Let me preface this entry, gentle reader, by saying that if ever you felt obligated to read ANY entries on this journal (you are not, no-one is), this is not the entry to feel obligated to read. I have just lifted the interesting bit of the text bodily from a comment I made to AbnA, who may be, at this point, the only person who reads this. (And future me wanting to learn something from/ about past me. Hi, future me! Beam those winning Powerball numbers back, please!). I also feel certain I have posted the actual fable and the personal mantra to which it refers before.
Anyway. Once in my life, at a time when I was consumed with great despair, and I needed a reason to keep putting one foot in front of the other, my mind fastened upon on of Aesop's fables, which my father had told me in when I was a wee freckled sprog in England:
I told this story to myself, and when I felt like giving up and turning into a a big old puddle of done, I would say to myself, "Keep kicking, Froggy." And eventually, I passed through the mountains of that time (with a great deal of support from family and friends, to be sure), and well, here I am, big as life and twice as filled with Utahraptors.
And I am saying this because of the other thing I do: every payday, that I do not dip into credit, I "bobcat:" I go on eBay, enter a category likely to have some bibelot that will make me happy to receive or pass on for <$1.00, shipping included, and get some made-in-China (or other totally-socially-irresponsible country from which to buy unlicensed knock-offs) crap that shows up three to six weeks later to surprise and delight.
And so I thought: I should buy a frog necklace. For keeping kicking.
Reader, this is very important: cheap frog necklaces can get way uglier than you think is possible. Some of them are labelled, "frog," but may be "owl," "mantis," "Peter-Davison-era Doctor Who monster," or "Boschian nightmare pooped from the left ear of a paprika-allergic demon at 2 a.m. after overeating Taco Hell's poison-arrow Dorito-shell ranaritos." Some of them are simply cloisonne embodiments of the word, "Hastur." Some are Betsey Johnson knockoffs, and cause Dame Mary Quant to say, "Vulgarity is life, and sometimes it must be killed with fire."
So I'm thinking of doing my first lost-wax casting. I'll let you know how it goes.
So we have this Saturday RPG based upon the Song of Ice of Fire game. It gets pretty intense. And one of the other characters plays my character's nemesis, like, to love-to-hate-him perfection. And I was worrying that he was feeling real animosity (my character really, really hates his, despite my guy feeling that there's backstory that will make the character likable), but we just had this great talk about game dynamics...
...and I am a writer, but words cannot express how keenly I feel disappointment at waking up and finding not only that guy, but the whole campaign was a dream.
(Also in that dream: Lush came out with a line of subtle perfumes designed not to aggravate people with fragrance sensitivities. It was called Conscentuals, its charity pot benefited RAINN and others, and its vanilla-milk was very pleasing indeed.)
Y'all know I Google check ex every so often? Make sure he's still alive, sort of thing? I'll always care about him, even if he was a giant pain-in-the-ass me-beating sheep tick.
So yesterday, I see he's made a comment on someone's Facebook about his fiancée, in October. She's immunocompromised, and is going through a bout of German measles.
And I'm happy for him, although I worry for her. I really want to blame myself for the awful that went down between us, but... I can't. I just can't say it was all my fault, because it wasn't, really. There are things I should have done differently, but unless he is deeply changed, or she is a truly exceptional woman, he's an abuser, and that's just... him, you know? Like, my daughter's father was an abuser, and Zombie Bloke was a philandering jerk, and both of these things were my fault and my fault alone, because I never stood up for myself, and once they got together with cool, sane women, their awfulness evaporated like *poof* and they are not to be faulted for becoming jerks but lauded for not becoming worse jerks, i'm like a fucking Horcrux that way, but Check Ex punished you in such awful ways if you did stand up for yourself, and he never "meant" to, so you couldn't *object* to it... J. and ZB were looking to become stand-up men. Check Ex needed a target.
I hope she is a good enough, strong enough, mature and honest and self-loving enough person to keep him from abusing her. I don't want to say this person doesn't exist, but it's maybe one woman out of ten thousand? Or one hundred thousand?
(But I still think he was reaching out to me to cheat on her. Or at least gloat. Because nothing says, "You're a failure and you didn't appreciate me and this lady is legit and sooooo much better than you!" than "look at this shiny NRE! THIS New Relationship Energy is FOREVER. Stop snickering!" And Check Ex proposes marriage literally before first dates, that's his thing, lock it down before she has a clue what she's getting into, NOT THAT I FEEL LIKE AN IDIOT FOR THE MARRIAGE LICENSE HE MADE US GET THREE DAYS AFTER WE MET. It's okay, we never used it. But that's a reason for worrying about the lass, if you like. I know they'd been together less than five months at that point. I don't shake the gossip tree much, but sometimes a branch will fall on my head. Okay, I guess it's none of my business anyway.)
I'm a little sad and frustrated, but not for the reasons you think. Or maybe? Because here I am, and I'm like, oh, I can't even think about having a life partner responsibly until I have friends, I can't have friends until I've paid off my debts and have become a non-toxic and accomplished person who is worth talking to, and I never broke anyone's bones or threatened to shoot up a neighborhood because someone won't pay my debts for me and send me porn, and he gets to have friends AND a nookie-friend, no penance done.
Which isn't fair to him. He never raped a teen-aged boy. He never sent any of his girlfriends to jail OR prison. He never allowed little girls to be raped and their images sent to the child-sexual-images mill because he was too much of weenie to press charges. He never sent anyone's parents for a stint in the ICU by stressing the parents out so much because he was dating them. He never gave anyone's siblings eating disorders or endometriosis, nor did he kill anyone's uncle by giving him cancer by forcing them to lie to their family. Which I did, according to Zombie Bloke's church, and in my heart, I cannot argue. And he never fucked his ex-wife up so so badly that she abused her next boyfriend to the point where he attempted suicide and almost succeeded, which is what I did to my daughter's father. Or rather, to his girlfriend.
But yay! No fearing the knock on my door at night!
But also "x" for "expressive" and "h,""l,""m," for "hairy little motherfucker."
I was experimenting with the waffle iron and bread dough, seeing if I could shortcut my way to a sort of Belgian naan, and forgot that I'd previously experimented with brownie waffles and maybe not been as assiduous as I should have cleaning it out.
A little rolling cloud of smoke burped out of the waffle iron and rolled to the ceiling, like a cartoon mushroom cloud (chocolate has a low burn point, you see). As I was cleaning the iron out, that cat made the miouw that means nothing but, I did not like that. You should not do it again, made sure I was making eye contact with her, looked at the waffle iron, then looked up at where the lingering puff of smoke was dissipating. She's got me rather too well-trained, I think sometimes.
(She has since forgiven the waffle iron, which makes excellent thin-pounded chicken for one-point-one, when called upon.)