Saturday, January 11, 2014

Romantic Comedy's are not a good model for healthy relationships

Laurell K Hamilton asked her fb followers if they've ever had their life influenced by romantic comedys, or had the kind of things that happen in rom coms happen in their relationships. And it got me thinking about it... not for the first time.

When I talk at/rant to Chris, my hubby about this, his answer is that I should blog about it or some such, so for once, I'm listening. ;)

I should start off by saying I used to love romantic comedies. It was my favourite genre in fact. Funny, with a guaranteed HEA (Happily Ever After) ending, what's not to love?

Then I met Chris. But more importantly, I had the very first grown-up, healthy courtship and then healthy relationship of my life.

 So when, months into dating Chris, I wanted a rom com - no, I don't remember which one - I realized just how messed up the genre was as a whole.

When you stop and think about the kinds of things rom coms promote as 'romantic', or 'all in the name of love'... Creepy is what comes to mind.

Movie Example: Edward sneaking into Bella's bedroom to watch her sleep at night. Even ignoring the fact that she's 16, and he's like 200 or 100, or whatever- he's an old man. Even ignoring the age thing, he's breaking and entering to watch her sleep.

Now, I have actually had this happen to me - sort of - he didn't break in at least! When I was a teenager, I was dating a very sweet boy. He came over one evening when I was having a nap (yes, even at 14 or 15 I liked naps!). My parents let him in, assuming he'd wake me up. He didn't. I woke up to pitch black , not only had the sun set but the power had gone out so there wasn't even filtered light from the streetlights outside my big ass window. The radio was off, but was on when I'd gone to sleep. And I could hear someone breathing in the room. Someone that wasn't me. I freaked. I stayed stock still until the power came back on - longest seconds of my life! With the light from the street I had enough clues to figure out it was my soon to be ex boyfriend, not some serial killer there to murder me. But he just sat there and watched me sleep, for gods knows how long! WHAT THE FUCK?! I was terrified! That is just not cool, let me tell you.


Real life example: When I was dating my now husband, I had an ex call me out of the blue, and tell me he missed me, he wanted me in his life, that he some nights he just sat in his car outside my house, thinking about me, but didn't have the nerve to knock.

My first reaction, a result of watching too many romantic comedies, was: aww, how sweet.

Then I really thought about it.

I hadn't heard from this guy in six months and even then he was just brushing me off. So miss me, my ass.

Also, I'd been spending almost half my time at Chris' place in Toronto but home was still my parent's place in Hamilton (a hour's drive from Toronto); I just wasn't there much.

So this 37 yr old man was sitting outside my parents house. In his car. At night. What? Just staring?

STALKER!! My brain screamed and my pulse jumped. I wasn't worried for myself. I really wasn't home many evenings at this point. But my parents were. Every protective instinct I had came rushing to the forefront.

So I did the only thing I could think of: I talked his ear off about how happy I was. I told him I was seeing a wonderful man (my Chris) that was only a few years older than me (not old and decrepit like him). How Chris was wonderfully geeky, sweet, and oh so good to me. I went on about our amazing chemistry, and how no one had ever pleased me like Chris did, over and over and over again. I told him how Chris thought I was 'worth the trouble', something no other man had ever told me - I always got the opposite. Especially from this guy (yes, he was a self-obsessed jerk). I told him I never thought about him, but I wished him well.

Worked like a charm too! He never bothered me again! 

I really hope he was only feeding me a line, trying to get me pinging for him or some crap. Cause to this day it kinda freaks me out to think about him sitting in his sedan outside my parents house.. last at night.... I mean. what the fuck?


So yeah. Do not model your relationships on rom coms. That's not the kind you want. Take it from a happily married woman. Yay for "boring married life" *snickers* I wouldn't want it any other way.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Poerty. Blah.

Pulled by invisible stings
My muscles jerk wildly
Betraying a secret
I keep even from myself.

The stone ogre is solidifying
Moving oh so slowly
Muscles strain, tendons scream
I bite my tongue to hide my pain.

Bones made of lead,
Muscles like molasses in January
Pushing just to do the simplest things
I am alone in this hell.

They look like good strong hands don't they?
My wrist jerks, my thigh jumps
I hold in the scream burning in my throat

Weighed down by more
Than my own gargantuan size
Fighting the good fight
Try as I might, I'm still loosing.

But is it the war or the battle
That is beating me down?
In the pit of despair
It all looks the same to me.

Fight the good fight.
It's more than just words.
I'll never give up.
I walk through hell for the ones I love.

There is hope. I know it.
I can't see it now, but it's there.
I'll wait out the darkness
Because this too shall pass.

In the light of love
Everything is possible
I believe in the dream
I believe in love.

And someday, some way,
This will get better.
No matter how many times
I fail along the way, I will win.

Never give up, never surrender
There must be a peace
Between my dreams
And this disease eating at me

A modicum of control is all I desire
The disease is part of me. I admit it.
Now, how do I get it to co-operate?
So help me Fria, I will find a balance.



So uh, it was suggested in this course I took, that I try to express my pain in some way... This is one of my attempts. Take it for what you will.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Epiphany

I love fictional characters without restraint, wholeheartedly even. I very rarely love real people half so much.

I'm sitting here crying because I know this is the last season for Amy and Rory Pond as the Doctor's companion. Already I miss them. Already I am sad to say goodbye to them. I fell in love with them you see, and it hits me hard that they...they won't be continuing the story with us.

When Mattiline died - a character in the Hallows book series -  I sobbed for hours, inconsolably. I was heartbroken. Chris came home and found me sobbing. He thought someone had died - a real someone that is. I don't think he ever understood how my emotions could rage, how I could be so very attached to someone who wasn't real.

But that's part of it - for me, they are real. If the writer is any good, their characters become real for me. And when they die, my grief is just as real. This is something I've known for years now, and have become very careful about what I read.

Thankfully most romance novels are engaging enough to be entertaining but not enough to touch my heart. Ha.

What I hadn't realized before, was why. Why do I love fictional people so easily? Why do I let myself love them, feel for them so very deeply, when I don't.... I just don't for people people.

Then it hit me.

Fictional characters can't reject me, can't judge me, can't leave me. They will always be there, right where I left them. I can love them without risking being hurt myself. Sure, losing them hurts, but it's not the same as the sting of not being loved back, of being judged and found wanting.

On the other hand, fictional characters let me into their lives. I get to see them at their best, and worst. I get a pass into their daily lives, I get to spend days, months, even years with them.  Most people I don't get to know half so well.

I grieve the loss of beloved characters. I cry. I sob. Until I have a headache and my heart feels hallow, empty and bereft.

I have never allowed myself to grieve for loved ones like that. I've been lucky, thus far, no one really close to me has died. I've had a cat, a dog, and an uncle die in my living memory. I never properly grieved for any of them.

I was sad when my uncle died. It was a shock, but also not a shock, we knew he was dying, I just didn't think it would be so soon.

My pets, I was in school and I had big tests both of the days they died. I refused to let myself grieve because I had to focus, I had to pass my exams. But when they were over, I never, I never let my grief out. It was like, once I put my grief in a box in the corner of my mind, so I could get through my exam, I couldn't get the box back. I couldn't....find the passion to grieve.

Does that make me a terrible person?

Perhaps it just makes me a frightened one.

I can't help that I love fictional characters. And I don't want to. I like that stories and the people in them mean something to me.

But I worry that I have so much trouble forming attachments in the real world. I've always been shy and awkward. I've always been uncertain as to my worth in the eyes of others. I'm...quirky. I just don't connect with many people. There are people occasionally that I want to connect with, but for whatever reason I don't manage to make a lasting connection. I am only ever on the peripheral of their lives.

I'm not really sure what to do with this epiphany. I'm trying very hard to not judge myself, to not label myself a coward.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Book Review...that Degenerated into a Rant...

2.5/5 Stars for by

Free kindle read. The story is far better than most free reads - the characters are well developed, the plot is interesting, and there are even some very mild sexy bits.

Overall I liked this, I mean, I read it for hours on end (like 16 hours or so) because I couldn't put it down, I was enjoying the characters far too much.

I have one HUGE issue, and a few smaller ones though.

My largest issue is perhaps a spoiler, but I don't really think so. The author keeps mentioning the time the heroine and hero "accidentally had sex". Now, first off, you can't just accidentally have sex, what, did she fall on his cock?? Second, THIS NEVER HAPPENED!! It's mentioned a few times throughout, but finally close to the end you learn it happened her first night in the mansion. I went back and re-read it thinking I might have swiped too many times and passed pages without realizing. Nope. It NEVER HAPPENED.

Clearly there was an edit at some point and the author didn't bother to go back through the rest of the book to make sure the deleted scene wasn't mentioned. To me, it's a big deal because the KEEP mentioning it, and base other decisions/feelings on it. Edit people!! EDIT!

Okay, second issue, related to the first, and more SPOILER. So don't read if you don't want to know!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Love, Teapots, and Shakespeare

I found a few lines of shakespere, unexpectedly, and it brought back such happy memories of our wedding. Our, being my husband Chris and mine.

You see, I found my most remembered line of a favourite sonnet I put in our wedding ceremony. Love is not love that alters when it alteration finds. This is the whole thing:

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
                                Sonnet 116, William Shakespeare

Chick logic. The sonnet made me look up the ceremony - I wrote it/put it together you see. And then I had to re-read my favourite part. I admit, that on the day of, I didn't hear a damned word our official said. I was sooooo nervous and excited, it was all a blur.


Have I mentioned I hate standing up in front of people or being the centre of attention? See how I'm clutching onto his hand? Poor man. I was terrified!

But on to the teapot.

What? For the exchange of rings, some mention of why we wear rings is always made. Usually it goes something like, love is a circle, blah, bah blah.  I felt the circle reference was very arbitrary and didn't make much sense. So I wrote something that did make sense to me. Love is a teapot. Yes, that was my favourite part. I wrote it myself, and I think it rather clever. Perhaps it's not, but it always makes me smile. Judge for yourself:

Love, tuw wuv, is a teapot, but we wear rings since they are easier to get on our fingers.  Love is a teapot, love is a circle, a square, a polygram -  love is what you make of it.  And here today, Christopher and Melissa vow to make their love the lasting kind.  Their love will keep them safe and warm through whatever storms life throws at them, just like a good teapot would.

But you have to imagine the priest from Princess Bride saying the first part, for it to make sense. And if any of you haven't seen the Princess Bride, go now and watch it. It..... is one of the most beloved stories for geeks 40-30 yrs old.


I'm such a sap. But every day I marvel at the gift I've been given - in the form of my husband. He is not a boon I ever thought to have from this life. And every day I am thankful, I feel my luck, and know, despite being chronically ill and such, that life could be so much worse, so much emptier. He is my anchor, my port in the storm, and my life-preserver in rough seas. Nothing is ever so bad when I'm in his arms.

Love. I never thought I'd be so damn lucky.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Jerkface Doctor Solves Everything - Pain ISN'T REAL

Yeah, that's right. I went to see my GP for my physical and he went on a half hour long tirade about how pain isn't real.  It's just signals your brain gets. You just feel it. But it's not real.

That man has some gall!

I have Fibromyalgia, chronic tension, sinus, TMJ and cluster headaches, as well as migraines. I have degenerative knee caps (bending my knees hurts), flat feet, and bursitis (painful inflammation) on my hips.

It's safe to say I know a thing or two about pain. I've spent most of my life in pain. Even when I was a child, my bones grew faster than my tendons and I would sit rubbing my legs and crying because I was in so much pain. As a teen and in my early twenties I was plagues by sinus headaches and migraines. And I'm here, disabled, not working, not even able to care for myself, trying to survive with chronic pain.

Until I moved to Toronto and met the group of friends I have now, I honestly didn't know it wasn't normal to be in pain all the time. I couldn't remember a reality that didn't have me always in pain. And whenever I mentioned I was in pain to my parents or others they would say things like 'that's too bad' or, 'I wish I could do something for you', but never, not once did anyone tell me it wasn't normal!! How the hell was I supposed to know that's not how everyone else lived, and I was just a big wimp complaining all the time?! I didn't know! Not until one of my friends said it isn't normal to live with that much pain.

But it's not real. None of it is real. Pain and fear aren't real, my doctor said. They are just signals your brain gets. Sometimes they are helpful, sometimes not. But they are just information; they aren't real.

Sure, I know my FMS means my brain is screwing up, sending pain signals when there is no actual cause. But that doesn't make the pain any less real!!

My pain is just as real me to as him standing in front of me telling me my problem in all in my head, and I just have to learn to ignore the signals my brain is sending me.

EXCUSE ME!?!?!?!  I'm in so much pain I'm fucking suicidal because I'd rather be dead than live in this hell and he has the audacity to tell me my pain ISN'T REAL!?!?!?!

It's not real. Just ignore it. That's his answer.

WHAT THE FUCK?!

My pain is real. Thank you very much.

Way to undermine a patient's sanity. Because if my pain isn't real, then neither is he and neither is anything else.

What makes something real?? I can feel it. I can manipulate it. I can make it worse, or better. Just because I can't see it doesn't make it not real. I can't see germs either, but they exist all the same!

If pain isn't real, then neither is joy, or love, or the air we breathe! I can't see the air. I can feel the it. I can smell it. But I can't touch the air - I can't hold it in my hand. So what makes it real?

And I will argue until I'm old and grey that LOVE is REAL. I can feel it. I can see it - by proxy in the actions of the ones around me that love me. I hold it in my hand every time my husband brings me a drink because my feet or joints are too damn sore to get up for myself. I wrap it around me every night - it's my husband cuddling me so hard I have to fight to get up to pee. I hear it in the joy in my parents voices when I make a surprise visit. I smell it when my husband cooks me dinner. I taste it in the batter when I bake him his favourite - banana bread. I can see it, hear it, touch it, smell it, taste it. That's all five senses. What more proof could you possible needl?!

But love started out as a feeling, and I can argue just as well for pain. They are real damnit!

My pain isn't real. I cannot seriously believe he said that to me. My pain isn't real?! I would so love for him to live in my body for a month, and then tell me my pain isn't real. It's fucking real all right, and actually experiencing it would knock him on his cocky ass, is what.

My pain isn't real. Ha. Sure. And I suppose fairies sprinkle fairy dust on the flowers to make them grow too.

Jesus.

My pain is real. I live with it every moment of every day. It's fucking real all right.

Perhaps I should break both of his legs, in multiple places, then when he's all healed up and his bones start to ache in the dampness I can tell him his pain isn't real, see how he likes it. It's only a bad signal. Stop your limping and just ignore it, you big baby. Yeah. That'd go over real well, I'm sure.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Babies, Or the Lack Thereof

I just watched an episode of The Closer that really hit home for me.  The lead character, a 40 yr old woman is worried she's pregnant. Yes worried. Terrified even. So scared she takes a few days to actually do a test. She is relieved when the test is negative, but her boyfriend is disappointed. The way he looked when he saw the test box in her purse (he wasn't snooping, he was making sure he glasses went into her bag instead of on the floor). He had that look - stupid happy, like he'd just won the life lottery. Money can't make you look that happy. Only love can do that.  Well, aside from faking it for film; I'm speaking of when that look happens on it's own in real life. It's been my experience only moments of true joy based on love give that wondrous, happy look.

It's the same look I saw on my good friend Will's face while he was standing across from him wife during their marriage ceremony. It's the same look I saw on my own husband's face in the pictures for our wedding (I was way too nervous to notice at the time).

It's a good look. And man does it feel good when you're the reason!

Anyway, my point, is what happens when you're the reason someone is robbed of that look and all the expectant joy that causes it.

My mother-in-law was shocked at my lack of romance, and possibly tact, when I told her that I told Chris, my husband, on our first date, that if he wanted children, if that was something he was looking for, then I wasn't his woman. I told him, firmly, and knowing me, passionately that I was never going to have children. I like other peoples children just fine, and I'm happy they enjoy them, but I so do not want that life for myself. Which, in a way, is a blessing in disguise because right now there is no way in hell I could take care of a child! I can't take care of myself without help. No, kids would be the miserable death of me. Though, honestly, even if I was perfectly healthy I would still be miserable if I had kids. They are just.... Not something I want in my life.

Now, if I'd done things my mother-in-laws way, and hadn't mentioned my feelings, I could potentially be the person robbing someone of that joy I was talking about earlier. I would have been lucky with Chris, but he's not the only man I've ever dated, and I've always been upfront because, having children is not something you can compromise on. Whether or not you have 1 or more can be a compromise, but if one partner wants kids and the other doesn't, well that's just a deal breaker. I have always felt it is better to state up front what you are looking for in a relationship and what the deal breakers are for you. I don't think it's unromantic, I think it's practical. How romantic is miscommunication and hurt feelings?

Letting things happen naturally, and seeing where the go, is just fine - that's what Chris and I did. But you have to be upfront with people. When I was dating, I wanted to avoid the scenario where we'd date for, who knows how long, and once we have tender feelings for each other, and want to be serious, or even think of marriage, only then we find out that one of us wants ten kids, the other zero, or one of us is a devout Christian and requires not only a Christian wedding, but baptism and child-rearing as Christians, oh, and for the mother to convert and attend Church ever Sunday. Deal breakers. That's what I'm talking about. Upfront no one gets their feelings hurt, you've 'wasted' maybe 1-3 dates instead of months or even years, and everyone can then go off and seek someone that wants the same things they do.

I feel passionately about this. I may not be great at communicating, and my husband will surely attest to that (he has the patience of a saint!), but I do understand the value, and importance of talking to the people in your life. I know it's hard; it's always hard for me, but in the end, it helps. People can't help you if you don't tell them you need help. People can't be or give you what you want if you don't ask. I say people because I mean not just your partner but all the people in your life that care about you. Perhaps it's just me, though likely not, but I find it hard to ask for help in part because I never feel.... sure that whomever I'm asking is willing to help. Fear of rejection is a powerful thing. It's taken me over 30 years, but I'm beginning to understand that I'm better loved than I've ever imagined, and asking for things, especially from my partner, is a good way to get what I want/need. 

Man, am I a lucky woman! Every time I think about the fact I'm married to my Chris, I realise just how damn lucky I am. I'm so well loved. He's so so good to me! We're so very compatible. He makes me happy just by being here. Insert goofy smile here.