Saturday, November 07, 2009

Saturday evening.

I just walked the dog in watery, cold sunshine. The field was sopping wet from the rain we have had. The sidewalk is covered by yellow leaves and the gutters are full of them. Jesker likes to push his nose deep into the leaves and smell "god only knows what." As long as there's no bear trap hidden in it, I suppose I won't worry about it.

Toby had brought home the casing of a liverwurst and had hidden it under a cabinet. Of course, I forgot about it until Jesker found it and was planning on eating it. I had to stick my hand into his closely clenched mouth and try and get it out and he did not like it, I was stealing his found food! He growled at me dangerously, but I was not intimidated and got a hold of the casing and pulled it out. I do have to show him who's boss around here. He did look very disappointed when I threw it away, so I gave him a bone instead. After he finished eating it, he came over to me wagging his stumpy little tail to make sure we were still friends. Of course we were.

The Exfactor was here earlier and we had a long discussion about politics and music. We agree on the basic premises, but then part our ways, because the Exfactor is much more set in his ways than I am and is very much a black and white thinker, where as I move more into the gray areas and try to see the problems from both points of view. Although I definitely lean to the left sharply, the Exfactor leans to the left so sharply that he almost leans to the right again.

I am glad that I'm able to see the gray areas, because when I was married to him, and very much influenced by him, I didn't see the gray areas and very often felt myself driven into a corner when I had to voice an opinion. Now I can be more nuanced and give a different turn to what I state and leave room for another look at something that maybe I had not considered yet. I speak less in absolutes anymore and am less reactionary. The Exfactor is very reactionary and very convinced of himself and sticks to his principles even if that means that he has to disagree with himself.

It seems that our prime minister, who said he was not interested in the job of president of the European Union, has been strongly lobbying for the job all along, and the Exfactor was upset about that. He found that very disloyal and sneaky. I had to remind him that he doesn't even like our prime minister and would probably be glad to see the last of him, but he said it was a matter of principles. I said, "Let him get the job and let us have another prime minister," but then we got into a discussion about who that should be and we thought in horror of the possibilities. We're hoping that they'll choose a sensible woman and are keeping our fingers crossed.

Then we got into a discussion about music and the Exfactor mentioned that "nerve wrecking kind of jazz," and I was trying to figure out what kind he meant by that, because it sounded like the kind of jazz I like. I said that I didn't like "easy" jazz, but that I liked "complicated" jazz and if that was what he meant, and he said that he didn't like the kind in which they just made a lot of nervous sounding noise and beeps and bleeps and that he likes the jazz of the 60's, which I have to concede that I do also.

We talked about classical music, because he exclusively listens to a Belgian classical radio station and I asked him if they made any differentiation between the different kinds of classical music, because I don't like all classical music and you can't throw them into one pot just like that. I never did get a straight answer to that, but I get the feeling that he listens to anything, regardless of the style and era, as long as it's played by this station. I like baroque and opera choruses and especially anything by Johan Sebastian Bach or Mozart or Vivaldi. I don't care for most opera arias and romantic classical music. I find it too dramatic. I may be very conventional in my tastes, but I do have them and I'm very picky about them. I got the feeling that the Exfactor listened indiscriminately to anything that came under the header of classical music.

He started listening to this radio station when we were still together and sometimes he would listen to god awful music and I would ask him, "Do you really like that?" And he would concede that he didn't, but kept listening to it anyway.Needless to say, it was the favorite radio station of the woman he was having an affair with and who is now his girlfriend, so you see how easily he is influenced by the women in his life. Sometimes this radio station plays jazz and ethnic music and world music, which he all has to listen to, of course, so he is forced to undergo some different listening habits. I'm secretly having a lot of fun about this, because I can not imagine enduring music simply because someone I'm in love with listens to that station. Or having political opinions because the person I am with has certain attitudes that I have to share and I want them to love me so I agree with them.

I really, really like being my own person and having my own opinions about things and making up my own mind independently of anyone else. I draw my own conclusions and come to my own decisions without the interference of a person standing next to me declaring his point of view very loudly. Someone who is constantly commenting while you are trying to watch the news and trying to make up your own mind about what you hear and see. It's sheer liberation to be freed from that and to think in a liberated space where there is room for your own thoughts that otherwise would struggle to survive. I so very much do not believe in a "we as a couple believe this." I do believe in a free and independent believe system that's not influenced by others, but come about out of your own free will and independently gotten information.

Now, having said that, I believe the Exfactor is a really sweet person who always has the best intentions and wants to please people very much, and he always shows his best side to me, because isn't he always ready to help me, before I even ask for it? So, this isn't so much about the Exfactor, but about relationships in general and about how stifling they can be and how dis-empowering. There's always someone who very subtly or not so subtly, wants to press his world vision and life definition onto the relationship and have it be the only one that counts and the partner has to except it as his/her own.

No, being a solitary person is far preferable above being part of a 2 unit, confined and fabricated, dominated by one person, set of people.You have to be very mature and emotionally healthy to let the other person remain independent and wholesomely intact to be a successful and integral couple. I haven't seen enough proof of that to be a believer in it, but I'd be happy to be shown examples of it. I suppose you're all going to comment to me now that you and your partner are the exception to the rule, but I will be full of doubt. You will know best yourself and won't need to prove it to me.

Oh God. I'm on my soapbox again, aren't I? Sometimes I just have to spout my opinions all over the place. I can be so full of myself, it's ridiculous, but I hope it gives you something amusing to read. You can totally disagree with me, of course, Your experience may be quite different than mine. I am biased, not having had one successful relationship. I think I'm not cut out for them, or not yet anyway. Possibly I have a lot of growing up to do and I'm running like a train. Maybe when I'm done growing up, I will be willing to accept another person into my life in a very lose relationship. It can't be the least bit suffocating. I will not suffer the ties that bind me.

Right, I'm climbing off my soapbox now and tucking it under my arm and marching off with it into the night. It seems like it is very late, but it isn't at all. Still, I'm going to get my pajamas on and get cozy. There are always the sofa and the television to consider. A person can doze away there.

Have a good night or a good day, which ever one you want. It's a democracy, so you get to choose.



Maureen said...

Olay, I had to laugh at the liverwurst story... that was hilarious. I could just see Jesker trying his best to keep his prize!

Stacie said...

My parents are a prime example of one of a couple dictating the opinions for both. it makes me nuts. My mom goes along with my dad mostly because she lacks confidence. My husband and I are different. There will always be domination of some sort in relationships. In ours it shifts back and forth depending on what we are talking about. We generally agree on most things tho. We accept the strengths and weaknesses of each other.

aims said...

I hope you don't mind but I copied what you wrote and sent it to my house guest because he so wants a relationship somewhere with someone and I thought it would be a good thing for him to read. Because - it is just so true!

Wisewebwoman said...

Oh I so love this post, GSW, how provocative and well thought out. You are so bang on. I know so many couples living in misery one trying to accommodate the more dominant one and kow-towing all the time. So much identity and energy lost keeping the other one 'happy', the other bored with the status quo staying to keep the cowed one 'happy'. Two unhappy people staying for the sake of the other's 'happiness'. If it wasn't so sad it would make one laugh out loud. Delusions.
I love the image of you tucking your soapbox under your arm and walking off. LOL!

Friend of the Bear said...

Hi Nora. I really loved reading this post. So interesting, plenty of meat in it.

I know what the Exfactor means about that type of modern music which was designed to be "challenging" rather than nice to listen to.

I think different types of music produce different types of mood. But some people are less affected by this than others and perhaps the Exfactor is one who of those.

I used to love the romantic era when I was a teenager, bashing out those pieces on the piano. But after my mother died (when I was 20) I became "mostly Mozart" for a very long time ie soothing music that did not stir up the emotions too much.

I suppose at this point I would be grateful to be with someone and meld myself to them to some extent as I am not fixed in much in my head (or so it feels at the moment). The fact that you feel the way you do about this is testimony to the strength of your character and personality.

Maybe one day you will find a partner who is evolved enough to allow you the space you need to entirely be yourself.

Best wishes,
Bearfriend xx

The Green Stone Woman said...

Stacie, you didn't have the right example, but managed to choose the right path for yourself anyway. That is commendable. Not many couples can work it out that well. Kudos to you.