Colorless Green Ideas Unintentionally Amusing In Person
Friday, March 14, 2003
Worse than great but better than bad…
Dad called and said that they did the hysterectomy and decided, based on tissue analysis, to remove the abdominal lymph nodes as well. So Mom was in surgery for about twice as long, and they will analyze the lymph nodes and see if they need to look into additional treatment (chemotherapy, etc).
Obviously, what we want at this point is the lymph analysis to come back with no malignant cells. Then it’s pretty much done, with the only real downside being that Mom’s surgery was a little long. (But hey, she was unconscious anyway, so that’s no big deal, right?)
That is what I want to happen. Thinking positive thoughts…
On the plus side, I unearthed at least two places to vet for the big wedding, which will, I think, be a tiki-themed party. Relaxed, fun, everyone in a Hawaiian shirt with a drink in a coconut containing a colorful paper umbrella. That’s the goal.
We talked about doing a more elaborate costumed thing, but we think we’ll have more luck saying “wear a Hawaiian shirt or some other outfit inspired by 50-60s exotica” than “wear something that evokes the Italian Renaissance”. It’s just a hunch.
And, my god, people really soak you for wedding stuff. It’s indecent. Why would I suddenly decide that I wanted to spend my entire year's salary on a single-day event? Like that's a good way to start a marriage—adding an additional $20-40,000 on top of the already-horrific college debt...
I had some other stuff that I was thinking about saying today, like, for example, talking about how Sour Bob's discussions of ADD have made it much much easier for me to appreciate my husband's tremendous difficulty in keeping focused and following through on things like mailing the power bill, and maybe some drawbacks to having the Voice instead of the Itch, or maybe talk about the social implications of women earning higher wages than men, and how perhaps that is a side effect of the Super Girl/Mom/Working Woman syndrome that I, at least, grew up thinking was the Way To Be Successful and Happy Too.
But I don’t think that I will, at least right now, because I found out last night that my mom has Stage 2 uterine cancer and is having a hysterectomy tomorrow at 10 am. It’s unlikely that the procedure will be complicated, and it is likely that the operation will take care of the whole cancer problem entirely, so it will probably be fine, but I’m still not sure how I feel about this.
I mean, obviously, you know on an intellectual level that you will probably have to survive through the decline and death of your parents, and people do it all the time—my parents did, and I bet a lot of yours did too. But knowing that it will probably happen someday is different than considering the possibility that it could happen this week. It’s unlikely, but it could. I don’t want to be completely unprepared, but I don’t think I’m a big fan of considering this possibility, either…
Last night I had a series of unpleasant dreams. In one dream, there were zombie-like creatures masquerading as family and friends (you think it’s your cousin, but suddenly he turns and lunges at you, and you realize he’s a decaying zombie who wants to eat your brain!!). In another dream, my friend Amy, who I have mentioned before, was attempting to get me to sleep with her so aggressively that I was frightened and outraged, and eventually threatened to call the police if she didn’t get her hands off me right now. These dreams, while superficially different, feature a similar theme—they involve folks that I (either currently, or at some point in the past) consider close, trustworthy people, who are suddenly and inexplicably behaving in a way that is unacceptable.
Now, I had a series stress dreams in the past in which someone (usually a close friend or family member) was suddenly extremely hostile for no apparent reason. These dreams used to end with me waking up in, or near, tears, reduced to an emotional pulp by so-and-so’s rejection. These dreams were significantly reduced after my separation and subsequent divorce (at 21), and during the years since then, I have very rarely suffered from these stress/rejection dreams. And, lately, on the occasions that I have had them, I’ve gotten angry with the person, or attempted to reason with them, rather than just squishing hopelessly under the barrage of abuse. Well, obviously, you say, this is because I am no longer in an unhealthy and somewhat emotionally abusive relationship, and no longer feel entirely dependant upon the good graces of others for my self-worth. Of course.
However, the dreams last night were a little different. The people in the dream weren’t rejecting me, they were using their position as an emotionally important individual in order to engage in harmful, but not rejecting, behavior.
Now, why would I have a dream like this? Well, obviously, it’s because, during my previous marriage, my ex used his position to make emotional demands on me that were harmful and restrictive, and I, on some level, fear that this might happen again. In actual fact, I don’t believe that it will, but, clearly I have some issues with this. Not a big shock, I suppose, although I am a little surprised to find it cropping up now, so many years later. I guess I might have expected to have “first wedding/first marriage” issues come up, but I wasn’t really thinking about it.
However, one thing that I know I have issues with is discussing my first marriage. I don’t really like to talk about it or bring it up, and have gone through periods in which I have attempted to hide its existence. This, I know, is because I
a) feel like a dumbshit for having gotten into the marriage in the first place
b) feel like the failure of the marriage (although pretty-well inevitable) proves that I am a failure and/or fundamentally irresponsible
c) feel like people will assume that obviously I don’t take marriage very seriously, since my first one was so brief
Now, I realize, intellectually, that having rather foolishly gotten married at 20 to someone with whom I was not well suited is not a major crime to any reasonable person. Lots of people marry folks they are not well suited to. Lots of people get divorced. It’s not really a big deal. And the fact that my first marriage was so brief really limited the amount of collateral damage that the relationship and resultant divorce did to the parties involved—no kids, no major emotional scarring, just a few somewhat bitter arguments and a couple of years of slight chilliness between me & the ex, and a few friends, who have, by now, all come around, and no one really cares too much anymore. We went to the ex’s wedding a couple of years ago, and we like his wife, and they have an adorable little boy, and it’s all good. So there’s no reason to hide the marriage-and-divorce, because it’s not really, in spite of my guilt issues, a horrible, shameful thing. The problem is that no one seems to really be able to let it go. On the occasions that it does come up, because it doesn’t get discussed much, someone always ends up asking all kinds of questions. I mean, it doesn’t come up because it’s no big deal, but when it does come up, it’s suddenly the focus of the conversation, because everyone’s amazed that they never knew that before! And I suppose I could thing of something that I would like people to focus on even less than the old-news-failed-first-marriage (like how I still need to lose a little weight, or how crappy my hair has been looking because I’m still trying to grow it out) but I really don’t want my dumb first marriage to keep coming up when I’m discussing this one. But I don’t want to deliberately avoid it either, because I know it’s not something I really need to tiptoe around like a terrible skeleton in the family closet. So I don’t have a good solution to this dilemma, other than forging ahead with the “it’s not a big deal” attitude.
On the plus side (back to my dreams last night), at least I dealt with the various situations proactively. I suppose that that means that although I’m concerned that emotional value could be used as a lever, I can stop it by standing up for myself. So hey, I guess I’m not entirely incompetent!
Well, it's done! Doesn't feel much different, other than a tendency to get disgustingly mushy about the whole thing.
But we saw the one-armed man from Twin Peaks outside the courthouse where we got married, and my husband took a picture!
Now I've got to plan the big wedding for next year...but besides that, I feel pretty good.
My wedding dress was terrific! A classic 60s wiggle-style cocktail dress, black background with a snazzy feather pattern, almost-off-the-shoulder, that I found on Wednesday at the Portland Red Light for $16!! How’s that for fortuitous?