Friday, January 26, 2007

The men and books in my life

Keith and Graham, my husband and son. At the Coney, where we have dinner every other Monday. Looking pretty much like they look.

The book: Good in Bed. I finished it this morning and it was very good and I cried.

Interestingly, there's a baby in each book--Good in Bed and The Mineral Palace, with a similar problem, but the outcome is totally different. I won't say any more in case you are going to read them.

I also cried last night. I ought to write this in Unbearable Darkness, but I guess I will write it here. Ever since my mother died I've been begging Keith to call ML, his mother. He just ignores me. "We don't talk on the phone," he says. I say, "You don't have to talk, just call her." But he won't. He doesn't understand that it's for me. My mother is gone, and I am so sad. (boo hoo, can't stop crying), and I want to touch a little mother-child love that I miss vicariously through him and her. So I wrote her a letter and made a card and printed her a picture and cried the whole time. I will go out in the mail today. It's nothing terribly special. I want to touch her, but more than that, I also want to reach through to my own my mother to whom I can no longer write. I used to write to her sometimes every day, every other day or at least several times a week and there's a hole in my life now. I can't call ML because I'd probably just cry on the phone.

I didn't cry much when I heard the news that my Mom had died. I was dazed for days. I did cry a little, but very little. Now, I am crying a lot. I feel worse rather than better, But that's probably because I am feeling. I wasn't feeling anything before.

Keith and I had a big fight last night and all of this was part of that. The crux of the matter came down to connotation and denotation. He was insisting on his right to use a perjorative word because he was using the correct denotation. I was offended by the connotation. And ne're the twain shall meet.

We got very angry. Some of that anger is still lingering around the edges, but without apologizing (both of us still think we are right), we did resume friendliness to some extent. He was supposed to take me to the drugstore to pick up yet more meds (pain pills, Tramadol), but I went by myself. I didn't know the way, living like I do in a strange, unfamiliar town, and I got lost. I did find it, after a while, and while I was there, I bought him a valentine's card and hid it where he'd find it in the morning. And one for Graham. Then I tried to go to the Library which was nearby, but I tried to turn into the exit side of the driveway and then when I realized it was a "do-not-enter one-way" driveway. I tried to drive around the block and got lost again in a maze of one-way and dead end streets, I got very scared after a while, wishing Keith were driving, because he knows his way around. But I never told him. I was gone a long time as a result of my various lostnesses.

I also didn't tell him that I had planned a big meal and had started preparing it early. I was making porkchops, home made cornbread, homemade apple-pear sauce, a veggie stirfry etc--and he arrived him with pizza. Which he and Graham proceeded to eat--and I can't eat pizza. So I ate the pork and cornbread alone in the kitchen. I was already angry with him for telling Graham he could do something that he had previously said he couldn't and not letting me know.

The word was "unavailable." He said I was "unavailable" because I couldn't hear the phone when Graham called. I was home and waiting for the call but I had the radio on. The phone is shut in the powder room. The radio was NOT loud, but just loud enough I guess that I never heard it. I had arranged my whole day around being available at that time, so I was offended by his continued insistence that I was UNavailable. He was totally unwilling to choose another less offensive word. He WANTED to hurt me, he CHOSE to hurt me and he didn't care that there might be some other kinder more appropriate way to express it. He kept repeating it and repeating it. Like it was my FAULT. I won't go into all the other things he said and I said, and the ridiculous escalation of anger over something so "trivial."

I think of "unavailable" as meaning someone who is too busy to be available for their family or too cold to be available for sex. Neither of those apply to me--I try very hard and in fact had gone out of my way to be available to Graham at that time. I try to be available to him as well. I found it particularly mean and cruel that he would purposely choose to use an unkind, hurtful and perjorative word and twist it around and repeat it loudly and meanly in a horrible voice when it was so patently untrue in regards to my INTENT and the care I had taken to arrange my day to available to Graham.

I think I may need to get my hearing tested. I very rarely hear the phone when it rings. Of course having it locked in the powder room is sort of like stuffing a pillow over it.

See, it's not Whiney Wednesday, so all this stuff should have been posted to Unbearable Darkness instead of here.

Antiwhine: It's snowing, and it looks pretty outside.

Antiwhine: Keith has to work tomorrow, so I won't have to worry about his saying anything mean to me all day.

Additonal whine: It's scary if our relationship has reached a point where I am glad when he's away. That's how I usually felt about husband #2 for a long long time. After a certain point, I was always grateful and relieved for him to be anywhere other that with me, even if it mean he was having an affair. I felt that way about husband #1, too, and was desperately relieved when he ran off with another woman. Phew. Good bye and good riddance. Hope I don't start feeling that way about Keith, but if he insists that I'm unavailable (when it isn't even true) and is mean about it, I'll be relieved to NOT be with him. I truly would prefer to be alone that to be with Keith the way he was acting last night. And to think that that person is inside the man I love is really scary and upsetting. Not that I was any angel, I wasn't, not by a long shot. But look at it this way--if I'm alone, I'm not hurting anyone. I think when fighting starts to escalate and there is no rescuing the day, being apart is kinder and gentler for everyone. Continued fighting does not help. But when I tried not talking, he said, "See, I'm right, you can't think of anything to say to defend yourself." Which wasn't true, I could think of a LOT to say. I was trying to simply stop fighting by not responding. But he continued berating me, even though I was saying nothing, until I had to leave.

Antiwhine: I really enjoyed the book, Good in Bed. It hit really close to home a number of times, but I liked it. I listened to it while I was doing my exercises, and I could tell it was nearly over, so I sat on the side of the bed and heard it to the end. And cried, tears streaming and streaming down my cheeks. Well, I meant it as an antiwhine--it was a good book!

Whine: I haven't had breakfast yet and I am really hungry. I have to wait an hour after I take my meds and then I always get busy with something.

Antiwhine: I'm going to go downstairs shortly and make myself a nice omelette. (After I do a few more things I have to do.)

Whine: He looks so sweet--and he is sweet--but inside him is a monster. I've got one too, and we aren't good at keeping them leashed. It's very disturbing to me when the monsters get out and trample everything. And each time, the rhetoric gets worse. Crueler. And we didn't even get any good sex afterwards to purge ourselves. (Or any bad sex, either.) And I still haven't eaten breakfast.

Antiwhine: There must be something good. Hey: right now I have almost no pain. My pain is significantly better at this moment. There. Something good. :-)

Whine: The spell-checker in blogger isn't working and I am too upset to do a good job proofing, I'm not very good at it in the best of circumstances.

Antiwhine--oh-oh--do I have to think of another antiwhine? I'd pretty much exhausted them. Keith is probably working late, 10 hours, so I probably have the day to myself. And then he'll be tired and go to bed early. Less chance for a fight to develop. And it is still snowing and looks pretty. I like trees. I like trees full of snow. OK, quick, lemme out of here before I think of more whining.

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BerryBird said...

I'm sorry, that all sounds quite dreadful. What a disappointment about the nice homemade meal you had prepared being slighted for pizza. It sounds like you guys need another phone. Is there really just the one jack in the house?

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

We have FOUR PHONES, one very loud one in the garage, but too far out to hear from the house except in the summer if both the garage door and back windows are open and I'm near one of them, a very loud one in the basement, but the house is very well insulated, one in the powder room, where the door is kept closed, and one in the study. The central core of the house is a brick-lined chimney which effectively dampens sound so that unless you are near one of the phones, you can't hear them. Keith was very upset that we received 5 calls when Grammy died and neither of us heard any of them.

We were BOTH obviously unavailable in our own bedroom.

I was terribly disappointed about the whole pizza pork chop thing and all the time I'd spent cooking and imagining a nice meal. I hope the wafer pie goes over better.

BerryBird said...


Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Oh, thanks! I needed that. Need more.

I wish Keith was here to hug me, on the one hand.

On the other hand, I'm still angry at him and he's prolly still angry at me so we might just start fightinjg again! WAHN!

Thanks for the hug. mmmmmmmm Ah!

DeAnna said...

I'm not exactly a relationship expert or anything, but it seems to me that there's nothing wrong with hoping for and appreciating a little time apart from your partner. My partner and I have these fights too, over silly things like words. We really for real almost broke up a few years ago over the difference between "reflection" and "refraction". More recently was a weeks-long, very angry argument about whether or not gravity is truly a constant. For me, I'm learning that these fights mean that we both need some space. It's not that we really are emotionally invested in whether or not the velocity of a ball remains constant at the peak of a throw, it's that we are abrading each other just being in each other's space. It helps a lot to leave the conversation and head for the woods for a day. Loving someone does not mean that you always have to like them.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Great advice, DeAnna!!! I've actually been thinking that a little time away would be good for both of us.

We are back on an even keel now, but I do think a little apce would be good.

We have arguments over science-related things like gravity, LOL! Our areas of expertise are a little different, but they overlap. And sometimes, we really go at it about some such issue. He's very precise. And hard to argue with, but NOT always right. (Of course, neither am I, LOL!)