When we both were utterly disgusted. So, that doesn’t count entirely. Anyway.

I can’t tell you why it works for me. Or if it will work for you. You can dress yourself too. I just have no sense of fashion. And sports are about as intriguing as

to me, but with a grunt, a hooray, some random indistinguishable possibly should be censored words…I can fit in ( pro tip #1 : make sure all words, noises or flailing correspond with what is actually is going on, on the television)( pro tip #2 : whooping, hollering and flat out craziness does help clear space at the bar for extra drawing elbow room).

Okay so…I can list about three hundred other things that we don’t share in common… and at the start I thought it made for more comical interactions than the things I would end up loving about us. Not to mention, how ridiculous I must sound now to the people who know me. And that is yet another topic to discuss later…Truly though, you never know what you will do for a good woman. And that’s okay by me.

What I am trying to get at is quite simple. While we are quite different, we are learning to compromise together. And compromise is not synonymous with singularity. It is actively choosing to act together. To learn together. Enjoy your differences, and embrace the changes that will occur naturally. For better. Or for weirder.

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You Know You Need A Woman When : Part Three

I apologize for tonight’s post being so late. Largely due to the fact, that I had to stuff my face. Mind you, I did not do any of the cooking. Unless of course you count pre-heating an oven, which incidentally I am fairly certain I still failed to do correctly. In all fairness however, our oven has issues. Bad wiring or some such I’m sure. None the less, the pizza was still a success. Despite being premature by three or four minutes. And the fact that I didn’t actually put it together. Anyway…

Tonight’s “You Know You Need A Woman When” has to do with style. Fashion. Or whatever you need call it…

  • You can never have enough t-shirts.
  • T-shirts are not limited to the function of under-garments.
  • Socks are worn inside of shoes. Hence, they needn’t match.
  • It should be punishable by law to have socks with holes in them. They are not stylish nor functional anymore.
  • People rarely look at my feet. Thus only a few pair are “needed”.
    • Casual
    • Formal
    • Sports
  • Keeping in mind, if the shoes you wear day to day, double or triple in purpose, superfluous shoes may be discarded.
  • Long sleeves are to be worn rolled back to the elbow.
  • The purpose of long sleeved shirts were to bunch when worn with a jacket. This encouraged consumers to buy larger more expensive jackets (it’s a trap!).
  • Pants follow the same guidelines as shoes.
  • Pants were also made to be worn several days in a row to maximize comfort. By several days, I mean weeks (see previous post about laundry)
  • Your belt should match your shoes. I’m not a heathen.
  • Ties were originally invented in medieval times, and were devices of torture not fashion.
  • The purpose of the tie, has not changed at any point since created.
  • Collars on shirts are to be worn in the down position.
  • Hats are encouraged, and are the only piece of clothing you cannot have too many of.
  • If you have glasses. They should have lenses in them.
  • If you wear glasses without lenses in them, you should stop.
  • No one has glasses size envy. If you do. You probably are part of the previous group, and should behave accordingly.
  • “Dressing down” is agreeable, and let’s face it, its whats underneath that matters.
  • “Dressing up” should be directly proportionate to the situation and necessity. You cannot spell “fun” with the letters from “dress up”.
  • Clothing should also be bought out of necessity.
  • Purchasing clothing with holes already in them (see glasses without lenses).
  • Jeans and a t-shirt has worked for me for at least fifteen years and I know nothing about fashion or style. And that’s okay.
  • If your girlfriend tries to dress you. Let her. She might not know what looks good. But she likes the way it not looking good, looks on you.
  • If your parents try to dress you…Chances are you’re not old enough to vote, and should let it happen. Free clothing is nice.
  • If you can’t dress yourself, that’s fine too. Just remember, clothing should be optional…but isn’t.

I never have found fashion nor style to be important in a relationship. And as far as I’m concerned, my girlfriend always looks gorgeous. Always deserves to be admired, desired, appreciated, and reminded everyday.

I also fully accept the fact that she soon will be choosing my clothing, and if luck will have it, will be dressing me when I am old, feeble, and have as much fashion sense as I do now. And I am lucky that she accepts that I am a mess.

You Know You Need A Woman When : Part Two

I am going to begin this post with a thought about grocery store pre-cooked “Turkey Breast”.

Don’t do it!

Now that I have quite possibly spared your life, or at the very least your internal bodily functions…I’m going to go ahead and spare you the usual ranting, and dive right into today’s “You Know You Need A Woman When”.

Tonight, I write about consumption.

  • I did it. I ate it. All of it.
  • I am a human garbage machine. I can eat anything.
  • I not only can, but do eat everything. And anything.
  • While you’re away, I will make questionable decisions regarding my diet.
  • Food that comes from boxes, bags, or plastic containers, will not be discriminated against.
  • Expiration dates are more like…guidelines.
  • Food and beverage items of question are subject to the same rigorous testing methods, and follow the same guidelines as laundry.
  • A “meal” can be composed of what typically might be considered an ingredient or side-dish.
  • If I don’t know how to cook it. It’s still fair game to eat.
  • There is food in beer, but not beer in food.
  • I make a mean breakfast, which can and will be encouraged as an option at times other than breakfast.
  • Leftovers as a whole are better served and eaten cold.
  • Yes I will have more. Always.
  • My self-control is limited to letting you have the last bite (should I feel generous…or want something in return).
  • I reserve the right to not share, trade, or substitute.
  • There are no hours at which eating is not an option. Regardless of the pain and suffering that most likely will follow.
  • I am an indiscriminate food lover and appreciator. Everything has it’s time and place.

I am what I eat. Never truer words spoken. Take me or leave me. Just a few more things to love about me, that you might not have already known.

Tune in tomorrow for another set of “You Know You Need A Woman When”!

A Weeks Worth of Whens

I have been left all by my lonesome…for a week. Though reluctant to leave me behind, my girlfriend has traveled far and wide to be with her family this coming holiday. As I have obligations to work, I could not join her, nor my own family for this week, and thus I am left to my own devices. To fend for myself. Alone. In this darkest place where despair lurks, and the sadness of a million lifetimes creeps eerily toward me and..and..and…well…okay. It’s one week.

I can do this!

I remember those years twixt eighteen and twenty-eight when there was no hope. No future. Only suffering, and pain. A place where…the darkness consumed me. The demons provoked me. Where the mailman gave me dirty looks, and my meals of microwaved dinners were always missing the dessert…

But I survived. I made it…And I can do it again. I guess. If I have to. I just..don’t know if I can..take another day..without…If only I knew the answers…to these…questions echoing in my relentless mind, driving me to…madness. One Step Beyond! (I’ll draw you a tragically lovely picture if you get the obviously unrelated reference I’ve just made)

At some point…We have to live with ourselves. And accept it (a tall order for most). One of the best ways we can do such, is learning to laugh at ourselves. So for the week my dear love is gone…I present you with :

“You Know You Need A Woman When…”

A daily collection of the things…That I have come to realize I do. And what she will have to live with and consider…for many years to come. Whenever she leaves home without me. Today’s theme is…Laundry.

You Know You Need A Woman When…

  • Laundry day! Is acceptable as a calendar event, and equally as singular as a holiday.
  • Sorting clothes into “whites” and “darks” is punishable and frowned upon.
  • Clothing does not have a black and white definition of cleanliness. But many subtle shades of grey.
  • Smell, not sight, is the determining factor of the aforementioned.
  • Matching socks does not necessarily mean both socks belong to me.
  • All of my clothes can fit into an economy washing machine.
  • Garments will be discarded and disposed of at my discretion. I will notice if they are missing.
  • If my clothes can stand on their own. I have conditioned them that way, and they must be applauded.
  • If I must conduct Laundry Day! by myself, and the clothing is not only mine, but yours as well…I will not be held responsible for shrinkage, discoloration, stains, or stress from conforming to someone else’s body.
  • I will actually be responsible for all but one of the previous occurrences in the above entry.
  • Any mysterious stains, tears, or “marks” will not be questioned.
  • Folding clothing is an art form and encouraged. Wrinkles are not allowed nor welcome.

Check back tomorrow for another list of things that make me especially “special” (at least my momma loves me)!

The Sounds Inside of Us

My laundry is tumbling down the hall (Indiana Jones style). The ever amusing, hardly efficient, “Comfort Zone” system is spewing heat and lord knows what else. I try to imagine that turning up the dial to “roast slowly to death” will not only serve to heat my room (and escape Clint Eastwood style from Alcatraz), but also kill the dust mites residing in it’s humble abode. No wind. No rain. No snow (take that Michigan!). No weather to speak of. The roommates are out. The appropriately named “Deep Focus” playlist has been cued…And I hear nothing else. I now may write something. Or several somethings should time and conscious amuse.

The beauty of the noise canceling headphones is that one may sit, stagnant, lethargic, uncompromising…And remain unbeknownst to the outside world…What they do not advertise, however…

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. Gulp. Crunch. Insert strange guttural noises here. Gulp. Crunch. Slurp.

The sound of your mind! And body for that matter. I tell you, should I ever have to choose my ending, it will not be by the torment of sound produced by my internal organs. I hardly imagine I could wish that on anyone come to think of it. It feels like standing in an old once lived in home after decades have passed it by. It has a way with sound, so haunting and unprepossessing, your nerves simply cannot comprehend it…I also had a burrito for lunch, which may or may not be settling well.

Anyhow. As a constant walker, and public transportation aficionado, as many of us here in Seattleites are, you will notice most of us sport headphones of some sort (read my other blog imantisocialandilikeit.com). And while I could go into an entire article on that alone I will spare you the rant…and actually get to my point of this entry. Which has to do with internal dialogue, and never-ending rhetorical questions. You care don’t you?

I spend most my days worrying. Thinking. Over-analyzing. Complicating. I could write endlessly of the things I am not proud of. And even more so, the many times I could have acted differently and consciously decided not to. I think about the kind of person it makes me. How it hinders the progress of becoming the person I want to be. I debate what true harm I have caused, and where others would have handled the same situation more appropriately. Of course, a great deal of me at least, used to rationalize what others and myself have done simply by terms of moral relativity. Which in itself is wrong. We all should aspire to the same moral code. But I didn’t. Moreover, I selfishly decided that as long as I did not take anyone with me, then what does it matter. And the truth is that none of us has something we aren’t willing to lose. We are all bound together in some way in this world or the next.

What troubles me, is the fact that I had no hope. No plans. No idea. And when you look into the mirror each day, and realize the face looking back at you is your own. And that another day has passed. And another…The moment you figured it all out only took a blink of the eye, and the rest of your life you have…wasted. There is an inexplicable pain that follows.

Then suddenly, you are confronted with something, someone you never even knew was more than you ever dreamed of, more than you thought you deserved, more than anything you never knew you needed. Not only does this emotion exist, but what is attached to it, wants to be part of your life and all that came before it…And that pain I previously spoke of, it burns in such a way you never knew you could feel, over and over again.

Relationships are difficult. People are difficult. Life with or without them are difficult. And pain…is just more simple to accept. It seems to come more steadily. So steady, at a point you seem to forget, or unknowingly ignore that it exists altogether. You can cover it up. Bandage it. Heal it. It reminds you with lovely scars both inside and out, and never truly goes away, but somehow it comforts you. We even begin to call it “humbling”.

As in, it was bound to happen. It needed to happen. You are not by any means allowed to simply be happy! Happiness has conditions! Pain does not…Pain, is what makes you realize you can even reach this idea, this state of being only defined by a confusing, nonsensical expression “I just am”. It’s true. The amount of things in this world that give you pure joy for no reason at all, is ridiculous! It just isn’t right that you can simply enjoy life. Something has to be behind it. Something cynical, and conniving…

When you feel happiness, and you know without a doubt it is what you’re experiencing…My mind decides fear is the first and most logical course of action. Protect yourself. Brace yourself. Prepare yourself. As if you’re the only one who matters, because it is all you have known for how many years. Happiness is about more than one person. It’s about sharing, and loving, and living, protecting and giving. Sure it’s fleeting, and takes work, as all good things do. A big portion of that work is about trust, forgiveness, and understanding. We all have succumbed to pain, and have been overtaken by it. It doesn’t make us bad people, ungrateful or unworthy…It means seeing beyond the surface. Accepting the past, and greeting a future…

I look into her eyes, night after night…And I wonder who she sees. Who she trusts. Who she believes in. I am filled with fear. And regret. I wonder how she can believe in me. How she can encourage me. Day after day. How she can be patient, and understanding. Calm and comforting…I thank her of course. Daily. Though I truly believe she will never know to what depth I am thankful…I have my days, where I do not feel worthy of her, or that I am the kind of person someone should want to start a life with.

I think…And I think…And the world keeps turning. The music keeps playing. I keep walking, listening. I know the man in the mirror reminds me that who I am today is important, not who I was. The dust is settling. The rubble will be rebuilt. I have hope. I have dreams. We may be lost. But with people we love, we are found. We can believe in ourselves again.

And that’s what she does for me.