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Sing With Me If It's Just For Today...
If I should fall behind, Guyster, wait for me.
The meanie
It’s been almost a month since my birthday, and my office continues to be littered with balloons in a variety of stages of dissipation. Some are shrunken and pruney, randomly lying on the floor while others have retained their full shape although they drift listlessly at the end of tape to some of my cabinets. My office smells of latex potpourri. They were a magnificent surprise the day after my birthday, and a colorful blessing that I was part of a new work family. Gretchen blew up each of those balloons, and she was proud when I screamed with delight at the sight of them. I look at them sometimes now, and with a streak of spite and anger, I want to pop every one of the damned things. That’s because I’m a meanie.

Billy called me that when I’d say something so cruel that it would make that handsome, round face pucker up into a tearful scrunch. “You’re a meanie!” he’d say, the hurt dripping down his cheeks. I’d fight harder, defend myself, and just get more rabid. Billy would end up seething, unable to play my word games, and he’d retreat. After I cooled down, I would hang my head and beg his forgiveness. It was too late, though, because his anger festered far beyond a simple open sore and grew into a full-on large boil.

I think about being a meanie. I remember almost every time he called me that name and I’ll circle that memory in my head until I’ve worn a path around it, and then I cry. It’s laughable to blame my quicksilver belligerence on my career although the business certainly engenders it, and it’s paltry to blame my parents.

An easy analysis would tell of a man who can’t accept love because he’s been raised to believe he’s not worthy of it. I don’t buy it, at least not in my case. I did accept love from Billy. He was the one who broke through more than anyone ever had. He taught me, by example, that it was ok, and I could let go and accept his hand in mine. When Billy left, well, I thought I had put my bad behavior behind me; I thought it an ugly by-product of the past. I wanted to believe that I had been taught something from what happened. But the ball keeps on rolling and the big wheel keeps on turning.

While my meanie-ness may have gone underground, for a minute, it takes about fifteen clicks on the second hand of Billy’s watch that’s on my wrist for it to rise to the surface, take my opponent by the throat, and beat him down without me breaking a sweat. It’s crept into this journal and it certainly has found its way into my new relationships in DC. When it happens, I only hear Billy’s plaintive and frustrated voice saying, “You’re a meanie!”

And it seems I haven’t learned a damned thing.
6 comments or Leave a comment
jawnbc From: jawnbc Date: May 28th, 2004 08:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Or....the human? One post doesn't meanie a thing, and you copped to it pretty quickly. That's learnin'
quuf From: quuf Date: May 28th, 2004 09:37 am (UTC) (Link)
We all have our moments of petulance. I try to mask mine as humor. It blunts the point of the needle and invites return thrusts.

You could tell Gretchen that you're in such a nasty mood that even her balloons are fair game. It might deepen your friendship. It might even take the pressure off the need to dispatch the unflaccid balloons that remain. You could even hand her the needle and invite her to pop away without compunction -- pardon the pun. ;-)
ahedonia From: ahedonia Date: May 28th, 2004 12:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
I had a similar experience.

I've lived with one man in my life, for five years. He was the first "real" relationship I ever had. Before that there were no real boyfriends -- hardly any dates, even -- just what Liz Phair lovingly calls "fuck and run", with me doing the running as often as not.

I had long believed I was completely unfit for anyone to fall in love with me. I had convinced myself I was singled out to have it never happen. And then it did.

Five years later, our breakup was so rancorous that a judge granted me a restraining order against him (long story, but he broke up with me, I retreated into a cocoon and he inexplicably tried to follow and smash me out of it.)

I told myself that it was his big ugly reaction that put me right back to feeling I was unworthy of love, as badly as ever if not worse, but now I'm not so sure. I think the relationship just put my feeling on hold, on ice, as long as there was outward evidence to the contrary. But as soon as that evidence was gone, I think I found that it was never about needing outward evidence to begin with. If my heart was a teacup, there was a crack in it, and anything poured in would eventually leak out and leave it empty again. I couldn't hold love -- I needed to fix my teacup.

I am currently well on my way. :)
fabulist From: fabulist Date: May 28th, 2004 12:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
You've learned more than you think, but you need to take the lessons to heart.
ruralrob From: ruralrob Date: May 28th, 2004 08:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
You a meanie? Nah. I have you pegged as a real softie.
ubermunkey From: ubermunkey Date: May 28th, 2004 10:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
i was gonna say all these things and get uber deep about needs and protecting oneself and then figured fuq it you know who you are and what is relevant to you. but do you know that we think you are swell?

ramblings from the mind of the munkey

be well post birfday boy
6 comments or Leave a comment