Monday, November 17, 2014

Time and Connections

Relationships.  I think I have always sucked at them.
It’s difficult for an introvert who lives 75% of her life inside her head to blast outside her skull enough to really do justice to a connection with another person.  Hard…so hard to go from implode to expand.  It takes a monumental effort of will.  Constant pep-talking and second-guessing and trying to keep yourself going in the face of uncertain results…  So much easier just to not bother.  The older I get, the easier THAT gets—the not bothering.    
And then there’s this:   when you do it, when you actually make contact…or you think you have…you expect WAAAAY too much in return.   
Maybe nothing less than an eternal commitment.  Maybe an understanding and at least a pat on the head for the herculean effort it took to put yourself out there. 
People come and go out of each other’s lives all the time.  I know that’s the way of it. 
But for those of us (those of me?) for whom investment in a relationship costs almost more emotional capital than we possess, the parting is so difficult.  It’s like, once we finally get the connection flowing, it’s hard to shut it off and reel in the cord.  Because it’s not just a little skinny extension cord.  It’s a big, herkin’ 220-volt rubber-encased cable that has the capacity to transmit more emotion and attachment than any normal person would want with another.   You don’t reel those in and out with wild abandon.
And that says nothing of the tangle of cables, wires, ropes and pulleys that develop over three decades of marriage.  Nearly all of which were broken, severed or seriously frayed between July 1, 2006 and May 10, 2011. 
But, you know…we’re working on it. 
Or maybe we’re not so much working on it as that the connections are finding their way back together through the kind of magnetic attraction that develops between two people who live together for a very long time.  And we have finally—after 3 ½ years—learned to leave them alone and quit yanking them away again when they get close to reconnecting.
I write this because it struck me, the other day, how long this reconnection has taken.  How many months had to go by before I could once again feel as if my husband does not just stay with me out of loyalty or the constraint of the wedding vows or just pure inertia.
There is at last that glimmer of recognition that we do actually still like each other.
A little more time…a couple more months or years…and we might find ourselves in love again.

Friday, November 7, 2014


I'm going to get this off my chest (you knew I had to) and then I'm going to pick my chin up and move on.

I’m fifty-nine years old.  I’m not saying I’ve seen everything, but I’ve seen a lot, when it comes to American politics.  I’ve seen a president murdered.  I’ve seen the National Guard shoot into crowds of young protesters.  I’ve seen Teflon Ron shmooze his way through an eight-year tenure jam-packed with scandals, secret ops and behind-the-scenes end-runs around Congress and the American people, come out at the end of it smelling like a rose, then suspiciously come down with Alzheimer’s and go into hiding upon his retirement.  (Sorry…I never bought the Alzheimer’s thing, but that’s a different rant whose time is long past.)   

I’ve seen Congress endlessly hound a bright, promising young Democrat, ultimately treating the American people to the disgusting circus that was the baseless impeachment proceedings that rendered useless the final two years of his administration.

I’ve seen the George W. Bush administration.  Enough said.

But, having witnessed all of this, I can say without blinking that the past four years have been the worst I’ve seen in my entire life. Because it is in this time that the government of the United States of America completely ceased to function. It was rendered utterly powerless.

After 9/11, we pumped our fists in the air and screamed we would never allow “the terr’ists” to bring down our government; then we grabbed the dagger out of their hands and plunged it into our own heart. 

So now the fractured hodge-podge of nutty extremists that is the sad remnant of the once-proud GOP has “regained” control of the Senate (as if their obstruction tactics had not controlled it for the past four years even though they were the minority party.)

For all the world, it looks to me like the captain of the ship—the guy that rammed her into the iceberg—has grabbed the wheel just in time to pilot her to the bottom of the sea. 

I don’t know if things could get much worse than they have been the last four years.  But I am NOT looking forward to the next two.