Gimmeoxygen's Blog

December 7, 2009

I AM A #@!*% LADY!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ruby Dabling @ 5:34 pm
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Years ago, I saw something that made me laugh for days.  A woman in a striped dress – a behemoth! something normally seen on a tether in a parade! – was using her purse to beat the crap out of a man while screaming, “I AM A FUCKING LADY, AND YOU CAN’T TREAT ME THIS WAY, YOU MOTHERFUCKER!” and so on.

She continued to beat him, and to scream, until he – finally! – straightened-up, balled-up his fist and gave her a good poke in the snoot.  No one there would say she didn’t deserve it.

Immediately, she began to appeal to the people watching.  Did we see that?  Did we see him strike her?  A woman?  Would anyone, please, help her?

As a group, the crowd turned, and dispersed.  Scenes like this aren’t uncommon in the city, and it takes more to keep the interest of spectators.  I was on the bus stop bench near them, though, and close enough to hear the man when he said, “Oh, for shits’ sake, Angie, why do you have to get like this?  You know I can’t be all bruised-up on Saturday – it’ll show up on our wedding pictures!”

The woman brushed off her dress and said, “Yeah, you’re right.  We gotta lifetime to fight about it.”

It was funny at the time, but something tells me that – if Angies’ husband has survived her tender attentions – this couple is still together while many others have fallen in battle and parted.  Why?  Because they’d already seen their monsters before they tied the knot.  They knew each other.  There’d be no surprises after the “I do”.

I was married.  Briefly.  I was young, my mother was dying, and I was an emotionally needy scrap of humanity wanting someone, something to anchor me.  I didn’t have enough life experience to understand that the only valid strength you can depend on is your own, so I was trying to borrow his.

We clawed and tore at each others’ psyches for a little while before deciding that parting was the only rational option we had, but I’ve known so many couples who hate each other and grimly carry on and on and on, both disappointed in who they are.  This is something I’ve never been able to understand.

I like to imagine that the sparring couples’ monsters eventually died, or slipped into comas, or ran away to Bermuda and that Angie and her husband discovered that they’d married their best friend, so it’s okay to be good to each other.  I like to see them, in my imagination, sitting together in the evening, hand in hand, and chuckling at how they used to behave.


No idea why I wrote about this, but I did, so…there…


November 2, 2009

If You Aren’t Going to Use that Emotion, May I Have it?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ruby Dabling @ 9:01 pm
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I fell into a relationship with a man named Andrew-never-Andy a few months after moving here.  I’d decided on the first date that he was much like tapioca pudding – I neither liked nor disliked him, and I never did understand why we continued to see each other after that first night as I’m absolutely certain Andrew-never-Andy felt the same way towards me.

Sometimes, these lukewarm couplings survive because the sex is spectacular.

The sex was not spectacular.

However, we limped along like this for nearly seven months.  Andrew-never-Andy became part of my daily scenery, and he was like a piece of furniture, in all honesty.  We didn’t talk, we exchanged necessary information, and even that was at a minimum.  We’d share the couch like two people at a bus stop – politely, a bit warily.  Eventually, we’d march into the bedroom to share uninspired sex, and I was always happier when he’d not spend the night.  I’m not sure how long we would have remained in bondage to this emotional inertia if Andrew-never-Andy hadn’t, one spring evening, suddenly asked me to marry him.

My response was to ask him if he was fucking insane.  “Oh, c’mon – I don’t even know why we go on seeing each other, and you want to get married?  How do you justify that?”

Nonplussed, Andrew-never-Andy shrugged.  “We’re functional.  There’s no drama.  You don’t get angry or make any demands.  I like things quiet and calm like this.”  He popped another Dorito into his mouth and went back to watching a documentary about the Mayans as I wondered if I should check him for a pulse.  I’d arrived at the conclusion that he was either the walking dead or an android.

I didn’t bother to explain to him that we were too emotionally disconnected to create any drama, and that you can’t make demands of someone you want nothing from, but I did say that we needed to end our relationship, and I’d mail him anything he might have left (which turned out to be a pair of worn socks, and a toothbrush).

I told him not to bother to call me again, or to drop in, and I wasn’t surprised when he followed those instructions.  I never heard from, or saw, Andrew-not-Andy again.

Until Halloween.

Another knock at the door, and I opened it to find him standing with an unsmiling, and empty-looking woman holding a terribly cute, chubby child dressed as an apple.  She was, perhaps, three years old, and she was silently holding out her hand .  When I gave her one of the bags of candy I’d made up for the kids, she solemnly took one, inspected it, nodded and left with them without saying a word.

Andrew-never-Andy had found the perfect wife, and they had produced their perfect child.  I closed the door realizing the fate I’d avoided, and that I’d found proof that there is, indeed, someone for everyone.

There’s something awfully funny or truly sad about this whole story, but I’m not sure which it is…and that, actually, sums up the entire Andrew-never-Andy experience, doesn’t it?

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