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Memo to Self or, The Further Adventures of the Forty Year-Old Emo Kid - The Annals of Young Geoffrey: Hope brings a turtle [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Young Geoffrey

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Memo to Self or, The Further Adventures of the Forty Year-Old Emo Kid [Dec. 13th, 2005|07:14 pm]
Young Geoffrey
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[mood |awake]

Laura was out all night again on Saturday.

"Have a good time," I'd said when she left, "and call if you're going to be really late, will you?"

"I don't think I will be," she said as she kissed me goodbye. "I've got a lot of school-work to do tomorrow."

"Well ..." I pulled her back towards me and kissed her again, "feel free to wake me up in a good way, if you're in the mood."

She grinned and blew me a final kiss as she walked out the door.

Saturday night was quiet, but okay. I fucked around on the computer, mostly ignored the hockey game, and was tired enough that I was only a little disappointed when deweyintoronto called to say she'd fallen asleep on her couch and wouldn't be able to make it out for a beer.

I took to my own bed relatively early and slept reasonably well.

Morning, though, took my sang-froid and hurled it into the abyss.

The sun was up, but Laura wasn't in our bed.

I staggered up and inspected our quiet apartment.

Not here.

Elsewhere.

Fuck.

Like twin demons struggling for their satanic majesty's approval, worry and jealousy battled for neurotic supremacy within my emo heart.

Come 11:00 AM, hungry and strung-out on a nearly full pot of coffee, I donned outdoor apparel and cycled off to the Cadillac Lounge, my laptop, newspaper and various reading matter strapped to my back. A little writing, I thought, is what I chiefly need: breakfast and Steamwhistle besides, are very good indeed -

But (and, Gentle Readers, I know you've already guessed the ending), it turned out that Steamwhistle was not the help I hoped it would be.

Breakfast, newspaper, and four pints, found me three hours later, in a foul, self-pitying mood.

I wobbled home and, though Laura had returned, it was with pointless grief I greeted her.

"Why didn't you call?" I whined.

"Where were you?" I implored.

"What did you do?" I implied.

(The drama, folks, was all in my own head. To stop possible gossip: she'd gone dancing, come back to a friend's and gone to sleep. There was no betrayal, no hanky-panky, only the small sin of having forgotten to call. And truth be told, jealousy had long since won the upper hand in my paranoic mind.)

We stayed up a while, and talked, then watched most of The Big Lebowski until I found I had to turn in, drunker than when I'd arrived, guilt-ridden and knowing this sort of behaviour is exactly what - sooner or later - will drive from me that which I love most in this world, if I can't change myself. Controlling my feelings isn't an option. I have to learn to trust her in my heart - and to act on that trust - or I am going to fuck up the best thing that has ever happened to me.

* * *

Why am I telling you all this - friends, strangers and aquaintances alike? Laura and I have talked it out, and yet I am still compelled to type it, too.

I suppose as a reminder, to myself, that I must become more aware, that I must stop letting things pile up inside me like a billion feathers in a pillow-case. My habit of bursting is no good to me, no good to her and - god knows - it is no good to us.

(Incidentally, as I type this, I am feeling much better, so no need for comforting notes. If any of you have pragmatic advice, on the other hand ...)
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: deweyintoronto
2005-12-14 05:07 am (UTC)
For the record, after my nap, I asked if you were up to it, and your answer was no. But let's not split hairs when there are more pressing issues at hand.

This is not the first time this has happened, correct? Your issue, I suspect, is not one of trusting your partner. It's respecting your partner.

Laura is young, and getting used to the freedom from parental control. It's natural to test the boundaries. That said, it's a matter of courtesy and respect to call your partner to let them know you're not planning to return to your shared bed for the evening. Hell, I used to call my ROOMMATE to let her know I wasn't coming home. It's wasn't about checking up, or restricting liberties, or control issues. It was to let her know that yes, I did PLAN to spend the night in the company of the degenerate I had met that night.

Degenerates and their company aside, while your feelings of jealousy were unfounded, your feelings of being anger and hurt were not. I'm sure she feels bad for how you felt. But feeling bad is not a substitute for correcting the behaviour that make your partner feel that way. As much as I loathe and despise the idea of setting rules in a relationship, you kinda' need some. I don't think insisting that you get a call when you're to be sleeping alone is too much to ask.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2005-12-16 06:02 am (UTC)

Erratum and Other Matters

For the record, after my nap, I asked if you were up to it, and your answer was no.

I stand corrected. I definitely wasn't up for going out at that time; I imagine I was projecting my memory of how I felt upon my memory of what you actually said. Always feel free to split hairs; accuracy is important to me.

This is not the first time this has happened, correct?

Er, yes.

Your issue, I suspect, is not one of trusting your partner. It's respecting your partner.

I'm not sure what you mean. Her or me, or both of us?

...it's a matter of courtesy and respect to call your partner to let them know you're not planning to return to your shared bed for the evening. Hell, I used to call my ROOMMATE to let her know I wasn't coming home...It was to let her know that yes, I did PLAN to spend the night in the company of the degenerate I had met that night.

Such reassuring terminology. Nevertheless ... yesyesyes.
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[User Picture]From: deweyintoronto
2005-12-16 05:36 pm (UTC)

Re: Erratum and Other Matters

I'm not sure what you mean. Her or me, or both of us?

OK, that didn't make sense. Blame my medical condition, shedrinksalot. Now that I'm sober (because they frown on drinking in the office - PURITANS!), what I meant to say is that the issue isn't YOUR trust for your partner, it's HER respect (or lack thereof) for her partner. It's a BIG issue, and one that I'm sorry, isn't likely to repair itself quickly. But you knew that already.

Such reassuring terminology. Nevertheless ... yesyesyes.

Hey, you go with what you know, and I know degenerates. I've lived with two men in my life, and there is not a single instance where either one of us stayed out all night and didn't call. Ever. In fact, overnighters were always planned in advance, a la "I'm visiting friend who lives in the 'burbs, and I'll be too drunk to drive home, so I'll see in the morning." No control issues, no big-brothering, no restrictions on personal freedoms. Just courtesy and respect.

Worse still, your update mentions that she HAS a cell phone, so there's no excuse. I'm displaying my remarkable grasp of the obvious, clearly I'm not telling you anything you don't already know, at least on some level. You're right to take a stand. Stop nagging, start demanding. It may not have the desired effect, but you can't go on like this. I hope it works out for you. Good luck!
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2005-12-20 04:00 am (UTC)

Re: Erratum and Other Matters

Blame my medical condition, shedrinksalot.

Hmm. I'm familiar with the masculine variant of said condition. In my case, it's under medical control, thanks to the wonder-drug, Don'tDrinkAlltheTymeTR, but there are occasional flare-ups.

It's a BIG issue, and one that I'm sorry, isn't likely to repair itself quickly.

It is a big issue, but I think it is now also a manageable one. First, it took me - as you, Gentle Reader, have no doubt (to your growing frustration) realized - a while to figure that at, but I think I now have. Second, it took her slightly longer to do the same. I think we both now do understand that she had been taking advantage of my willingness to blame myself for reacting to provocation, and I am optimistic that that mutual understanding will lead both of us to working from that understanding.

In other words, I think/hope and/or hope/think that Laura will be more ready to pay attention to my needs and that I will be more able to let her know if she isn't before I throw a fit (following a week or more of grumbling neuroses).

Speaking of planning ahead, Laura's hoping to to a road-trip in early January - care to have another go at sharing a beer in the new year (I really wasn't trying to rhyme, by the way; it just slipped out)? I'd suggest this weekend, but I'll be one of those out of town over the holidays.
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[User Picture]From: deweyintoronto
2005-12-21 07:02 pm (UTC)

Re: Erratum and Other Matters

Rhyme happens. I'll be here over the holidays. Either at work, or with my family. Praying for death or lightning strike. So beer will be welcome.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2005-12-21 11:31 pm (UTC)

Re: Erratum and Other Matters

I'll be away over the actual Christmas weekend (which holiday, incidentally, I have learned to tolerate - and even to enjoy aspects of - over the years) back back in town forever after that.

What say we (you) tell me either Thursday or Friday of next week?
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[User Picture]From: deweyintoronto
2005-12-31 04:20 am (UTC)

Re: Erratum and Other Matters

SON OF A... lj didn't email a notification of this comment. Sorry, not rude and ignorant, just held back by faulty technology. Work stuff will take hold of my life until Mid-January. But if you're still agreeable, totally up to a beer (or six, as is my way...) after that.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2006-01-01 05:48 pm (UTC)

Re: Erratum and Other Matters

Apparently that has been happening (or rather, not happening) a lot lately. No worries.

I do remain agreable (and six tends to be my speed also); why not call me when you can foresee a specifiable date and time?
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[User Picture]From: carnivalnights
2005-12-14 07:09 am (UTC)
I sort of agree with the above comment. If you two are dedicated to each other, calling to say "I won't be home tonight" shouldn't be any sort of problem or hesitation. You can both have your own lives, independently, of course, but there should always be some communication if someone won't be home or is staying out later than planned, especially since you live together. This is simply to ensure safety and to put both minds at ease. This should also help with the jealousy issue you are experiencing.

I think I would be pretty upset if Sean just never came home one night and didn't even bother to call me. I don't need to be by his side every waking moment, but I wouldn't want to be completely excluded either. When you share a life with someone, you want to feel like you're always a bit higher up on their priority list.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2005-12-16 06:03 am (UTC)

Coming Home

I do too (as is probably pretty obvious now). And one does need to know one's a priority to one's partner.

Incidentally, I really like that snowy icon.
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[User Picture]From: carnivalnights
2005-12-21 06:32 am (UTC)

Re: Coming Home

Why thank you, sir. *curtsey*

And yes, I believe we do. I do not see it as vain so much as just a basic human need. Maslow talked about 'the need to know' in any conversation--where it is going, what that person means to you, what you mean to them, and where it will lead. This is such with relationships, I feel. It is simply wanting to know you are loved and cared for as much as you love and care for.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2005-12-21 11:29 pm (UTC)

Re: Coming Home

For me, the "need to know" must be carefully-balanced with my Inner Busybody's "want to know". Quite seriously, I can be insufferably nosy - not sometimes, but almost all the time. It's a problem.
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[User Picture]From: offermeescape
2005-12-16 12:09 am (UTC)
Although I vigorously defend one's right to privacy and space within a relationship, I do believe that there are certain courtesies that must be followed within a relationship - especially when you live with someone. If your partner is going out somewhere without you, they should tell you approximately when they expect to be home and if they're not coming home that evening, then they certainly should tell you about it. There's probably nothing worse than having to worry about someone and not having any idea where they might be or when they're coming home. That's unfair to you and obviously it causes you distress. Don't be mislead that it's jealously - because it's not. It's obviously a bigger issue than that.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2005-12-16 06:05 am (UTC)

Space

I don't have much to say that I haven't already, either above or in my latest post. All three of you, though, were helpful in getting me to a new perspective.
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