Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Nothing more than feelings.

Being a wife is hard, you guys.

Seriously, it's hard. Or maybe it's just hard for me because I'm kind of a huge jerk and things like caring about someones thoughts and feelings about black dress socks when I'm tired and just want to watch Judge Judy seems somehow overwhelming. I'm not sure.

The problem is I do care about his feelings. I do love the hell out of him, more even than cheese. And as I've mentioned as recently as yesterday, I really love me some cheese.

Thus when I finally finished the book that I wrote about the relationship that I had/have with him? My first thought probably should have been "I guess I'll see what Jason thinks". But it wasn't. My first thought was, "OH THANK YOU BABY JESUS I AM FINALLY DONE WITH THIS HORSECRAP!" Because seriously. I'm not the most patient person in the world and it took me like two years. I'm OVER IT.

But I can't be over it. Because he hasn't read it. And I had this terrible, horrible thought the other day about how I would really hate it if someone wrote a book about me and times during which I've behaved less than, um, politely. I don't know how I would feel if my spouse made me a character in a book. I made myself into a character in a book and I'm still not over it.

Mel wrote a great blog post today about how many people use social media to create the myth of the perfect life. I personally have friends on my Facebook page that I know for a proven fact don't look anything at all like the majority of the pictures they post. We all do that, I guess. I know I was mortified recently when I discovered a photograph of me taken at a writers conference in Kentucky. I looked like I had fourteen chins. I only had like, six. I swear.

I would have never posted that online. Similarly, I would never, ever post any photograph that my dad takes of me online. For some reason he never TELLS you he's taking a picture so you don't have an opportunity to prepare. Which is why 99% of the pictures my dad snaps feature someone with their mouth open. My family also never shuts up. Shocking.

Other than that, which is totally understandable, I really do try to keep it real. Not only in my life, but also in my writing. Anyone who has laughed and/or cringed at my use of the phrases "asshat" and "bag of dick hair" knows that.

The thing is?

It's harder, MUCH harder, to tell the truth.

See, most people don't like the truth. The truth sucks. Seeing in print what you did to another person (even if that person is yourself. Hollah!) sucks. Admitting your own faults and failings is darn near impossible for some people. Not for me, as I admit to things that I'm not even responsible for. But for some people it really is. It's nicer, prettier and cleaner to live in a super swell little world of your own making. Where you always look pretty in your picture and your kids never misbehave and your farts smell like fresh baked cinnamon rolls.

Then there are the other people, the ones who take pleasure in my pain. If you don't believe this is true, please note that anytime I write about any trouble in my marriage? I get way, way more comments than usual. Most of them are supportive (and very much appreciated), but others are from people who are not so secretly pleased that I'm not perfect. They are from people who read my blog every time I post and never, ever comment. They are from people who email my close friends and ask questions about what's really going on, instead of just asking me. They are gleeful when I get a bad review and say to everyone they know, "I could write a better book than that!" (to which I say, please. Help yourself. I'm running out of things to read) They are people who are miserable and happy when other people share that misery. People like that? Suck. Sadly, they far outnumber most other people on the planet.


It pains me sometimes to tell the truth. It hurts me that I am flawed and I married someone equally flawed. That sometimes entire years of my life were so bad that I wish I could just erase them. That I have made and sometimes continue to make horrible, horrible life choices. That I'm an emotional eater and struggle with almost every relationship I've ever had. That I am not only not perfect, I am fully and blatantly not perfect and put my own special brand of crazy out there on the front porch for everyone to see.

Somehow it's harder to share with Jason than anyone else. I know how crazy that is. He lived it along with me, true, but I'm keenly aware that we all have our own version of reality. We remember things differently (he never remembers anything at all. Thanks brain injury!). It's harder for me too because, if I'm being honest, it's hard for me to admit to him how much he hurt me. It's hard for me to admit that I loved him so much it literally made my heart hurt sometimes. It's super hard for me to admit that loving him scared the hell out of me, because I never had anything like it before, ever, and I had no idea that it was supposed to feel that way. It's hard, still, for me to admit that loving him meant giving up on certain things that I always wanted, like a mother-in-law who adored me and a family who would want to make my children part of their fold.

I'm still sad about some of these things. I regret not being able to say them before.

He knows I'm not perfect. He's seen me at my absolute worst and still loves me. My mom said to me yesterday, "Jason revolves around you" and I think that's true in a lot of ways, not in gross or weird ways, but in ways I've never experienced. I've never been the light of someones world and I rather like it. He takes marriage more seriously than anyone I've ever met and considering the number of Southern Baptists I know, that's saying a whole lot.

Tonight we are reading.

I hope, sincerely, that this book comes out sometime this year or early next year and I hope, sincerely, that people read it and understand and like it. I hope people laugh when they are supposed to, and cry along with me in the sad bits. I hope it sells a whole lot of copies and I hope that I'm able, finally, to release whatever it is in me that makes it impossible to just walk away from this big old bag-o-nonsense.

But, really? Tonight the only person whose feelings really matter will be reading it. The only, only one.


CPA Mom said...

I. Love. You. Could you voice my own feelings any better? I think not.

Tamar said...

Marriage IS hard if you're doing it right. It's not always easy or instinctive to put another person's needs first, especially when times are getting rough. I don't think I had any idea of what I was getting into when I sailed happily down the aisle in my white dress - but that said, I'm not at all sorry that I did it.

I think you're doing it right. :P

Gerbil said...

For a certain group of people, the flaws and the pain and the bad times make them who they are. Not because they ARE those flaws and bad times but because they the counterpoint, the tempering... if you never embrace the bad, how can you really understand and appreciate the good? I think you are one of those people. You are willing, as you said, to inspect what you think may be tarnish and find instead a rich patina. If someone else hasn't the understanding of that, well....

... they can smack themselves with a bag of dicks.

Jill said...

I take so much inspiration from you, because you tell the truth. I post that I feel like I'm a bad mom, and it's true, I do feel that way, I yell at my kid-- but I recently visited with our pastors, and our lady pastor yelled at her kids, too. Reality in its' biggest form, the people you think might be 'perfect' or maybe should be, are truly JUST LIKE YOU. Life, marriage, it's all HARD. But isn't it great that Jesus sent you the man he sent you? I'm so thankful that I have mine, and I know we feel like Jesus blessed us with each other. It's not meant to be easy, it's meant to teach us something along the way. I think you just are already in such an advanced place, that so many other people never 'get' to. They're scared of the truth, and you LIVE it!

Bethany said...

Let me just say- I love you and I hope Jason is ok with what you have written.

Karen Cupcake said...

she said bag of dicks.. hehehehe! why cant I ever think of those combacks! im 44 .. you'd think by now... anyhow... Ihope and THINK the reading will go amazing! I will send pink bubbles your way !(thats positive thinking btw!) You are awesome! I love your stuff.... I am not in a position to " put stuff out there" because I have to schmooze in order to eat... *sigh... but Oh do I enjoy reading about others who are able to! And my book............. has been started and restarted about 40 times since I was 20 years old. Some day maybe I'll get to write it! And lookit you! on book two! ;o)))) You got this!

Karen said...

Delurking now to comment....just because I lurk and rarely comment, doesn't mean I think you suck. Quite the opposite; I think you're an amazing, honest, open, caring person who managed to insert the word "asshat" and "bag of dickhair" in a sentence and make it seem....well, maybe not normal, but just...YOU. I love it. You don't whine, you express and I love that about you. I look forward to your posts, and I am sorry I don't comment more...I have a blog, hardly anyone ever comments, even though I sometiems get 37 hits in a day (hey, it's a new blog, that's a lot for me!)and I often wonder if the people who read and don't comment think I'm writing junk and stupid stuff, so I feel you. Ok, going back to lurking now. I'll try to be better at commenting. :)

Misty said...

I love how raw and honest you are. Always. I've read you for years... occasionally I've commented and sometimes I've not- but I've always been around. Haters can suck it, because apparently they have no life outside of misery and that's just lame. I hope he loves the rawness and honesty you have obviously put into this... and I can not wait to read it!

M said...

I am so proud of you for finishing this book. Oh how proud of you I am! <3 I know how hard this was to even consider starting. Yeah. This isn't the pretty part. the funny part. The perfect part. It's the perfectly real part.

The great part? Your life is pretty prefect. In the perfect for you and man alive to you make every minute of it and that's what matters.

Lots of love to you. and J as you two embark on this part. It's just nice to know how the story works itself out because you two are one incredible couple through ALL those highs and lows.

And I triple dog dare you to post a shitty pic of you. I do it on fb all the frightening time and I'm kind of offended by your lack of shitty pics of yourself. ;) xoxoxoxo

David. said...

I'm one of those people who creep on your blog and don't comment, mostly because I really can't find anything rhetorically profound enough to follow your posts, but it's most certainly not because I enjoy your pain.

I didn't think you were referring to me, but I just wanted you to know you are loved big lots by some of your stalkers, namely me.

Kathy said...

As a lurker and sometime commenter I look forward to every one of your blog posts!!! You are an amazingly (is that even a word) gifted writer and I'm looking forward to your newest book!!!

Oh and I've completely used Asshat as my own ;-)

Congrats on finishing the book.

Casey said...

Over the past couple of years, many blogs have come and go on my blog roll. Some go because they stopped writing, and some go because they start to annoy the crap out of me. But YOUR blog has stayed the whole time. I always enjoy reading your stories because they are real and I feel like I can relate. Every time I read your posts, I either snort-laugh, nearly spew coffee on my computer screen, or my shoulders shake uncontrollably (because I am usually reading at work and it would be inappropriate to laugh out loud).Sometimes I get wet eyes and that pain in the back of my throat (because I refuse to cry and will hold it back even when it hurts to do so). Sometimes I feel empowered because you say things that I feel every day (I am referring mostly to your open letters, especially the ones about road rage). Anyway, my point is, your blog is awesome and you have a great story to tell. Thanks for keeping it real.

SJINCO said...

I've always enjoyed how real you were. How real you are. Congrats on finally finishing.

EE said...

How in the world did I ever miss the "bag of dick hair" expression???
Excellent post!

Pattie said...

Even the best marriage takes a lot of hard work. That's great that Jason loves you so unconditionally -- that's the way it should be. Can't wait for your next book! :)