Anyhow, I tried but honestly couldn't think of ten times I've cheated to win the hearts of others ... then I considered "Things I've Done to Win the Hearts of Others" ... salivated over the idea of publicly stating my heaps of selfless grand gestures, supreme gifts and extraordinary efforts of relationships past, then realised that'd mostly be an exercise in self-congratulatory pride, fun for me, less fun for you ...
... then several un-interesting topic-morphs later, this became what it is, "Things I've Picked Up from the Fire" .... or "You Might Wanna Change Me, If You Met Me," which's funny because halfway into this thing I saw Crystal'd updated her blog [she's likely to delete it before I finish this paragraph so that may be a dead link] and she'd touched on this topic -- you know, but maybe not funny, coincidence = "clear signs of divine oversight" ... Anyhow, on seeing her ex next year: "I'd like to make some changes before then ... not because she didn't like me, she really did, that's the problem. She likes retards, so next time I see her I'd like to not be retarded. The need for change is not only about her though, she may be the least of it. It's also because if I keep going to the way I am ..."
Sooo .... relationships are not easy. I'm not in one or anything, but I've been, and I've got friends that are/were and it seems the topic of "how much can you change for someone" has been consistent issue and conversation topics w/my friends over the past several months -- how do you draw the line between what you're doing in light of them and what's too much? -- as Carrie Bradshaw said: "When does compromise become compromising?" For example in my last relationship I was unwilling to give up Satan-Worship, gluttony and my relationship with Lozo, I felt that would've been compromising. JK. Long story. [Good story.]
Sometimes, people want other people to change. Change is also not easy. Howevs, sometimes you're like: you know what, good point. This is something about myself I'd like to work on, and this is something that would benefit both of us and me especially in the long run, or like I wanted to read that book anyhow.
Sharon : I guess -- I'd have to say -- it was my beliefs. I didn't feel -- like I should -- give up my beliefs. Even, even for Kyle.
Angela : So how do you, like -- I mean, you just -- *told* him that you didn't wanna have sex with him, no matter how much he was like expecting it?
Sharon : Oh, no. Oh, no, no. We had sex. I'm saying I had a belief that he was being a butthead, which was true.
-My So Called Life, Episode #13, "Pressure"
So anyhow, sometimes, you fight about behavior for eons, try to change for each other, flip fault like your brain's alternately treading water and breath-holding diving ... only to discover underneath all of that effort: you've just got different personalities. No one's wrong or right, no one's got big problems needing immediate fixing ... you're just not right together right now or possibly ever.
Sometimes, I feel like it's almost easier to be with someone who's nothing like you on the surface 'cause then you're forced to look for more essential similarities right away, rather than proceeding on a base level assumption that you're on the same page when in fact, you just like the same movies and have similar friends. You know?
When do you stop trying to make it work? When does it stop being good enough to be worth the actual time -- the actual minutes of life you're willing to devote to something ultimately temporary, preventing the entrance of other possibilities -- it's often argued that people don't ever really change, or that you can't change who you are, you can only change how you act or react. I think people can change, but finding a person at a point when the change you require is the change they can provide--that's tough. So often we're propelled into things when a piece of our soul recognises something beautiful and similar in the other but so often, timing is everything. So often, timing is tragedy. So often, timing is nothing, people are tragedy, so often, who the fuck knows.
Larry: Everyone learns, nobody changes.
Anna: You don't change.-Patrick Marber, Closer
"People don't change, Wolverine. You were an animal then, and you're an animal now."
"There are the people who you've known forever who know you in this way that other people can't because they've seen you change. They've let you change."
-"Angela," My So-Called Life
"I won't mistake you for problems with me."
-Tegan & Sara, "I Won't Be Left."
OR Things We Picked Up in the Fire,
and Either Kept or Discarded
in which I refer to many different people as "X,"
don't get confused. Not all the same person. That'd be a very schizo person. Haha! HA!!!
10. Smoking (Doesn't Stick)
I'm the most impressionable cigarette smoker ever. I've previously met non-smokers whom I've told "Oh yeah, smoking, gross, would never do that," revealing nothing of my past affections. Meanwhile, I'll date a smoker, and then start smoking. I never get addicted [Seriously; no denial here, I'm pretty open about my vices], it's just like "Oh, you're having one? I'll have one." Things'll end because things often do: and always, always, a partial pack remains. Theirs or mine --so I open the partial pack, I finish it. Ash builds at the base of a glass jar that once held a cheap candle. And then I toss it.
9. Lifting (Didn't Stick)
X asked me to meet him at the gym. I didn't know, I was 18, was it a date? In public high school, it seemed date #1 --for my friends obvs as I got no play in public high school -- was "making out while drunk in your friend's basement," and in boarding school, I dunno, the same thing but in the woods? No, JK. The Mel-Caf obvs. X told me it was a date, later, after, when we were at dinner.
X was 27, I felt grown-up like a girl in a magazine. X made me do stuff with free weights. "I just do the lat pulldown and cardio," I'd confessed though really I knew better. But X made me lift with him, said I needed to get strong, and then I got comfortable enough to do it on my own. Then I left New York, and him, and muscles eventually too. I prefer to be dainty, like a willow in the breeze.
8. Watching Movies Again (Stuck)
X: "I love Lebowski."
Me: "Whatcha doin'?"
X: "Watching Super Troopers."
X: "It's so funny. Wanna come over?"
Me: "And watch Super Troopers?"
X: "It's so funny."
I'd never really understood why people re-watch movies, I'd get so restless. It was hard enough for me to pay attention the first time around, let alone the second time -- I get it now, all the things you miss the first time around sometimes, and it's satisfying in that way as life itself rarely is -- do-overs, you get it, really get it this time. Or something like Reality Bites that seemed boring and retarded the first time (1994) and like it'd been coiled straight outta my soul the second time (2005). But then I started to understand the entirely separate but totes valuable aspect of re-watching films, one of these being that if you wanted to make out instead you could I guess -- anyhow it provides something else entirely the 10th or 11th time, it's like soup or a blanket or something. I own DVDs now. I like them in the background sometimes; Gia, Almost Famous, St. Elmo's Fire, Breakfast at Tiffany's.
7. December is Darkest, in June There's The Light, But This Empty Bedroom Won't Make Anything Right, June July August September October I'm Alive November December Yeah All Through The Winter I'm Alive (Didn't Stick)
It seemed like X and I had tickets upon tickets to things; like every time we considered breaking up, in the back of my mind I'd be like "Fuck, what about the Pistons tickets? What about the Unwritten Law tickets?" or whathaveyou. Life became concert-and-sporting-event-centric, which felt-grown up to me, like these suburban pleasures based on national tours 'cause nothing exciting happened organically out there, but really, that was just the beginning of what X was willing to line up overnight for, I felt like X was on a calender that was light years more organised and boring than mine, that X knew where he wanted to be next year and what row and aisle number, I didn't even know what music I'd like then. Or maybe my favorite player was about to get traded, or maybe I'd have finally run away.
I want to be able to plan that far in advance. I want that really bad, sometimes.
6. Embracing Debt (Durrrr)
Before I met X, who was in Law School, I was unaware that one had the option to NOT pay off one's credit card at the end of the month. X was a Master of Debt. We'd get back to X's Brooklyn Heights apartment and X'd beeline for his computer to log that day's receipts on Quicken. One summer in L.A., X lived off of credit cards -- making cash withdrawals to enable minimum payments. X often said: "I'm the master of my debt" and "I have perfect credit." Amazed by the unused line of personal credit I had available, X encouraged me to take advantage of it, not be so uptight. And so: here we are, kids.
Maybe I would have been
Something you'd be good at
Maybe you would have been
Something I'd be good at.
-Tegan & Sara, "Call it Off"
5. I Bet it Stung, Don't Get so Uptight, Don't Get So Uptight ... (Didn't Stick)
X didn't like it when I made fun of him. Something about our sense of humors didn't exactly work together, which was odd, as we were described as "the funniest guy in school and the funniest girl in school," as if our relationship was instant comedy gold. Sometimes it was, but sometimes it really wasn't. I'm aware that making-fun-of-someone often veers into cruel and low-blow territory, with humor used to mask deep-rooted and vicious truths, but I don't do that, I'm just mean when I wanna be mean, not funny, anyhow I tried to be nicer. Now I just know I can't deal with sensitive people, or people who are sensitive to me specifically for whatever reason, like past insecurities/problems whatevs whatevs. You've gotta be able to take it -- and dish it out -- or it just won't work.
4. Blogging my Life Away (Stuck, Obvs)
I don't think I ever woulda started a blog if X didn't have one. I was like "what is this blog thing? And how is it different than livejournal?" She showed me the light.
Also, I've literally had three requests for additional photographs of X's ass, previously the center of attention when I used these old photos of us in my Dream Jobs Sunday Top Ten and It's Not What You're Like, It's What You Like Sunday Top Ten. I'd ask her if it's okay to post additional photos, but that'd be a little awkward, so I'll just do it. If I had that ass, I'd want it photographed and displayed as often as possible.
3. Being Blonde (Stuck)
My hair stopped being naturally blonde in the early 90's, but I've been dying my hair for so long that I forgot what my natural hair color was 'til I let it all grow out about two years ago as part of my Low-Maintenance Movement. Haviland [no point in X'ng dear Hav] saw my old photos and immediately launched a personal campaign to convince me that I had to go back to blonde, get highlights, etc. I'm not opposed to these campaigns--I wouldn't kiss my high school boyfriend unless he'd done his hair the way I liked it. When I showed up at her apartment re-blonded, the second line out of her mouth was "Omigod, we're going to look SOOOOO hot on the cruise!" Agreed. See, here's a "before" and "after":
If it's not that way, then I don't know. I guess you're in limbo."
-Richard Ford, Wildfire
2. Ending Teeny-BopHood (Stuck Obvs)
This following excerpt is from an email I sent Jake on May 13, 1998. It's brill in how it addresses how Ryan changed me and also how little I've changed since then. Also, "phat as hell" should probs like, come back. That's ace.
"This summer, I'm gonna tear down all those fucking pictures of Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes and Jared Leto from my wall. And take down that stupid bulletin board. If Ryan's taught me anything, it's that the whole Leonardo DiCaprio thing is totally fucking crazy ... I mean, what is that? He's not even fucking real! I need to get that shit off my walls, or get over that phase, as Ryan calls it, my 'teen bop' thing, but I can still have my guilty pleasures, e.g., 90210. I saw Dawson's Creek today! It was fucking awesome, just because it sucks that much. i think it's hilarious how stuff like that can almost make me cry. But I'm going to tear down all those pictures, throw them away, and turn half of my room into an office, like where I can write, and its' gonna be my computer, like maybe some pictures, like those postcards, and I can sit there and work on my novel, write letters, listen to music. It'll be phat as hell."
1. Attempting to Understand Republicans (Ugh.)
but I'll stray."
-Tegan & Sara
We're left with style,
a particular way of standing and saying,
the idiosyncratic look
at the frown which meas nothing
until we say it does. Years later,
long after we believed it peculiar
to ourselves, we return to love.
We return to everything,
strange, inchoate. Like living
with someone, like living alone,
settling for the partial, the almost
satisfactory sense of it.
-Stephen Dunn, "Essay on the Personal"