I am making up for too little social life, sitting here in an apartment on 145th street in Harlem, about to go to the gym, then out to lunch, then out to dinner, then to a movie because theatre takes the day off on Mondays.
New York rocks!
There’s nothing so sweet as returning to a place you used to live and having friends lined up to see you. I know, of course, that if I moved back I’d see them as infrequently as I did when I lived here, but I’m still enjoying being this popular.
AND, yesterday I was at a wedding shower that didn’t suck. I mean, I hate those things, and the last one I went to, in Maine, seemed like a competition for who was more important to the bride and I said to my partner, “I am so glad I am queer.” Our wedding shower had men and women of all varieties, one of whom is a comic writer and did a roast of us in screenplay form with everyone reading parts. Our wedding shower also did not suck.
But yesterday was AMAZING. We actually went around the room and talked about our marriages and how we deal with our differences, how we keep it alive, interesting, sexy. I avoided the sexy question because I was raised Catholic. But some people got pretty detailed, which I have to admit was kind of cool. It was like a slumber party with all these cool upscale New York women, 2 gay men and me. I felt very queer in comparison, but I also felt like these were the REAL cool kids. Not the cool mean girls, but the women who want everything life has to offer and are willing to deepen and even suffer to define what that is and then go for it.
Of course, straight women, gay men and me, all too relationship-focused, probably. We’d all rather be close to our partners and experience love and nurturing than go to the mountaintop, meditate and reach nirvana. Maybe that’s normal.
No, I can’t be normal. There absolutely can’t be any way that I am even a little bit normal.
But I would like to crawl off the mountaintop meditation shelf, make a really inappropriate joke, burp, and then burrow into my partner until she squeals and tells me to stop it.
Ask me if I stop it when she says stop it.
I hope telling the truth about that doesn’t get me into another discussion about my boundaries or lack thereof, and when no means no, and how joking around and being really cute doesn’t cut it when no means no.
I do not claim to be very mature.
I do not claim to be a paragon of mental health.
What a relief that is!
But, I do claim to have a sense of humor about pretty much everything and to tell the truth in ways people can hear at least some of the time.
At the shower, when we went around, I said, “When my partner and I got married the first time, I said to her, ‘You’re a kvetching, passive-aggressive, controlling jerk; and I’m going to marry you anyway,'” She got all teary and said, “That’s the most loving thing anyone has ever said to me.”
That’s what passes for romance around here.
But, I don’t pretend she’s my knight, my savior, my ideal fantasy prince and I don’t try to make her be that most of the time. She’s my neurotic, insanity-inducing, sensitive, immature, funny, loving, sincere, passive-aggressive, insanity-producing (did I mention that already?) intelligent boy-girl companion and often friend. I love her most when she’s in a neurotic fit with a hat pulled down over her eyes ranting about some thing or the other.
How we kill our possibilities of connection with illusion. How we miss the truth of ourselves and each other.
Our poor unevolved brains, our poor seeking spirits, our poor broken and loving hearts.
“I’m so bloated from that trip to New York,” I imagine telling her.
“Do I really have to come watch them screw something into your jaw?” she might ask.
And if I stop, if I take a moment, I will notice that this is marriage.
She’s still the person I want to talk to about every homicidal impulse I have on the mindbody program.
I still hate red roses and love playing video games.
At the shower, one of the guys said, “In order to love who you’re with, you have to grieve who that person is not. Every fantasy and hope you didn’t get…you have to grieve those, let them go, to really love.”
I grieve that my partner isn’t so rich that I never have to work again except when I want to which is probably a lot of the time anyhow.
That’s my start.
Metta for all of us as we try to figure out how to love and partner each other in all our neurotic, messy, imperfect truth.
PS-There was mention of imago couples therapy in the how to handle your differences. My partner and I went to a weekend imago workshop 15 years ago. Do we have to go again?
PPS–Some of my NY friends are therapists. They believe the Sheepdog is a Sheepdog and I should fire her. I love them and love them more and more and more for this!
PPPS-The woman I spent the longest time talking to at the shower has done Sarno’s mindbody program successfully for years. What are the chances? Inspired!