Colorless Green Ideas Unintentionally Amusing In Person
Friday, October 24, 2003
Friday at last!
I am extremely glad that today is Friday, because I fully intend to sleep until 2pm tomorrow. I need it. Because we’ve been busy at the haunt , I’ve been getting not-quite-enough-sleep for most of the month, and that never helps things around here—amply-evidenced by scrolling down and reading the excess drama.
It’s true that legitimate life-drama and horrible coincidences do seem to be going around—my friend’s husband is probably have to go on strike soon, another friend is trying to find a new job, another friend was just laid off, etc. etc. Work is being quite, quite crummy, which is causing some fairly major attitude-deterioration as well. But I still have problems comprehending how these problems can cause such complete breakdowns in my mental state. I realize, intellectually, in my rational brain, that I snap and wig out about these things for reasons not-entirely within my control—depression is something that just gets ahold of the wheel sometimes, and I just have to hang on until it’s over. I do better now than I have in the past—things get less out of hand, and the severely-bad times are much shorter—but I invariably feel like a horse’s ass when I come out the other side & realize that, yes, I did have a total meltdown about to no one doing the dishes (or something equally vital). I guess this really is as much as you can hope for—becoming slowly more able to cope with the stress of daily, pseudo-adult life with a decreasing number of “episodes”.
I guess at least, once more, no one was injured by my attack of melodrama.
And another reason why T.H. is wonderful—I spilled all of this stuff on him, and he said (via email):
“Realistically - you're totally right.
I think the key to our situation is for us to keep talking, and if I'm being too passive, for you to keep pushing me. It isn't that I'm not willing to do these things, it’s that I get off track and avoid the stuff that scares the shit out of me (ed—that would be the networking stuff). And if you know what’s going on, while its happening, things won’t fester until we blow out.
I'm going to have to get something crappy, and that’s fine. I'm going to have to put in some gross hours to keep that and the idealistic stuff going too, and that’s going to have to be fine too. We'll push through and make it ok.”
Lucky for me that T.H. is terrific, or I’d totally be up a creek.
The good news is, I’m pretty sure that I’m too much of a chicken about physical pain to actually become suicidal. The bad news is, that’s the good news.
It sounds like it might be a joke, and I wish it was. Really. I also wish that I had some sick time left so that I could just stay home in bed and cry, which is what I’d really like to do. But I don’t, so instead I’m at work, trying to drum up the gumption to do something vaguely work-related, because I doubt that my boss would feel that I was using my time well if I just sat on the floor and cried until five o’clock.
I’ve talked about the current struggle in my house, in my life, here before, and since I’m too apathetic to go find those posts and link to them (hello depression!), I’m going to summarize for you. What it boils down to is this: The Husband is not pulling his half of this wagon. There is a good reason for this, so don’t get all freaked out and email me about getting help to escape from this exploitive relationship, because that’s not what’s going on here. T.H. is a graphic and web designer, like approximately four million other unemployed people. He has been doing bottom-of-the-barrel freelance work for nearly three years, ever since we finished college, because legit studio jobs are nearly non-existent, and competition for the ones that do come up is vicious. T.H. is a nice person—non-confrontational, not aggressive, and very shy. This means that he doesn’t network, which means he’s basically screwed. This also means that every 2-4 weeks, I get upset and say something like “What you’re doing is obviously not working—you need to be more pushy to get in the door, because right now you’re not even getting interviews!” and he says “I can’t do that!”, and we go around and around for a while, until we’re both angry and frustrated and more often than not I’m in tears.
This situation certainly sucks, but it might not be enough to make me hope for a fatal car crash by itself. I’m currently pulling for a terminal disease because it occurred to me that, if this situation continues indefinitely, I will eventually be placed in a position where I have to chose between my own happiness and my marriage, and that freaks me out.
See, I recently decided that I want to significantly change my career path. This change requires one of two things—graduate school, or 1-3 years of internships. On my own I could probably manage either of these options. With the additional financial burden of a second adult, I can’t. If the second adult in question was paying his half (or, even better, paying a little more than his half), there would be no problem. But he’s not—at least he’s not right now.
So eventually we may have a quandary. If, at some point in the future, I decide that he's really not going to change the situation on his own, do I:
· Give up on my alternative career plan and accept that I’ll never really like what I do for a living (which is eating up 40 hours or more of my life every week)?
· Continue to harass my spouse about becoming more aggressive and getting a good job until he hates the sight of me and asks for a divorce himself?
· Change tactics and harass him into getting a joe job, which is better than nothing? (this option will probably require some of the above aggression-harassment as well, since joe jobs are not wildly-available either)
· Bail on a second marriage and go off and pursue my new career as an under 30 double-divorcee?
Did you notice that last option? Yeah, I’ve been placed in a position where I had to make this choice once before. It’s true that my first marriage was unhealthy on a lot of levels, and I was far too young in the first place, but the fact remains that the divorce-motivating factor in that relationship was my ex’s total unwillingness to allow me to pursue the career and life that I wanted. (Yes, you’re right, I should have found that out before the wedding. I said I was too young.)
T.H. is not like my ex…he’s totally supportive, and utterly wonderful about cheering me on and being wide open to whatever I think will make me happy. So that’s not the problem. The problem is that, at this point, all T.H.’s support is just talk. He’s not in a position to help with the groceries, let alone pay all of the rent. His emotional support is appreciated, yes—don’t think that I’m not hugely grateful for that. The problem is that I need some practical assistance from him in order to make this work for us as a couple.
I don’t know what to do about this. I don’t know what else to say. I don’t think I can give up entirely on what I want—there’s a limit to the amount of sacrifice that’s healthy, and I think resigning oneself to a mind-numbing career when one has professional goals is going too far. But I really don’t want to be forced into another “Me or Us?” decision, especially when I love this man.
I don’t know what to do—I’m not having any luck contracting a fatal illness, and I’m too whimpy to step in front of a moving vehicle. Does anyone have another suggestion?
Initially, I was wondering how in the world the soup could have changed between one can and another. I had Mushroom Barley Soup for lunch yesterday, and it was yummy and full of succulent mushrooms and love. Today, it tastes like warm water. Why is this? How can this be? It’s the same brand, same soup!
But then I looked at the can again. Last night at the store I bought the No Salt Added soup.
Do not, under any circumstances, buy the No Salt Added soup. It tastes like warm pond water, and it will totally ruin your lunch if you are expecting mushroom-filled goodness.
I had a professional massage for the first time ever on Sunday.
It was wonderful.
I developed a huge crush on the very nice massage therapist, because, clearly, she is a gift from the gods, with her firm pressure and kneading away of the gazillion knots. She told me that I have a lot of tension in my neck and shoulders (seriously—it felt like there were marbles under the skin, and although the woman did wonders, a bunch of them are still there), in my lower back (knew that), and in my calves (my calves? Doesn’t that seem a little weird?). She said I should be getting massages monthly, to help get the knots and tension out. I would really, really like to follow this advice—the mere idea of a monthly massage makes me happy. It was so relaxing, no-pressure, and simply wonderful. But it would also be very expensive to pay for massages monthly—$50-80 per hour, depending on where you go. The wonderful therapist that I saw was at a pricey place, too, which I patronized because I had a gift certificate.
On one hand, $50-60 a month (if I go to an average-cost place) isn’t a lot of money to be happy and relaxed, and apparently massages can reduce depression, which would be okay with me, and probably T.H. too. On the other hand, paying $50-60 a month won’t much help the financial situation, and it seems a little dumb to spend money to reduce stress when spending that same money is going to cause stress. What to do, what to do?
I told T.H.:
a) He needed to get a job immediately, to support my new habit
b) When we’re rich (should be around the same time we’re grown ups, which I think will be around the same time that souls in torment learn to ice-skate) I’m getting weekly massages, because what else would you do with all that money?
We’ll see how that works.
In the meantime, I wonder if thinking about massages will curb my desire to eat out. Next time I get a massive Thai craving, I’m going to try thinking about how take-out is half the cost of an hour-long massage. Maybe it will snap me to my senses, and I’ll make spaghetti, and put the money in a jar labeled “Bliss Fund”.