Note: The "Trooper" in question is not actually in the military. It's a metaphor, people.

October 13, 2009

To Friends and Foes

Hi readers (and apparently there still are some of you left, which is nice to know).
First of all, I'd like to thank those of you who've sent me kind emails and left thoughtful comments on my last post. It warms my heart to think about how total strangers can connect so legitimately through a venue like this. So thanks.

But I do feel the need to clarify a few things so you know where I am these days - and where I'm not.

The Harsh Comments
As far as I'm concerned, those come with the territory of putting my life out there on public (if anonymous) display. When they come, I read them over and then put them out of my mind. Sometimes this is easier than others (during my surgery recovery, this was quite difficult). I find it is especially easy to forget about a cruel comment (whether they meant it that way or not) if I don't respond directly to it. So that's why I rarely get into back-and-forth dialogues in the comments section. But everyone is entitled to their opinion (or venting or whatever) and that's why the comments section is open to anyone.

But that doesn't mean I don't take any critical comments to heart. My ears particularly perk up with the ones delivered in a compassionate way like "I know you may not want to hear this but what about considering......." Trust me, I can tell right off the bat who is just being vindictive and who is trying to offer helpful advice. I am always up for helpful critique and there have been plenty of times when I've thought long and hard about something someone said in my comments section - and sometimes even acted on it.

The Whole Truth
Your comments also reminded me that you don't know the whole story about my relationship with Wine Guy. In fact, there's a lot you don't know. Like the fact that we do talk about marriage -- a lot actually. And I pretty much know where we stand in that department (at least for now) and choose to stay just where I am for a reason - a good one actually. I love him. (Thanks Dark Cloud Nine for helping me remember that simple fact!)

This blog is not one long cohesive narrative (like it was in our first few months of dating). Once your relationship becomes immersed into the day to day of life, there really is no narrative anymore is there? Just life. So now I select moments, snapshots in time that I can focus on and explore in my writing. That's when I start digging around in my brain, trying to bring out the feelings that popped up in that moment - whether they were valid or not. Or whether I still feel them or not. Yes, the marriage thing looms large in my mind and becomes particularly dominant with certain triggers like a friend getting married (just happened) or having a baby (several just happened), or an ex getting engaged (my last two just did). So obviously this particular subject has been nagging at me a lot lately.

I was explaining this all to Wine Guy last night (I do tell him what I'm writing about and the reactions I get from you guys) and he helped me brainstorm about how to explain what it is I am putting out there for the world to read. We were both film studies majors in college and we couldn't help but recall all those 1960s film theorists who talked about how the frame of a camera removes the viewer from the context of a situation and re-envisions another reality within its own frame. More times than not, the reality of the moment has little to do with what the camera ultimately captured-- and what the editor decided to do with it.

That's kind of what's going on here. I choose the moments that spoke to me, and capture them within the lens of my mind (often a very effective distortion device) Then I edit, adapt, revise - until there's a story that I've crafted to share with you. It's all true, but it's not Truth. If that makes any sense.

So I guess that's why those harsh comments don't bother me that much (at least no longer than a few minutes). Because the people that come in and start making judgments about what they think is my life, aren't really seeing the whole picture. Only I know the entire Truth, and even that is skewed! So let them vent. Let them judge. If it makes them feel better fine. If you or I get something out of it too, even better.

Quitting the Blog
I consider it from time to time, mostly because I've been busy with some freelance writing and, combined with the writing I do all day at work, the blog starts to feel more like a chore than a hobby. But when I do find some time to sit down and write (like right now on my lunch break), I feel a sense of relief that no other writing gives me. So for now I think I'll keep it going, just knowing that I won't be updating as frequently as I'd like.

Thanks again to my friends out there. And to those of you who aren't my biggest fans, the comment box will always be there, whether you are or not.



Marni said...


I can't imagine there are people who post simply for the sake of mean, although I am sure there are some weird bitter people out there in cyberland who feel safe insulting others behind the guise of a computer screen...

For the rest of us who either know you personally, or who somehow stumbled upon your blog once upon a time, and sort of hope to see your life have a much deserved happily ever after, it is comforting to see you truly express yourself.

You are right, only you know what is truly going on between you and WG, but as a reader who doesn't know you personally, I think the impression you give, or at least that I perceive, is that you and WG are in a relationship with vastly different goals. I think it is easy to pciture you subtley and maybe not so subtley dropping hints about a future with WG that involves marriage, the 2.5 kids and the white picket fence, and it is easy to picture WG either writhing in disgust at the idea of that kind of life or simply not understanding you and your wants and needs.

Therefore, it is very comforting to know that both of you do discuss marriage and that hopefully you both will get to that point someday. Like many others, I am rooting for you both out here in cyberland, and hope you do get your fairytale happily ever after.

Marni said...

Whoa, I should have spellchecked that first before submitting...

edwina said...

oh please please dont stop bloggin! even though its not very often yours is my favourite to pop up in the reader. read it straight away.
i think what you go through is so common to many women, and helps others out there know about marriage, living together, etc etc.

Dark Cloud Nine said...

The distorted lens phenomenon I know very well. In my own writing I almost always sound sad, depressive or just simply dark, whereas in real life I am more often happy than not... But I don't write about the happy things, or very rarely, because, well, I guess they don't require as much analysis and I write about what I want to analyze further.

Anonymous said...

This was a very thoughtful and insightful post. As for the whole photo frame or slice of life phenomenon, I experienced that in a court case involving an injury. It was a bizarre experience to see what these random strangers with whom I had very little association said about me.

One person, who needed to fill out some paperwork on the phone, commented that I had "a lot of problems." I found this woman to be really stupid. I used words she didn't understand, and she also thought I talked really fast. One doctor insinuated I said "this," when in fact I checked the "not this" box, and it was in front of everyone on the paperwork. One doctor said he really couldn't answer the questions in detail because he hadn't been paying too much attention, because he had his own life to attend to, not mine. I mean, duh! Of course I don't expect him to care about my situation the way I care about my situation. Another person lied under oath saying she "couldn't recall." Because if she could recall, they would have lost the case instantly.

It was VERY interesting and instructive to try to be dispassionate and unemotional, and see things through others' eyes. This was a very stark case of virtual strangers talking about me in court, and of me trying to wrap my head around all opposing points of view. It was like an out-of-body experience. These were big judgments made from very limited and in some cases very biased viewpoints.

This blog is in some way like that, with input coming from "dirty" sources, and I use that word in the medical sense. I think in many ways the story plays out the way the story plays out, and that's the bottom line, profound or unprofound. Even if you try to think about you and WG in the future -- where will you be in 5 years? -- it's impossible. You do your best, which is all you can do. And time will tell.

But, DT, you are NOT dismissed!


Land Mines said...

I am glad you are going to keep writing. I enjoy your blog, the frankness, the reality and your views.

I rarely comment, but read all your posts. Thank you for putting aside those who are not as kind with their comments.

Take care,

Anonymous said...

Here is the thing about other people: They like to dispense advice whether it is solicited or not, and it's always based on their own life experiences. For some reason, some people derive pleasure from offering their perspective on the lives of others...and they aren't always very tactful in the process.

I love your blog. I'm in a similar situation (relationship) and I behave (in dating situations) very similarly to what you describe in your writing. Nice to know I'm not alone and I wouldn't have known that if you didn't write your blog. You have the courage to put your "neurosis" on the web...that alone is impressive.

People will always have a need to unload their negativity onto others. Keep writing...every relationship is individual because it is made up of 2 individuals-each with their own set of issues, opinions, and behavior. Anything worth having takes hard work, so stay with the blog and if you believe in your relationship, then stay in it as well.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. I have not read here in a while and just came and saw this entry. Well, I was the one who said I would break up if I were in your situation.

It was not meant to be mean. A commenter said afterward that people who write such things have not been in your situation.

That commenter was wrong. I was in your situation and wasted a lot of years. My self esteem was also affected for a long time after.

Rather than being mean, I hoped that the comment would point out that you have worth as a person and your time is precious.

I did not tell you what to do. I told you what I would do and that is due to my own experience.

Sorry you were hurt; it wasn't meant to hurt. It did seem as if you were in a lot of emotional pain and limbo.

If the advice does not apply to you or how you feel, then just ignore it. I was going by the feelings expressed in your blog. But you know WG and yourself better than we do.

Anonymous said...

I would also break up if I were in your situation. During the time I have been reading your blog and you began dating WG, I have managed to date, find a man who loved me, proposed to me, and marry me. He was so different than other men I had dated. I just knew right away that he was the one, and I could tell that he WANTED to marry me. He would even joke, "Oh, when we get married, bla bla" and initially this kind of freaked me out, but it's actually nice. Some men DO want marriage.

I hope someday you can find what you have been looking for. WG needs to shit or get off the pot. I don't care what excuses you have for him. You have made parts of your life public, and he sounds like a total douche. That's just my opinion, though. :)

Anonymous said...

I once read a piece of advice that was wise when it came to the question of whether to stay with someone who wasn't moving toward marriage.

Basically, you have to determine if the person is genuinely against the whole institution of marriage - like Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell who've been together forever.

If the person is against marriage, then it's not personal.

If the person is okay with the institution of marriage and just doesn't want to marry you, then you have a problem.

I would add yet a third option to that advice. Most men (and some women) will not marry until they feel financially sound, even if they are with the person of their dreams. So that's another thing to consider. That's just a timing issue.

Anonymous said...

There is a fourth option too.

Some people have had such a bad experience in a previous marriage or a bad relationship, or maybe their parent's marriage, that they're terrified.

I know a couple where she is about to turn 70 and he is 80. BTW, she is gorgeous. They've been married since she was 45 and it's a second marriage for both.

They've never made it a secret that they've always had a rocking sex life (even now). I always assumed that there was no hesitation to get married.

Well, she just informed me that after they dated blissfully for a year, she told him he had to make a decision or she was outta there.

He said "You're putting a gun to my head?" She said "yes". He was terrified because his first marriage was miserable and they never had sex.

But he took the plunge and both have been crazy happy ever since.

The Big Girl Blog! said...

Well, I love your blog and I think its great that you arent quitting. When something feels laborious its always good to step back, so kudos to you on that.

As you know, I understand the ups and downs of anonymously putting your life on display for people to see/judge/enjoy/whatever.

Always Reading,

p.s. "It's all true, but it's not Truth" I could not have said it better.

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