Friday, December 02, 2005

This One's For You, Major Chapter

I just returned from a run during which I listened to my favorite cd by the fabulous O'Jays and considered the autumnal wonder that is Texas in early December. While the rest of the world is getting a White Christmas, trees in the the Lone Star State are really only now figuring out how to display colors other than green or brown. When they finally do, it's wonderful...but that's not all I thought about while I was beating the streets.

No, dear reader, I was having second thoughts about something I did yesterday. I told an old boyfriend where to find my blog.


All together now: "Hu-what???"

There may be those of you out there who can't decide which is dumber: 1)to be married and still be friends with loves from one's past OR 2)to give them daily access to the inside of your head by telling them where to find your blog. And you'd be justified to consider having me committed to the Ike Turner Women's Center for Mental Health if I were anyone else, but hear me out on this.

My husband and I didn't marry until we were both 27. Between us that's 8 years of high school relationships, 8 years of college entanglements and 10 years of living on our own as adults. That's a lot of water under the bridge....or boy/girlfriends under the...uh...bridge. Whatever. We both arrived at this very happy marriage (a term I still think is an oxymoron) with....you know...a past. And, at the time we came together, we were both still on good terms with a lot of those people, despite the fact they had moved on with their lives and so had we.

Now, convention almost demands that, after marrying, you throw out all evidence of anyone who ever occupied a space in your heart, but my husband and I could not do that. Many of these people had become friends...some in just a Christmas card exchange kind of way, but several in a very real way.

My husband's last really serious girlfriend is now a close friend of ours. So close, that when our kids were very little and we were driving to California in our old VW camperbus, we stopped overnight to stay with this woman and her husband and kids. We have a great picture of the old girlfriend and my husband as they bathed our oldest son and her oldest son together...both toddlers. And when an old boyfriend was stationed in Turkey for three months shortly after finding out that he was to become a father, I went with his wife to get the sonogram and amnio done that would reveal their only child would be a daughter. We consider these former loves to be more like family.

These people were important chapters in our lives. They helped to make us the adults we are, and I believe they're due some credit for the success of my present marital bliss. No, it wasn't all wine and roses with those other folks, but some of it was really nice. There were good moments there and lessons I can't forget. But I'm not talking about all the "chapter" guys in my life right now. I'm just talking about Major Chapter.

See, most of the other chapters mainly taught me that guys could be vermin when they wanted to be...as well as when you let them be. And I did. Too often. Over the years, I got really good at playing the "wronged woman". I never thought about my own role in the destruction of the relationship. MC taught me that I could also be the "wrong woman". He was a pretty decent guy. Sure, there was that time he told me he hated these purple overalls I used to wear, and that stung because I really thought I was rockin' those pants in a major way. Otherwise, though, it was pretty good.

Both MC and I attended a university that isn't known for encouraging creativity. It's mostly a place for people who use the left hemisphere of the brain, so finding another person who got jiggy with the written word was like finding a rare coin in a pile of subway tokens. At least...that's the way it seemed at the time. All it really was was that we both connected at one really important place...and that was writing. We talked ad nauseum about becoming writers and, in fact, we were often better on paper than we were in person. We had a damned thrilling relationship in our letters and I think that those often spoke to the "idea" of who we were, rather than the reality.

But my relationship with Major Chapter was flawed not only because we really weren't meant to be together, but because I acted like a heinous bitch with a man yo-yo that I could throw out or pull back at my slightest whim. I fed off of the drama of being in control for once in my life and have since learned that the best relationship is one where NO ONE is the BOSS (Sucks to be you, Phyllis Schlafley and all the other fundamentalist Stepford Robots) and I was cavalier about the words "I love you" and I hurt someone in the process. MC showed me that I was capable of being insincere and that I could be guilty of asking for expressions of genuine affection when it was convenient for me and rejecting them when it wasn't. It had NEVER occurred to me that I could be wrong.


And for that, I am sorry. I've said it before and I'm saying it now.

So MC and I went our separate ways. He's in a committed relationship(with a woman I've met once) out on the West Coast and I'm here raising three sons with the kind of man I never thought could really exist. I'm a better person and a better woman, partly because the man I live with shows me every day what I'm capable of in the best sense. But it's just as valuable a lesson to know what you're capable of in the worst sense. MC let me see that about myself.

So there it is. During an e-mail about something...music...politics (we totally hate the way the other votes and that isn't going to change)I revealed I had this site. And the rest is just bloggety goodness. I think.

So why did I do it? Maybe it was a peace offering. I'm probably committing verbal Hari Kari by exposing myself this way, but it'll open up the lines of communication, if nothing else. And there's the need for approval because...I DID become a writer. I've been doing it for the past 14 years and this blog is just the latest installment. And I wanted him to know that and maybe test the writing waters himself, because that's where he was in his element. Maybe that's something I can do for him. Either way, it's all good, and now I'm ready for lunch.

"People all over the world, join hands.
Start a Love Train...Love Train" (O'Jays)









11 Comments:

Blogger Shrinking Violet said...

I envy you and your husband's relationship with the Past. I am good friends with The Man's ex-wife. I have to be....we share a child. But, The Man is not nearly as comfortable with my Past. So, good for you. Besides, it's not like you are befriending the psycho-freaks that you once dated!

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Spamboy said...

The big ex-es continue to prove themselves major parts of our lives, even today. My wife encounters hers fairly often, since he is the lead signer of the band her best friend's husband plays in. And mine has been chronicled well-enough on my website that I am glad to have put her in the past, although I do miss her friendship. Some things are better meant not to be.

2:48 PM  
Blogger Mignon said...

Although none of my ex-es are part of my life now, I google them all the time. Does that count?

5:45 PM  
Blogger wordgirl said...

Mignon--Sure, why not? It signals a healthy interest in who these people have become. Maybe some of them are Googling you, too. Hmmm.

7:37 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Sometimes, people get along better after they break up. Immediately after, I broke up a friend, we started calling each other almost every day.

10:16 PM  
Blogger Rock said...

Hey everybody - this is Major Chapter here. Not quite sure to make of almost four blogosphere pages sort of written about you - but I think I'll just shut up and take it.

While you are all contemplating how "ex'es" make it in this century (Montel)why don't you check out my new blog: rockshardplace@blogspot.com

3:22 AM  
Blogger Susie said...

I love the O'Jays SO MUCH! I hope you got my email a few days ago trying to help you with pix. If you didn't, email me at whatwasit@comcast.net and I'll send it again.
I am of the belief that it is bad news for any real world people to know about one's blog (with the exception of one's spouse, that is), because it limits the stories one can tell and the ways in which one can tell them. Just my opinion. I'm all in favor of being friends with those who were once important players in our stories, though.

6:01 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Hi. I was just thinking about you. If you don't mind, could you tell me what else you write, and where you write. You said you have been writing for awhile.


Enjoy the weekend. We are experiencing our first really cold day here!

7:27 AM  
Blogger Tree said...

Ok well last night I told my Mother-in-law my blog address.
Feel better?

9:13 AM  
Blogger DebbieDoesLife said...

Well, you sound mighty mature to me. I don't have any idea where the MC of my past is at (jail sounds about right though) and the other sperm donor is not anyone I want to speak, see or think about. My boyfriend from high school we see at class reunions and that is fine. I think you'all just happened to stay good friends and thats great.

9:27 AM  
Anonymous TB said...

It's great that you and your husbands can have friendships with people who used to be a significant part of your lives. Most people are not that lucky.
As for sharing your online writing, for me the deciding factor is always whether or not the person would be hurt or upset by anything I may write or anything contained in my archives. That probably wouldn't be the case with your old boyfriend, so why not?

7:54 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home