Friday, August 20, 2010

No waiting

Don't piss off a woman. Ever. Also, don't take us for granted or tell us how to behave. If you piss off a woman, you will live to regret it. It's like we have Female Alzheimer's - we forget everything but the grudges.

For some reason, this has been on my mind lately. I have been comparing and contrasting my two husbands, the Pyg and Sweetie. I call him the Pyg after Pygmalion, the sculptor who carved a statue of a beautiful woman and through the grace of Aphrodite, the statue was brought to life. But he was more like Professor Higgins in the play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw. You may know it better as the musical, My Fair Lady.

My first husband met me when I was quite young, 15 maybe, and we became an "item" two years later. He was 7 years older than me, and worked at a bank. Looking back, I believe that he always hoped to make me, turn me, model me into some form, some ideal, that lived in his head. I always disappointed him, because what he wanted me to be, to become, was not anything I wanted to be. He envisioned me as a sophisticate, an astute businesswoman, a wife who would help him in his career. I needed to have nicely coifed hair and manicures, and wear nice clothes made of expensive fabrics.

"Why don't you do something with your hair?" he asked and asked. I finally did, having my waist length tresses whacked off into a boy cut, which he hated. I could never win. When we could not afford it, he insisted that I buy a pair of $40 earrings. He encouraged me to spend money that we did not have in order to have a nice image. I was all about the budget. This was after he left the bank and became a photographer. Or shall I say, a photographer's assistant.

It was as if he set the mark and I was expected to meet said mark, and it didn't matter what I thought at all. You must be this tall to ride the ride.

Sigh. I could go on and on and on and on, but I think you all get my drift. When I finally had had enough of that and other things, and I said to him one evening, "We need to talk," (probably the four words men least want to ever hear,) I said that I wasn't happy. His reply was exactly this, "What are you going to do about it?" I had not actually thought that through, thinking we could actually talk, but when asked, I said, "I guess I'm moving out." I had no plan. None. But the next day, I moved out and thanks to the kindness of friends, I had places to stay until I got on my feet. I moved out April 20, and the divorce was final on July 3.

And so on July 4, I meet Sweetie. A cute young man, just out of the military, unemployed, who actually listened to me as if I were worth listening to. Imagine!

Sweetie has never asked me to tone it down or ramp it up or to be anything other than what I am. He loves that I am artistic. He has supported every single venture that I have undertaken. He has never wanted me to be anything other than what I am. I love that we still have great conversations, that we dance in the living room, that we still want to be with one another whenever we can. I love him so much!

***** edited to add: I was not blameless in my first marriage and neither is Sweetie in my second.


Knitting Linguist said...

I think you have nailed one big difference between good and not-so-good relationships; the ability to listen to what the other person is saying, rather than to the soundtrack that already exists in our heads of what the other person is saying. It sounds both like you have a wonderful relationship now, and the experience to truly appreciate it for what it is.

Anonymous said...

So don't keep us in suspense; who was it that pissed you off to the point of writing about it? Was that all directed at Pyg? Somehow I sensed something a little more recent...
Nancy NeverSwept

Helena Handbag said...

Identification with any form as ones' identity wreaks havoc, pain, and suffering. And you have so clearly had first hand experience of this all too common fallacy and illusion. (hee hee -- I almost inadvertantly typed that as "phallic illusion". The mind is such a funny place.)