May 23, 2007

Conversation, Part II

Posted in nutella, Present, The Why, The WTF at 8:39 am by Dagny Taggart

DT:  All right.  Where are you?  Come out, show yourself.

K:  Right here, as usual.  Looking over your shoulder.

DT:  Karma, I know you’re some sort of divine force, but must you look so smug all the time?  It’s really annoying.

K:  I’m quite sure I don’t know what you mean.

DT:  Riiight.  So anyway, about this situation I’ve got going on…

K:  Something… vexes thee? 

DT:  Okay.  First of all, the movie quotes are my thing, and it’s not nearly as cute when you do it.  Second, I just don’t get it.  What are you trying to tell me here?

K:  Maybe this is what happens when you don’t stand up for yourself enough?  Maybe, just maybe, when you let people get away with too much for too long, you forget how to insist on what’s important to you.  And then, because you didn’t insist, you have no one but yourself to blame when it doesn’t happen.  Remember that smart friend of yours?  She’s the one who pointed out that you never get more than you ask for in a negotiation.

DT:  Gotcha.  So… maybe I should try on that fabulous, confident, doesn’t-take-crap thing for a while, and see how that works?

K:  (dryly) It’s an idea.

DT:  As annoying as you are when you’re right (and smug!), I *might* owe you a thank you for this one.  Will a very recently opened jar of Nutella work?

K:  Hand it over.  I’ll be back, you know.

DT:  You know?  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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May 11, 2007

Vivian Ward v. Melvin Udall

Posted in Past, Present, The Happy, The WTF at 6:24 pm by Dagny Taggart

Vivian Ward:  People put you down enough, you start to believe it.
Edward Lewis:  I think you are a very bright, very special woman. 
Vivian Ward:  The bad stuff is easier to believe. You ever notice that?

Melvin Udall:  You make me want to be a better man.

I’ve had some pretty absurdly awful things said to me over the years – not just in dysfunctional romantic relationships, but by people whom one would normally think would never say such things (family, co-workers, and someone I thought was a friend, to name a few). 

“You’re a horrible, horrible person, and I hope nothing good happens to you, ever.”

And for a long time, Vivian was right – the bad stuff WAS easier to believe.  And a phrase like the one above?  Coming from someone I cared about?  That’ll take some time for recovery – that’s just how I’m put together, I guess.  People I care about can get to me.  I just kind of have to trust that they’ll be careful with that power.  You don’t get to speak to me that way and expect to speak to me thereafter – I don’t care what it is you think I’ve done.

But today, “Mr. Nobody” and I were talking.  This person is (1) very much in love with someone else, (2) a guy, therefore not prone to the usual meaningless female ego-boosting mantras, and (3) possessed of a tendency to be overly honest, if there is such a thing.  Basically, the perfect person from which to hear the following:

“Of all the girls I’ve ever met, you are probably the single best combination of looks, personality, and financial success I’ve known.  You are successfull in your career, you are very smart, you are kind, caring person, and you are pretty damn self aware.”

The compliment wins, for two reasons.  First?  I know that I’m not a horrible person.   Second?  His words have the ring of truth.  They aren’t sugary, there’s no expectation that the sentence will segue into a request for a favor.  It’s a matter-of-fact statement.

And THAT, gentlemen, is how you pay a lady a compliment.

May 8, 2007

98%

Posted in The Happy, The How, The Who at 9:02 am by Dagny Taggart

I don’t believe in soulmates, at least not in the way that many people seem to.  I think that for every person on this planet, there is more than one person to live with, happily, long-term.  I think that it’s also true that for every person on this planet, most people could not fill that position.  So we’ve got more than one, but a heck of a lot less than every member of the opposite (in my case) gender.

I think this makes it harder.  For those who do believe in the notion of a soulmate, they’re disappointed when they realize that nobody fits 100% from the beginning, that you are going to have to do a fair amount work no matter what.  Maybe they cling to the notion that someone will be 100%, and they’ll spend too much time focusing on what’s wrong, instead of what’s right.  And that’s no fun for anyone.

For those who have the other view, that one looks for someone who’s close enough to 100% to make the work worthwhile, and mostly fun, someone who’s worth risking an “all-in” bet, the danger lies in the other direction – not settling, exactly, but in taking too much of a risk – in thinking that the person will become more of what he or she wants, or that they’ll want what the other doesn’t have, less.  The awareness that it’s not going to be perfect can have the unfortunate effect of lowering expectations a little too far.

If anything, the latter has probably been my biggest problem.  I’ve been in a couple of serious, long-term relationships where we were both convinced that the little differences wouldn’t really matter so much.  I’ve been the one wanting to try just a little harder, for just a little longer, to meet halfway, and I’ve been the one smacked in the face with the realization that I can’t spend the rest of my life with someone who will always want me to be a little bit different – and the one who had to convey that realization to someone I still cared about very much.

The great thing about the 98%, whether it works in the long run or not, is that it helps you learn more about yourself and what you really want, than anything else can – putting you both in a much better place to get that much closer to 100 next time.

May 4, 2007

Blue Death

Posted in Past, Present, The Funny, The Happy at 7:42 am by Dagny Taggart

1 1/2 oz tequila
fill with sweet and sour mix
1 1/2 oz rum
1 splash 7-Up® soda
1 1/2 oz vodka
1 1/2 oz gin
1 1/2 oz Blue Curacao liqueur

It was my 21st birthday, and my social life was… interesting.  This had just happened, so my circle of friends was undefined.  I had no idea who would show up, if anyone. 

I know.  Smallest violin, hearts bleeding – I’ll try to refrain from the river-crying bit.

Turns out, lots of people did show up.  A Redheaded Slut, double shot of tequila, Mind Eraser, and Alabama Slammer later, and I was doing fiiiine.  And then?  J & T showed up.  And purchased the above concoction for me (usually called a Blue Motorcycle).  Then, dared me to drink it in ten minutes or less.

I drank it in two.  Then, everyone except for me found out that I know all the lyrics to “White Wedding“.  I have to rely on their accounts, because my brain was too busy pickling to pay much attention to what I was doing.   The next morning, I discovered the beauty of Goody’s Headache Powders, and all was well*.

The point to all of this is that I’m going to a certain event tomorrow, and J (of the J & T) will be there.  And this time, the drinks are paid for already.  There’s talk of flasks and sippy cups and I’m… a little scared, I gotta tell ya. 

 

*Note:  These suckers contain just about everything you’re REALLY, REALLY NOT supposed to have post-drinking-binge.  Not recommended if you value your internal organs.  I did not know this at the time, though.  And really?  Wouldn’t have understood, or cared, if someone had tried to explain.

May 1, 2007

Just as she is

Posted in The Why, The WTF at 7:59 am by Dagny Taggart

A good friend of mine, who is (trying to be objective here) incredibly intelligent, witty, blunt, sarcastic, and didimentioncompletelyadorable, and kind of new to dating through no fault of her own, has been seeing someone for the past few months, and it’s been a little tumultuous.

Granted, she’s been through a lot, the sort of thing that can predispose one to act out of fear, and as a smart person said, that’s not conducive to healthy interaction.  At the same time, if you decide to date someone, you kind of implicitly agree to either respect what they need, or leave.  The unhealthiest situations arise (and I should know) where the expectation of togetherness overrides the needs of either party, especially the need to be who they are at their core, at all times.  I think in some circles, that’s called codependence, and it’s generally frowned upon.

Like I said, I should know. Ain’t nobody pretending that Dagny hasn’t screwed up at least her fair share of situations.

The problem, as I see it, is that they’re both asking each other to be just a little different.  And eventually what they’re asking each other for will become a direct conflict.  And when that happens, they’ll spend more time arguing over these points than they do having fun – and that’s when it’s time to leave, if not before. 

Ideally, people decide that something’s not going to work before they spend months arguing about when it’s appropriate to call each other “girlfriend” and “boyfriend”, whether it’s the right time to meet each other’s families, etc.  One recognizes that neither will ever see the dealbreaking issue the same way, and he or she will call it a day.  Ideally.  Sometimes, they’ll butt heads for a month or two because of an overdeveloped sense of obligation.  Sometimes, the realization that there is a fundamental flaw between the two people will hit one of them  like a ton of bricks.   However the realization happens, it nevertheless holds true that it doesn’t make sense to stay.

Because it doesn’t make sense to stay with someone who doesn’t accept you, and love you, just as you are.