Thursday, March 12, 2009

It's mental... funda-mental...

It's not there. He just doesn't have it. I'm so befuddled. How is it possible?

I asked him last night if he has any overarching goals.

He said he wants to take care of the kids.

I say, "No, I mean, OVERARCHING goals. Something you want to do with your life. Something you want to have accomplished by the time the sun sets on your life."


"Are you thinking or ignoring?"


I sigh.

"I guess I want a house."

"What for?" I say.

"To live in. To take care of," he says.

"What are you going to do with your house?"

"Take care of it."

"So, like, sand it and paint it and repair stuff all the time? Sam, what do you see yourself doing when you are your father's age?"

"I don't know."

"I know you don't KNOW, but do you have any ideas?" I'm exasperated.

"No. I just want a house in the country."

"So," I say, "you're just gonna have this house and live in the country and maintain your house?"


We talked for another couple of hours but the same thing kept happening. He DOESN'T y'all. Nothing. No goal, no direction, no purpose. No passion.

He's a floater. He just sort of bobs up and down on the waves and waits for shit to bump into him because that's the only way he'll move anywhere.

I, on the other hand, am a swimmer. I see what I want, and I move. Sometimes slowly, sometimes lightning quick, but either way, I move. Usually forward.

What has happened is that he has gotten snagged onto me somehow. Maybe I hooked him, if you want to follow with the analogy. He's been hanging on for the ride. And NOT because he came toward me. Not because he swam my way, but because I went out of MY way to snag him. Cuz I thought he could swim. I thought his silence was depth and mysterious. Silent like a blob of jelly, but with a pearl of wisdom and adventure inside.

But, I've cut him open and found no pearl. Took ten years.

Look, I can make myself be okay with someone who has no goals. All the more for me. But, I think that should mean that I'm the boss. And that he should either hold on and enjoy the ride or de-hook. Because... he's slowing me down.

You wanna know what my overarching goal is? Steady now.... To help people.

Sounds corny eh? But it's 100% true. Everything I do is to make the world a better place. Not just my world. Through my books; through my librarianship; through my farming, my baking, my cooking, my teaching, my parenting.... It's all with the ultimate goal to have left this fucking planet better than it was when I got here.

And Sam says it's not normal. He says that people don't have overarching goals to change the world. How would he know? He doesn't KNOW any people. He doesn't have any friends. Says he doesn't need them. The relationships he has at work are all superficial. He doesn't KNOW any of those people because you have to actually TALK to, or LISTEN to someone else in order to get to know them. And then once you've known them for a long time, they tell you about their overarching goal (or in my case, the first five minutes or so you know me *grin*... look, we can't all be quiet and mysterious.... some of us don't want to waste the time)...

I think HE'S the one who's not "normal" (not that I believe in such a thing). Most of the people I know have SOME kind of goal. Or even a list of them. I mean, at least most people have a bucket list of some sorts, right? I mean, am I really that much of an oddball?

I don't know what to do. I mean, part of me is glad to finally have the answer. To know that he is seriously and fundamentally different from me and has no plans or desire to change or grow in that way. So, do I just forget the farm? Do I ride out the France thing and wait until we get home to deal with logistics?

He said, "See? I think you NEED to be with someone who has no goals. That way you won't have any opposition."

And I said, "No, what I NEED is someone who sees the value of my goal and wants passionately to do it too. Who applies himself on his OWN time... without my constant goading and coercing. That's what I need. That, or to do it by myself."

The thing is, I feel like if I do it, I'm going to be doing it by myself anyway. The main difference is, if he really ISN'T there (as opposed to being there and being a limp, whiny, negative, NOODLE), I won't have to deal with his constant complaining and resistance. I love constructive advice. I LOVE having someone there to problematize. But that's not what he does. What HE does is hammer away at my positivity. And he uses BULLSHIT to do it. He has nothing to support his criticism. He speaks in declarative statements like "we can't do..." or "that's not how it works..." and it's all based on nothin'. Pulling it straight out of his ass. Based on NO experience or research whatsoever, only his inexperienced, uninformed opinion.

Come ON!!!! If you're going to come up with reasons I should revise my plan, at least back that shit up with some legitimate evidence other than "I know these things." Bullshit. He doesn't know ANYTHING. When I met him (he was 28), he still had a room in his parents house!!! They still did his laundry!!!!!! He went home every weekend!!!!! Can you believe that shit? I should have known better. I should have seen by the way he appreciated me cooking for him. I should not have been flattered by that. I should have looked for a guy who said, "No babe, don't cook tonight. You know I LOVE your cooking but that's four times this week you've cooked dinner. Why don't we let you have a night off and go out?" Where was THAT guy when I needed to find a mate, eh?

Dude, even now. While we were in the States. He let his father fly us over once or twice a year. Sam was making almost six figures and still let his dad dip into retirement money to fly us all over to France. And get this. Every Saturday, he would call his parents and let them call HIM back so it would be on their phone bill. *sigh* I didn't argue at the time because we really were saving our pennies, but when I look back on it now, I'm ashamed. And it's not like I didn't tell him to cut the cord. I did. I tried to guilt and shame him out of doing it. But I guess I didn't nag hard enough. There's no reason any adult male over 30 should have to call his parents EVERY Saturday.

Guess what? We're an hour and a half away and he STILL does it.

I'm over that part. I get it, okay? He was the baby of the family. His parents love him, he loves them, kum ba ya and all that shit. Great. Whatever. I just don't understand how you can continue to sponge off your parents. Why not cut it down to every other Saturday?

It sounds like I'm nitpicking. I am. And I'm okay with that. But the thing is, is that all these little things he does are indicative of the greater him. The who he is inside. He lets people pamper him because that's all he knows.

When I asked him who his little country house was supposed to benefit, he said, "Me."

And that's where it is folks. That's where it is. It's about him.

Everything is about him. I'm here for him. The kids are here for him. The job, him.

I told him yesterday that there are a million guys on this planet who would think he was a lucky bastard for having me. A woman who doesn't give a shit about make-up and jewelry and $50 hair styles. Who doesn't spend money on clothes and stupid shit. Who doesn't care if you play hookie from work to come home and watch a game or a cycling race. Who cares about making herself better. Who wants to be athletic. Who is smart and determined and independent.

You know what he says? "You're lucky to have me, too. I mean, I let you go out whenever you want."

He doesn't know how close to spontaneous combustion he just came.

"Let? You LET me go out? Look, Sam, I go out. Fact of life. Fact of nature. You can find a babysitter and go with me, or you can stay at home. But you don't ever LET me do anything, dear. Ever."

And beyond that, 1) I wouldn't go out by myself if he wanted to go with me... if he acted like he wanted to go..., 2) I wouldn't have ever married the kind of man who thinks he decides whether or not his wife gets to go out, and 3) I "let" him go out, too. If he means by "letting", staying home and watching the kids, I "let" him go out several times a week. We take turns going to the movies. My friends want to go out, he has a choice. He can help me find a sitter and come with me. Or, he can be the sitter and stay home. Since he doesn't really LIKE to go out, I don't see what the issue is here.

In fact, to press a little further, I make sure that the kids are taken care of before I go anywhere. I make dinner for everyone and have it waiting for them before I ever do anything. AND because I don't fall asleep on the couch at 9:30 like some OLD MAN I know, I even sometimes let him go to the movie first and I go to the 10pm show. How's he "letting" me go out if he's at home asleep in bed?

What the fuck ever.

I'm sick of the shit. Yesterday I was sad. Today I'm angry. I like angry better. Angry is swimming. Sad is floating. And I think I've already said which one best describe my nature.


auntberber1026 said...

Funny how you don't notice that it's all about them until it's over huh? I discovered after 20 years that my whole life revolved around my husband and his career, and that all my hopes, dreams, and feelings were wrong unless they were his as well. He married me because he loved me and my independence.....somewhere along the way, I gave it up for him. Now I'm almost 40 and I'm left to figure out who the fuck I am.

I'm here for you Joelie....please let me know if you need to talk, vent, whatever.

Take care,

Veggie said...

I've been hearing a lot of similar stories lately. How is gay Lyon doing?


Catherine said...

The right swimmer is out there somewhere. You deserve to meet him. I hope you do.

Erica said...

I had a similar conversation once, about dreams and all. It just ended a lot better. Of course, mine isn't French either, not to stereotype or anything.

I can't tell you to stay or go, just cuz that's not me, but keep dreaming. You never know what's around the corner. Life sure is a wild ride, isn't it?