Sunday, January 6, 2008

Silence is Acquiescence

Just as a point of order, I did not forget to write everyday so far this year. I JUST DO NOT SHARE.

So, yesterday I am flipping through the channels. Why find a job, or work on my house, or go out and actually talk to people when I can curl up in my bed with 6 blankets, and two cats, and a laptop, and a book, and channel surf? This is America! I have the right to be an anti-social misfit. Plus it is colder than a warlock’s weenie here. I’ve never felt up a witch, so I don’t know the witch tit temperature scale. Then I stumbled across Oprah, talking about what you can do to help yourself, or to help someone you know make a plan to leave a bad marriage. Now, the only thing about which I endeavor to keep my mouth shut more than sharing my opinion about other people’s relationships, is sharing my opinion about their children.

A long time ago one of my friends announced she was going to get married to her boyfriend. Our little group of friends was shocked. I distinctly remember that after she called me and talked to me, I left my house to go visit some other friends. When I got there the first words out of her mouth were "Did you talk to Annie?" And I said; "Yeah, what’s up with that? He was supposed to be the temporary rebound guy until she found a real boyfriend." We were all really shocked and could not understand why our beautiful no really beautiful not pretty, not cute, like certifiably, undeniably beautiful, smart, fun, witty, loveable and loving friend was marrying this beer swilling dumbass who was less cultured that supermarket yogurt. My friend’s announcement of her impending marriage led to one of the few occasions on which my parents not only gave me advice, but upon which I took it. I had told them that I had no idea how I was going to go to my friends wedding and be a nice happy supportive friend when I thought she was making a huge freaking mistake. My Mom said; "You tell her you love her, and how special she is to you, and that you wish for her to have a long happy marriage. Then you go to her wedding and get really fucking drunk, and have a good time." My Dad said; "Yup, that covers it, because it is all true, you do want her to have a good marriage, you do not have to be specific about the husband part. Maybe this dumb ass has some cute friends who will amuse you." To be honest this advice worked out pretty well. The beer swilling dumbass did, and still does, have some cute friends. My friend’s marriage is not one I would want for myself. They have had a lot of bumps along the way. But, they both have decided to be with each other, and to have a family with each other, and that they are in it for the long haul. The beer swiller has ALWAYS taken care of her financial and material needs and desires, and he is a nice Dad. He’s still a puts though, but it turns out my friend kinda has a thing for the nuances of putzhood. So based on this experience, I have always tried to keep my mouth shut. Just because I think your husband or wife is a revolting fuck face does not mean that he or she is not the exact breed of revolting fuck face that you need to float your boat.

Stumbling upon this particular Oprah really made me think about my sister Holly Hobby. I never liked Holly Hobby’s husband. No one in our family ever did. None of her friends ever liked him. I have never understood why she, or anyone, would be attracted to him, much less wed and breed with him. He never hit her, the first and last time he ever yelled at her was this past summer when they had a major blow out and finally decided to get divorced. But I never liked the way he treated people in general, and her in particular. He treated her like a second class citizen, like he was doing her a favor. He talked about the scar across her skull from ear to ear like it was a flaw, and abomination, something that made her less than that he tolerated out of the goodness of his heart. He never became cognizant of the fact that having such a serious illness that you have to literally have your skull cracked TWICE as a child might be something about which to admire her. To maybe discuss how terrifying it was. How it was hard to know what was going on back then. How it felt, what it was like getting better. How much of a big fucking deal it is, how proud he is of her to have overcome such a traumatic experience. He was too busy whining about getting allergy shots when he was a kid. He held her past history with men and drugs and drinking against her even though he dated strippers, fucked prostitutes, snorted coke, dropped acid, shot heroin, and drank everything he put on his parents Visa. He never felt fidelity was a thing he needed to consider, and constantly endangered her health with his little dalliances. He spent money on his hobbies and his entertainment while their bills went unpaid, their home went unmaintained, and their fridge was empty.

Many years ago I went to go visit them with my parents. It was the last time any of us went there until this past summer. After that visit I told my parents that my sister’s marriage reminded me of all the very worst things about their marriage with none of the good things. They said "us too." It was a very painful thing for us all. How can or do you help someone who says they do not want or need help? She would not come home with us, or let us help her. She would not take money. It is incredibly painful to watch someone be cut off from their friends and family. To see how painful that was for my parents. To lose my sister to the abyss of her marriage. I felt and feel guilty that I did not speak up to her more, or better, or louder, or something. I feel guilty that she is now so cowed that she has no faith in herself at all. I am angry that she wasted 20 years on this dumb fuck. I am disgusted that all through their marriage she held full time jobs with insurance, and she got up and went every day, while he dabbled in employment. I am disgusted that they have no money. That their house is in foreclosure. That he left and went to go live with his girlfriend officially seven months ago and has not lifted finger, or provided for her or their children since then. But he has money and time to get another motorcycle, and more tattoos and more piercings, and all kinds of stuff for himself, while she cannot even have Christmas. Most of all, I think I am mad at her for putting up with this shit, for being a party to her own devastation. I don't know what to tell her because I think anything I say will make her feel worse.

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