politics and soapboxes

31 05 2004

in cny, every street you walk or drive down has at least one house w/a cardboard sign out front that says “bush must go” or “vote bush out” or “regime change begins at home.” people keep reminding me that one of the great things about this country is that we’re allowed to rag on it whenever we want without getting in trouble. i can’t help wondering, however, if in at least some ways it wouldn’t be better (and so maybe even worth trading some of that?) to live in a country more functional so that less ragging-on would be called for… on a related note, reading tamnonlinear‘s post this morning made me laugh. (i haven’t seen the movie, but it doesn’t feel spoiled to me, as she said very little about plot, story, OR resolution…)

(these are the thoughts at the very bottom of my brain this morning, but) the top’s a kind of busy, sorry stew:

why do people make promises they don’t understand or know how to keep? why do they offer to do things they can’t do–whether they know they can’t, or they just have no idea whether they can or not, but feel no qualms, apparently, about the pretense either way? why do people who have kids and get divorced always find ways, however unintentionally, to make the kids the center–or feel like they’re the center, even when they’re not–of all the disagreements and logistical snafus the situation brings about? why do people think love has anything at all to do with permanence, promises, OR promiscuity? why do people try to use it as a rope to tie people up, tie them down, and out on the far edge hang them? why does our society, for that matter, which has never made any sense to me at ALL, equate “faithfulness” with sexual partnership?

if he/she doesn’t respect who you are, and appreciate the actions your true self-hood drives you to take, even when those actions are contrary to the ones he/she would have you take in some perfect dream-world where you’re somebody kind of like you but more like he/she wishes you were than like you really are (hence the dream-world part), he/she DOES NOT LOVE YOU. even if he/she uses the word a lot, or hardly ever and cries when he/she does so. even if he/she honestly, earnestly, whole-heartedly believes that he/she DOES love you. he/she can be as honest and earnest and whole-hearted about it as is humanly possible, and that won’t change that fact that what he/she is feeling/doing isn’t LOVE.

::steps down off of old, battered, much-stepped-up-on soapbox and goes to make more tea::

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10 responses

31 05 2004
rumhann

*nods*
Love (as I understand it), is an emotion – one that gives from yourself to others, not a restriction to bind that which you’re obsessed about because you ‘think’ the feeling you have is love & the object of your focus has to conform to your expectations of being loved by you.
Sex on the other hand, carries it’s own deep emotions, which so many people are taught to believe equates to love. Problem is that it’s not Love – it is desire, passion & a range from tenderness to controlled brutality (unless you’re talking rape, then it gets back into obsession and uncontrolled brutality). I will admit that it can also be (and I personally prefer) a sharing between peoples of very intimate portions of themselves – body, mind & spiritual energy – when done with that intention.
Ah, faithfulness . . . I believe that gets into personal definitions between yourself and partner/s. I see a large difference between unfaithful and dishonest. Now we begin delving into a grey area which will change depending on the partnership of the individual groups, and I don’t feel that a single post can contain the proper boundaries for such a morass of agreements. =;-}
Anywho, those are the opinions of a staunch Panfidelic individual who has delusions of perhaps shifting several of humanities larger paradigms.
*steps down from said soap box and returns it to original owner for the next set of feet to support*
SM

31 05 2004
wahyagar

Funny thing about divorce….
the kids are normally (can’t say always, as there are at couple I can think of whose parents are awesome enough to get along just fine…) the only contact the two former spouses have. They are also a constant reminder of a failed endevour, whatever the reasons for the failure. Most human beings don’t like being reminded of their failures, even on a subconscious level, and that can manefest in many ways. unfortunatley, because the kids are the only real source of contact, they will always be the center of the conflict.
Humans are funny creatures when you think about it. We have an inherent need to belong to something, (former pack mentality probably, although I know someone will tell me how they have no desire to belong to anything, that belonging is for losers or whatever….congratulations, you are an alpha, now go find your pack to lead off somewhere ’til you’re replaced) and part of that need is to want to please those we care about, or everyone for that matter. To further that end we make promises we have no chance in hell of, or no real intention, of keeping just so that you will like us right now (not really species known for it’s foresight are we.)
In the long run most of the parties involved are better off in the long run if the ‘rents divorce rather than stay together and miserable.
Honesty=faithfulness. The only morals that are relevant are the morals of your particular relationship, which may be vastly different than the morals of anyone elses relationship. Use whatever teachings you like as a reference, but don’t assume/demand that I want to use the same teachings, or you for that matter, as my reference.
–Me

1 06 2004
susanmarie

You ask, “why do people make promises they don’t understand or know how to keep? why do they offer to do things they can’t do–whether they know they can’t, or they just have no idea whether they can or not, but feel no qualms, apparently, about the pretense either way?”
I can speak for myself on this one: I used to be a lot worse about making promises without thinking through how I was on god’s green earth going to make it happen. Two big factors: 1) the shouldas and 2) denial about depression. The shouldas are the “I ought to do this” problem. This would look good on my resume/applications/karmic scroll. The denial thing connected with a lot of “I want to’s” as well as the “I ought to’s”–I refused to recognize that I have limited energies available to me, that I can’t maintain the same sort of schedule that lots of folks do, and that I can very easily become overwhelmed.
Of course, in the context of the rest of your rant, I’d say some people are just self-involved scum. So there.

2 06 2004
tyra

those seem like such good, wholesome, genuine reasons for screwin g up. >sigh< go ahead, make it hard for me to want to kick people! i DO think at least one of the kick-ables fits the latter category to a t, however, and reserve the right not to believe anything charitable about him/her at ALL. or at least mostly. until he/she grows up a little (or a LOT) and gives me a half-decent reason to.
p.s. how was florida, and how’re you, and when are we getting together to swap books and sip drinks and talk about whatever? and when are you in nyc this summer–eileen told me you’ve got big plans!

2 06 2004
jeymin

doesn’t have to be that wat
I would just like to comment that I was lucky enough to have parents that did not make my brother and I the center of their problems when they got divorced. I think I was 3 or 4 so my brother was 6 or 7. I never saw them argue or heard them fight. I never felt like it was my fault. I must admit for a long time both my brother and I never wanted to get married, but I got over that once I met the right person and now happily so has my brother. Honestly, my biggest problem came from my grandmother (my mom’s mom) but my mom is wonderful and would talk to her and eventually even my grandmother chilled out and everyone got along. Of course, at 3 I was not told why my parents got divorced and I figured that one out on my own much later in life based on what my grandmother would call my dad’s friend Janet (who is now my stepmother and has been for >15 yrs). But ultimately, it is the parents decision how they treat each other and the kids and not every situation is bad and sure there has to be a time when contact may be limited but good grief, after awhile just get over it and move on! My parents get along well enough now that my stepmother planned a large part of my wedding and my mom had no problem with that so long as I didn’t. Seeing as how I asked Janet to do it (mainly so I wouldn’t have to! They don’t call her Martha Jr. for nothing…) why would I mind? But anyway, the point it you always hear the stories about the bad divorces and horrible people. There are the ones out there who aren’t that way and things really aren’t horrible. After all, look at how I turned out! 😉

4 06 2004
pictsy

I’m excited about marriage but a little bit scared too. I wonder about my ability to love someone unconditionally forever and ever amen, and about their ability to do so for me. Social science has soured my romantic notions. Research finds that romantic love lasts only about 7 years; that having children drastically diminishes the happiness of marriage; and that men benefit disproportionately from marriage at the expense of women. My right to change my mind has also always been important to me, so I’m afraid I might just quit if I hit a bad streak. So I’m trying to think of love and happiness as luxuries– things that I will appreciate but won’t base my life or decisions on. Research also says, though, that people who don’t expect too much from marriage tend to have longer, happier marriages, so maybe all of these fears will make me a good candidate.
It seems incredibly foolish for anyone to make a promise to feel a certain way and do certain things for the next 50-80 years, but I don’t want to imagine a life without doing so.

4 06 2004
tyra

I wonder about my ability to love someone unconditionally forever
i really think love IS unconditional–if what you feel directed towards somebody is really love, no thing they do or say is going to make you stop loving them. that doesn’t mean it won’t make you stop wanting to BE with them, however, or make you mad at yourself for loving an asshole! 🙂 i know that’s not really what you meant by that too, though: you’re talking about being able to be in-love-with (or in-love-ish-enough-to-still-want-to-be-with) somebody forever, especially knowing full well that they (and you) are going to change PLENTY during those next 50-80 years…
It seems incredibly foolish for anyone to make a promise to feel a certain way and do certain things for the next 50-80 years
i had that conversation a LOT with my mom after she and my dad broke up and i started talking seriously about my getting-married potential right as she was realizing how completely she DIDN’T want to ever go it again. i agree that it’s incredibly foolish. and i think the problem w/a lot–if not most–peoples’ damaged marriages is that that IS what they’re promising. and then that promise gets (inevitably) broken, and they feel betrayed, or guilty, or whatever, and that just wipes whatever’s left of the spark right out. i wouldn’t have done it if i thought that was what i was promising.
what i promised was try–was to respect him, enjoy him, be patient with him, listen to him, be open with him, and give my honest best effort to resolving any and all conflicts that we encountered. that’s a promise (or set of them) i feel that i can stand behind. forever and ever until i die. it’s possible (because it’s always possible) that it won’t work out, and that we’ll end up going separate ways at some point (although right now i find that really hard, and really sad, to imagine), but if we do, it’ll be at the end of some long, respectful, open, patient conversations, at a point at which we both agree there’s no better course of action. so even if it DID happen, it would happen within the confines of what we promised–what we reasonably felt we could offer in good faith no matter what. i didn’t promise to be with him forever, although i intend to. the years and the potential for us to change are too great for that to make any sense at all. i DID promise to try my very best to stay with him, which is all people who promise more can really offer anyway–and is more than what too many of them actually deliver.
lol! that was probably a LOT more about my views on marriage than you wanted to know! hope it’s good food-for-thought, though…

4 06 2004
ranagar

Unconditional love and the ability to live under the same roof within the legal bounds of “marriage” are not related topics. Shannen and I are completely incapable of interacting and/or functioning in a positive way when we live under the same roof. It’s good for no one. Now, the truth is, that I would have stayed in that relationship, under that same roof forever and never once wished I hadn’t married her or regretted the decision. But that is because I made a promise, a real promise, with witnesses, and signed legal forms and everything. In the end, what we are doing is better.
For all of that. For all that I want(ed) more than anything to have 1 wife who is the mother of my children that I wake up next to for 60 years. For all the disagreements and frustrations. For all the reasons that I could have to hate her – that many, many people likely would hate her for, it doesn’t matter. I love her. I love her unconditionally. By most people’s definitions, I am in love with her. I can’t imagine that ever changing, but I also can’t imagine ever living in the same house with her again.
Keep the two separate in your mind.
I mean, think about it. We make lots of life long promises about feelings and actions all the time. We agree to obey laws, do work for $, respect our parents, feed our pets, pay our bills, etc. There are two differences.
1) We mostly do those things without analyzing them too much.
2) We mostly don’t see them as choices.
Oh, and throw the research out the window. Everyone we know is an outlier on every piece of social research ever done anyway. 😉
Romance isn’t the key to marriage – I don’t care what the books say. Partnership is. You know me, you know that I love the chase, the catch the romantic infatuation, but you know what else? Over the last two years I have not even noticed other women. Since I met Shannen, I even felt “icky” giving hugs to old friends. Shannen and I have had very little romance since we got married, and that wasn’t an issue for either of us. What was an issue is that we never became partners.
It’s the partnership that I miss now that she’s gone. Even the broken partnership that we had was better than none. I may talk and joke about the sexy nympho maid or whatever, but the truth is, that I’m downright terrified of intimate physical contact right now. It made me nervous when I held Dana’s hand the other night (comforting, difficult conversation type hand holding). I simply can’t imagine kissing someone – let alone “Romance”.
That said, I still want to find a partner to share the rest of my life with. That would make me happy.
So I guess my advice is, be careful not to blend or confuse topics.

4 06 2004
tyra

wasn’t that my advice too?

4 06 2004
ranagar

Basically, yes, but advice is always better when consistant across multiple sources.

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