Friday, March 16, 2007

Just the facts

Today I had occasion to use the fax machine, which lives outside the door of one of my older, male colleagues. I don't talk to him very often, but he's a nice, unpretentious man and he has a couple of kids. Since I've been working here (going on eight years), his daughter graduated from college, married a man and had a baby. As I glanced at him, sitting and reading at his desk, I thought about how it seems so easy for other people--they meet, fall in love, get married, have kids, like it were a normal, everyday thing. And it is. But not for me. Poor, poor me. Honestly, I don't know why it's so hard. Nothing I do seems to make a damn bit of difference. I still pursue the same old, hopeless paths I've always pursued. Yet, objectively, I'm not as screwed up as many people out there, so what's the hold up? Many people less interesting and desirable than I (and many more interesting and desirable) have managed the marriage and kids thing--so what's my problem? Exactly how is it that my approach is skewed just enough that these things are not happening for me? Could someone please give me the answer already so I can get to work fixing things? Then again, maybe it's not a personal issue at all. It's just demographics. Age, education, etc., conspiring against me. That's a little easier to take.

I was talking with a friend the other day about the situation with Kansas, and she said, "But don't you know that you deserve someone who is capable of giving you his full attention?"

I know the answer is "yes" but the first thing that occurred to me was, "Where is this person, willing to give me his full attention? And, in the meantime, isn't some attention better than none at all?" I didn't say that. Instead I said, "I don't really want a boyfriend right now." I have no idea if that's true, but it stopped the conversation dead, which was the point.

I continue to struggle with the blog as a place of self-expression. Why? Because my mother is reading (hi Mom). Evidence? We haven't spoken since I got my stomach test results back the other day, but she sent me a link to an article today about hernias. She also said she'd rather talk to me about such things and wished that I would call. Well, I wish that I would call too, but I don't want to talk to her. Why? Because she's reading the blog. I know, I know, the blog is public and I told Mom about it and so it's my funeral if she reads. But as you may or may not recall, I never gave her the address of the blog. I wanted her to know about it, because it's important to me, but I didn't want her to read it. She found the address through a web quirk and took that as license to read. Then I asked her not to read and she didn't for a long time, but (secretly?) resented me for making that request. We argued about it and I told her to do whatever she wanted, to read if she wanted, FINE WITH ME. But it turns out, not so fine.

It's not as though I wouldn't tell her about almost everything I write about eventually. I would and probably in even greater detail. Though, perhaps, with different details. Would I tell her that I'm kind of dating two guys? Possibly. Would I give her more details about Kansas than I'm sharing now? Probably eventually, but not in real time. I have a way of sharing information with Mom that I'm comfortable with, and this is not the way. And I know it seems insane that I feel my privacy is invaded, but I do. I also, well, I also understand (or think I understand) how parents worry about their kids and I want to protect my mom from that worry. Out here, I'm pretty exposed and it's just a bit too much for Mom. No, not for the actual person that is my mom, I'm sure she can handle it. But I want to shield the mother that exists for me, as her daughter. It's selfish, it's more about me than her, but that's how I feel. I have a need to protect that relationship, to control it, even if Mom doesn't feel the same way.

Perhaps if I had a different kind of blog or a different kind of relationship with my mother, it wouldn't matter. But I don't and neither one of those things is changing any time soon.

Perhaps this dreary post is appropriate for the dreary winter-like day we're having. I will, at least, leave you with two positive things:
  1. The purple scarf is finished and I'm wearing it today. It's not nearly as ugly as anticipated. Fancy yarn helps.
  2. Carolina won and Duke lost. Awesome first round tournament so far. Go Heels!

I'll grant this post was a long way from funny, but I'll get back there soon enough, I'm sure.

Grateful for: scarf-appropriate weather.

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