Sunday, March 25, 2007

As goes your heart...

I have "rebounded" nicely from my divorce of a few years ago, and in some ways I have surprised myself at how effortless the change has been. I have a great relation with my ex, with whom I share the care and love of our daughter. I have not suffered from the emotional hangovers associated with messy divorces, which in and of itself is quite an accomplishment; and I have met a wide variety of great people and woman that have opened my eyes to things of which I was not aware.

So last night, I am in a gathering of friends, some single, some un-happily married, some.... well, coasting through it, but none happily smitten. What a tragedy, I thought to myself. What is it about relationships that make us giddy at the onset, and eventually turns into a blase affair into the world of the average and non-adventurous. Are we that finicky? Is our appetite for instant gratification so developed that the notion of a long-term anything is untenable? Anyway, back to the party. One woman complained her husband, though a loving man, never complemented her no matter what she did. Another guy, laughed when the question was tossed about of whether or not it was possible to be happier at the latter years of marriage rather than the initial ones. I myself put to the group the following question, "did you guys get married because you wanted to?... or you needed to? (nervous laughter followed by the en masse switching from the left butt-cheek to the right one). Then the conversation sort of faded in volume in the recesses of my shaved Mellon and I began to "see" something. I know all of these people very well, to include their political/social leanings. The way I was able to forecast their replies to subsequent topics, was like shooting fish in a bucket, and all of this based on what I knew their emotional compass to be at the moment.

The topic of relationship fascinates me. Not because of the obvious human interest and self-enlightenment need, but because I can extrapolate a lot of how people feel about life, society, faith and yes, politics by just watching them interact with their spouses or partners. My parents divorced when I was 2, I was a single child, moved around a lot, always felt I was "different" than other kids, and kept a lot of my emotions to myself. As an adult, I am a divorced man, with one child, have moved around quite a bit (nomad heart), know for a fact that I am different from a lot of people (like THAT is not apparent), and keep my emotions to myself unless my daughter is involved; then its open-heart season. But it fascinates me to think that my independent streak and beliefs spawned from my instincts to be self-sufficient. I did not trust anything or anyone growing up, and that same thinking kept on with my politics and social traits. I have a select few friends, but keep them at arms-length. I am the most gregarious person in the room, yet find myself enabling others to build bridges of understanding, at the price of my own self-interest. When I look back at my youth, my choices along the way, and how I have interacted with woman throughout my adult life, I can see why my politics are the way they are.

There is no greater truth than the fact that we are a product of our present environment, our rearing, our experiences, our choices, the information we choose to inhale, and the people that we choose to emulate. But one more meaningful true-ism to me is that I had my road-map in front of me all along. As went my heart, so went my life. According to the demands I made on my wife or lover, so went the wishes I had for society and forms of government. As went my madness in trying to figure out woman (another posting altogether), so went my patience in understanding my friends and the way they saw things. My love life, or lack of it, was always a bell-weather for how I felt about everything, not just my lover. I can track this phenomena so far back that I am almost embarrassed in not seeing the pattern sooner.
The more removed I am from thinking I am ok and ready to move forward in search of the "one" perfect person for me, the more I think being single is my first best destiny. Who the hell is gonna' put up with this shit?

This is what happens when you don't watch news or read blogs of any kind for 2 straight weeks. Well, non-political ones anyway. I can't wait until April 1st, and get out of this ridiculous self-imposed political free-zone.


QuakerDave said...

I guess I'm extraordinarily lucky...or weird. Or both. We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary last August, and I can tell you with a totally straight face and with absolute conviction that I love my wife more now than I ever have. I just wish everyone else could be so happy, no matter what their circumstances.

QuakerDave said...

Oh, and it's time for you to come out of exile. I won't look at the date if you don't.

Truth-Pain said...

I'd like to think your case is not an aberration, but rather what happens when both halves find that magic connection and do it the "right" way, a term that has eluded me so far. And yes, you and your wife would have been a fish out of water in that party,... a happy couple? appalling!

(p.s. You're right about my exile, what's a few days here and there...)

Lady LD said...

The more removed I am from thinking I am ok and ready to move forward in search of the "one" perfect person for me, the more I think being single is my first best destiny. Who the hell is gonna' put up with this shit?...

Isn't that a quandry that most people (at least those single and in their 40's) struggle with. I know I have and do. Pondering the fact, "Is it worth it to stick your neck out there" or would it be better to continue on my path, happy with friends and family and concentrate on other areas besides romance.

Personally I think we're scared. We're scared to experience love, afraid of the pain it might bring, afraid of how it will affect our daily life and most importantly afraid of losing the "grip" we think we have on our current living situation.

Brooke said...

I know that this will sound cheesy, but my husband really and truly is my best friend. We have so much more in common than not! I would rather spend time with him than do anything else on the planet... And I think that, when the feeling is mutual, is the key to success!

Sure, we have spats, but heck, that's OK. Are we as hotly passionate as we were when first married? Sometimes. Sometimes not. No one can keep up that level all of the time, and I think that once you realize and accept it, you can be both passionate and comfortable.

We're coming up on eight years this September. :D

I'll have to tell you sometime about how the hubby once hung a coworker off a coat hook by his underwear (NO LIE!) for making a lewd comment about me. Now that was devotion! :D

Brooke said...

Oh, and congrats, QD! :D

And I agree... What's a few days? Unless, of course, you'd feel guilty for not satisfying your self-imposed obligation.

Obob said...

I do love my wife, there are days I would love to find a foundation they are laying to put her in, but who would take care of the kids? Plus, she makes me laugh, so I'll keep her. In my years of idiocy and drinking, always two drinks ahead of AA, I found her in my blurry state. She made things clear. And she still keeps me.
As for friends, it honestly pains me I don't see them enough, but I lack the time and energy. But they are my friends, especially my old fraternity brothers. We may not see each other for a year, we pick up at the last joke.
So TP, as you bare your soul as your "melon," you will be struck by the "thunderbolt."

Mustang said...

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Semper Fi

benning said...

Excellent thoughts, T-P. As a single guy I can also look at the choices I've made and wonder if I am seeking "perfection" in a woman, while realizing that I will never find that. What I need is a woman who will accept me with all my myriad faults, and still love me. And that I have yet to find. Thus I am alone, and reluctant to open myself to many people.

Or maybe I am still the painfully shy boy who could never summon the gumption to ask for a date lest I be rejected. *sigh*