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Young Geoffrey

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Drama! Young Geoffrey Goes Ballistic! [Dec. 16th, 2005|12:07 am]
Young Geoffrey
Sometimes a man needs a reality-check. And sometimes, when he gets it, it isn't at all what he expected it would be.

Begining with deweyintoronto's response to my penultimate post, and followed by similar, validating missives from both razorlicious and trippygrvr I found myself reassessing myself.

Last night I arrived home from work to an empty apartment. Again. Dishes still in the sink, table still uncleared of Laura's computer, various books and papers and pens and other small items. More of her things were strewn over the couch.

The cats mewled as they wound about my legs, but otherwise nothing greeted me. No note, no voice-message, no email. No Laura.

Well, I thought as I turned off the light that shone for no one in the bedroom, it's still pretty early.

And it was. I'd arrived home at about 5:30. Still, I found it a little odd that she was out, seeing as how she'd skipped school (a) on account of this cold she's fighting and (b) in order to catch up on a huge backlog of homework.

I'll give her 'till six, I told myself. I fired up the computer and scanned my friends' list, then actually managed to write a couple of emails.

No call came. I dialed her cell. Got answering machine. Waited another 15 minutes or so. Called again. Answering machine. Starting to burn. Decided distraction was the better part of anger. Called vernski. We chatted briefly - his bookstore has been open three days now and he's optimistic this is going to work (more on that anon, once I've visited it and know it's actual address) - and I suggested he join me for a beer.

He hesitated, then told me he'd be able to meet me around 9:30. Thank god, I told myself, Ireally need to vent.

Shortly after that, she did call.

"I'm at Peter's. We're going to play poker. Do you want to join us? Maria-Claire is here ..."

I hemmed and hawed but decided, no, I really didn't want to. I was irritated that despite the recent dramatics, she was out yet again. I forgot to ask whether she was calling of her own volition or in response to my messages. "All right," I said, trying to keep the disappointment and the irritation from my voice, "I guess I'll see you when you get in."

I hit the Caddy at around 8:00, pulled out the laptop and found myself composing a letter to Laura, in which I attempted to enumerate my grievances - text: calm, cool and collected, rather than voice, angry frustrated and hurt.

Got a page and half or so done by the time Vernski showed not much passed his appointed half-hour (he's good that way).

We fairly quickly dealt with the standard catching up since last we'd seen one another, and I did begin to vent.

Somewhat to my surprise, rather than telling me I was being over-sensitive, he agreed with much of what I was complaining about. "I fucking hated it when H didn't call," he said. "It made me crazy to lie awake worrying about whether she was okay."

Long story short, when we parted a little after 1:00 I was feeling quite a bit better. More to the point, I was determined that Laura and I were going to have to have a serious talk about respect. She was going to have to start attending to my needs as well as to hers. No more nagging, I was going to start demanding - and if those went unmet, the relationship itself would be at risk.

Did I mention that I was feeling much better?

That didn't last.

The apartment was still empty when I returned home.

I checked all the rooms, even - like a lunatic - glanced in the closet.

No Laura.

Checked the phone. No message. Checked my email. Nothing.

Something inside me snapped.

I hopped on my bike and peddaled madly along Queen until I turned up Brock, then found my way to Peter's warehouse space. I locked the bike, then threw open the door and entered that spacious, high-ceilinged abode.

Through fogging glasses, I stood in the doorway and sized up the situation. There were probably 10 or 15 people there, some standing around in the main section, others in the kitchen and a few up in the loft that covers that rear quarter or so of the space. A couple of people called out my name in greeting, but I ignored them until I heard Laura's.

She was among those in the loft.

I strode toward, a short, furious man wearing a hideous (but warm!) down jacket and a bike helmet from which flowed my unkempt locks.

"You!" I shouted, pointing up to the top of the ladder. "Get the fuckdown here and get out. NOW!"

And with that, I turned and stormed out, returning to my bike.

I watched the door with some trepidation, not entirely sure it would actually open. I knew that publicly ordering her around like a parent might a truant child would enfuriate her.

But I didn't regret doing it; the calm, but firm conversation I had foreseen was now gone beyond recapturing. I wasn't going to wander around angry and resentful any more. She would come out and we would deal with things from there, or she wouldn't - in which case I would know that I had almost certainly lost the woman I love as I've never loved a woman before. But it was a chance I had to take; my self-respect demanded it.

She came out.

"Start walking," I barked, and pointed down the alley. "I'll catch up with you." Amazingly, she turned and did as she was told. I bent to my machine and unlocked it, then hopped on and rode after her.

Needless to say, she was furious. Needless to say, so was I.

I don't think I yelled that much as we walked through the falling snow along Queen, but I wasn't quiet. The unfinished letter in mind, I enumerated my complaints, explained how it seemed to me she hadn't been treating me with much respect and how that had to change.

"It sounds like your giving me an ultimatum," she said.

"I guess I am. I'm not willing to put up with it any more."

And we walked, and talked, on towards home.

And we continued talking till far too late into the night. Laura was furious. "You'd better sleep with one eye open tonight, boy," she said.

And I laughed at that, happy that - as I thought - I had finally gotten through to her how important this was, to me - and therefore, to us.

Towards 4:00 AM we were spent. Physically exhausted, emotionally drained, the both of us. "I hope you know the fact that I'm here means that I love you and I'm going to make this work with you," she told me, just before she took a swat at my head.

"All right," I said, "good." And, laughing, we went into our room and had that passionate, intense, almost violent sex that really does seem to come after a fight.

Despite her threats I slept with both eyes closed, waking briefly around 8:30 to send an email to the office telling them I wouldn't be making it in. I wasn't feeling well, I said, and that was true enough. My head throbbed and I needed more sleep.

And so, the drama continues. But my perspective on it has shifted dramatically - and much for the better, I think. After all, how can a person expect to be respected, if he isn't willing and able to stand up himself and insist upon it?
linkReply

Comments:
From: slightlymish
2005-12-16 06:33 am (UTC)
I was really nervous when I was reading that, and am now relieved that it turned out not-as-bad as I had forseen

I am surprisingly engrossed in your life for being a complete stranger, except for sharing the same city
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2005-12-16 07:42 am (UTC)

Can't Sleep, Found This Reply (Already!)

It's funny how that can happen, isn't it? I suddenly find it interesting that one the things the internet is best at (besides distributing pornography to grandmothers everywhere) is to allow people to discuss the personal.

There seems to be a very strong urge in a lot us to gossip about our own lives.

In any case, if you were relieved, you must know that I was, too!
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[User Picture]From: miyyu
2005-12-16 10:51 am (UTC)
Wow. I've been reading what you've written about all of this, unsure of what to say. And though perhaps exploding wasn't the best of options (but I think you know that) it seems like it needed to happen. I agree with the others who said that it's about respect -- call when you are late, etc. so the other person doesn't think you are dead in a ditch. That doesn't mean you don't get to have a life, and that goes for both partners.

My husband and I both go into panic mode if we don't hear from each other within a certain amount of time. All either one of us can think is that something has happened. He is the most precious person in the world to me, and the feeling is mutual. If I get a late phone call, I reserve the right to be a little ticked off for being frightened and worried, and he is allowed the same leeway. Maybe that something that you need to help Laura understand: that it's not about control, it's about respecting the fact that inevitably, because you care, you will worry when you don't know when/if she is coming home that night.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2005-12-17 06:17 pm (UTC)

The Best of All Possible Options?

I don't know if it wasn't the best thing to do, in retrospect. It certainly brought things to a head and that was necessary. I don't know how long I could have carried on, wallowing by turns in self-pity and in resentment, but it wouldn't have been healthy, for me, for Laura or for our relationship.

I think my big noise was useful, in that it made clear that things have been really bothering me. And, I hope, it will put an end to my irritated (and irritating) nagging and kvetching.
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[User Picture]From: lopukhov
2005-12-16 01:51 pm (UTC)
Oh dear. No offense, but sometimes I get the feeling that she doesn't respect you. I mean, yes she is 18, and yes she is behaving exactly the way 18 year-olds should (i.e. like a child), but a working relationship demands mutual respect. It seems like she wants you to honour her without her having to do the same?

Maybe not.
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From: venividivici3
2005-12-17 04:13 pm (UTC)

(i.e. like a child)

Now, I was hoping I could just look past that comment but it really wasn't what I wanted to hear.

I was acting less childish and more -selfish- for the past few weeks.
I mostly got caught up in something else entirely - a phase even? People tend to go through those a lot pretty much up until their late 20s.

You hurt my feelings *starts sobbing*

:) I'm not actually hurt but you could be a little more sensitive with your terminology.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2005-12-17 06:18 pm (UTC)

Maybe Not

My take is not that she didn't want to "honour" me, but rather that she didn't realize that she wasn't.
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[User Picture]From: sooguy
2005-12-16 02:33 pm (UTC)
I avoided commenting on the earlier posts about Laura's attitude towards you, because I didn't want to seem to be preaching. That and the two of you seem to have a unique relationship, so who am I to judge.

I am glad you have began to see the light and realize there are certain levels of respect that you demand/need for a relationship to work. Stick to your guns and don't feel bad for it.

I found out the hard way through my relationships that you have to look out for yourself and what you want/need as much as you have to respect the other person. It doesn't work if you respect them and walk all over yourself.

Good luck.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2005-12-17 06:19 pm (UTC)

Self and Other

I agree. And this process has been a wake-up call to me too, in a way.
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From: lykshweetdood
2005-12-16 03:16 pm (UTC)
I thought by the end of that, you might say she broke up with you! I'm glad that didn't happen, and I'm also glad you two finally had a talk (even if it was a furious, angry, yelling kind of talk) about the respect situation and that you finally told her our feelings.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2005-12-17 06:25 pm (UTC)

I'm Glad, Too

I am so glad that we haven't broken up. Facing the possibility was (and is) scary as hell.
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From: lykshweetdood
2005-12-17 08:10 pm (UTC)
*your
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[User Picture]From: stolen_identity
2005-12-16 03:28 pm (UTC)
i think you handled things well. i can kinda see things from both points of view here. (dunno if you know, but i'm dating a guy who's 12 years older than me. we just started dating recently, so we haven't had any problems, but i can still see that we're very different people sometimes)... and, having just come out of my teen years fairly recently, i gotta say, sometimes i do need a bit of a slapping around (Figuratively, of course) to help issues come into focus. i think laura will understand how important she is to you, and you are to her after this.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2005-12-17 06:26 pm (UTC)

Learning

As is probably getting all-too-clear from these comments, I tend to need slapping around sometimes too. I this case, I think I managed to slap both of us into a slightly altered and improved state of mind.
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[User Picture]From: tacky_tramp
2005-12-17 12:44 am (UTC)
Every time I read your posts about you and Laura, I am so impressed by the both of you.

I'm going to type this even though it may come off as ageist and condescending: It seems a lot of the issues you guys are going through may be tied into the age difference. That is, you've lived more of your life and are used to having things a certain way, which involves expectations of accountability, updating, etc. On the other hand, she's at the point where people break away and first start living for themselves, others' needs be damned. That you guys are working to reconcile this potentially catastrophic clash of lifestyles is a testament to how much you care for each other. Hang in there.
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From: venividivici3
2005-12-17 04:20 pm (UTC)

I think you nailed it...

Well, we both knew this would happen, right? Obviously I have a lot of living to do, I have 5x the amount of friends that geoff has (and it's ever expanding) plus a part time job and school. Geoff, on the other hand, has pretty much been at the same plain in his life for the last 10ish years.

At any rate, yes. I'll be going through various phases - none of which I hope can be stereotyped but I'll leave that aside- I'm just hoping he'll be patient enough.

I really was about to throttle him for the public humiliation aspect of barging in to my friend's place like that... I was mostly in disbelief.

He's a good writer though, isn't he? If I didn't know the outcome of the situation I would've been on the edge of my seat...the suspense aspect is pretty good.

Thanks for your advice,

~Laura~
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[User Picture]From: offermeescape
2005-12-17 06:43 pm (UTC)
I'm glad to hear that things have worked out here. Mirroring what other people's comments have been here.. I was worried until I read that she actually came out.

Now let's hope she can show she's serious and show some more respect in the relationship. After all, you're worthy of it.
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