Monday, May 11, 2020

Life Through A Seinfeld Filter

Just watching Seinfeld's latest standup on Netflix:

First off, how does this happen? I'm watching the show, eating lunch, finish lunch, pick up my laptop to share what he said, and as I type it, I completely forgot what the quote was!


But Jerry reminded me of a few things with my ex-wife. Yes, my most previous ex-wife as my friends and family know, I've had 3.5 of them... marriages, and thank you very much for that clarification.

"I dreamed what you did...."

I woke up one morning next to my very lovely wife as she woke up and looked over at me she had never before seen me and had just woken up next to some stranger. It gave me a weird feeling.

I queried her and she responded that I had done something completely and utterly her dream. I replied, knowing I was potentially in trouble here, that 1, I would 1 never do that thing, and 2, IT WAS A DREAM.

And it was YOUR dream, your mind. NOT my mind that came up with that.

She grinned, fighting back her feelings, knowing I was right, and even said so and that she just needed to work it out in her head.

Which took most of the day. And yes. it an interesting day. Not one of my favorite days.

"Tone of your voice...."

We sometimes had arguments at times over one thing or another, that began as discussions, moved into argumentation, and rapidly devolved into bickering and confusion (one my part) and irritation (on her part). And she would wind me up pretty good. And apparently, I was winding her up. But that was most definitely not my intention. 

Until finally, usually, in my trying to pull things back to calmness and reality we would attain some degree of rationality And no this ia not all just me trying to look good here. That's actually what would happen.

For some of these, I actually have witnesses. AND, her family already knew all about this of course, and actually tried to warn me about her when we were first dating, which...was weird. They would laugh about it and tease so I wasn't sure if they were serious. But they would always, en masse, make it clear, they were serious. But they were still laughing. And I know now, why that was.

Usually, once I got us back to an even footing she would then take the lead and attempt to maintain her lead,. But sometimes, I would hear her final justification for her irritation being that it was... the tone of my voice. That I didn't sound like I believed what I was saying.

What? At first, when this happened, it left me very confused. What did the tone of my voice have to do with anything? My words carried the content of what I was being honest about. My word is my bond as they say. As I've said. If I said it, I was being honest about it. I hate lying. I always tell the truth.

But that's another story. You have to be smarter to always tell the truth, learning to handle sharing reality with diplomacy, compassion. Or at times, simple avoidance. If not outright refusing to say something rather than lie. But too many prefer a lie. Because it's just easier. And faster. 

Whenever this was about child-rearing between us, it was beyond my being able to let it go or cave to her demands,  and I would dig in. If it was just about me I could maybe let something go. But I was (we were, we ARE) responsible for our kids and so you can't let it go when you're fighting for another's rights or fair treatment. The issue there?

A combined front against the kids, even if one of us were wrong (I hated that). And what's this "against" our kids? 'You can't be your kid's friend and a good parent." Nonsense. You just have to have the fortitude to stand your ground when needed and remind the kids, "I'm still your parent." It always worked for me, as it did with teams of adults I led. "I AM your friend, but I'm ALSO your boss." What's so difficult about that? 

I can remember one time that exemplifies what frequently happened. It wasn't about the kids that time. But she had wound me up pretty good and I finally agreed to disagree and do what she wanted. In my trying NOT to wind HER up, she had won. Essentially. But she was still irritated and I asked why? She said:

"It's the tone of your voice. I don't think you believe what you're saying, or that you'll do it (or sometimes... 'do it as well as you would if you believed it')."

Which always annoyed me because I have always seen myself as a professional and like it or not, I'll always do the best I can regardless. Or I won't do it at all or agree to do it. Because once I'm done with whatever it is, it represents me and who I am after I am part with that person, task or item. 

I replied that she had gotten me to agree to do something that I did not want to do and did not believe in at all. But she won. I caved. I agreed to do it. And I will do it, and do the best job I can of it. As always.

I then asked her if she thought she was the Mind Police or something, because that definitely IS being unreasonable. You can win the argument, but you cannot make me believe something I fully do not believe in. That's unfair. It's wrong. It's... bizarre. It's mind control. I think it's why I don't like Donald Trump so much. His personality seems very familiar to me in some small ways.

So what was it exactly that she wanted of me, then?

That stumped her. In the end, she agreed, still somewhat frustrated, to settle with mere winning and my agreeing to do it. I then did what I agreed to. She liked the job I did. And that was the end of it. For the time...

One thing I can say, that was many years of an interesting living situation.

Now I'm single (stop laughing!). No stress in any life relationship or in my household whatsoever. Since my German Shepherd of fifteen years died in 2016, I don't even have a pet anymore to have to worry about. Yes, I sometimes miss someone around the house. And yes, it's nice having a life partner. But now I can take off at a moment's notice, come back home days later without notifying or scheduling or anything, and all is good and peaceful in my life. 

Sure, I do at times miss living with a best friend, a life partner, lover, pet whathaveyou. 

But there's definitely an upside to it all.

And part of that right now is that I just remembered what I was going to quote Jerry on that started me down this list of past bizarre situations in living arrangements.

Bucket lists. 

Jerry had said:

"I made a buck list. I changed the "B" to an "F" and I was done with that too. I just want you to all have that option. You can either check off all your items or change one letter at the top and you're in a lazyboy watching a ballgame."

Now that's funny. And cathartic. And useful. Or not. You're choice.

We're not living together. So I'm not trying to tell you what to believe.

Or to have to bend to your bizarre mental gymnastics. 

Thanks, Jerry. I'll keep that all in mind.

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