A brief snapshot

Social media is something that simultaneously astounds and appalls me. At times it brings out the lowest common denominator in some, and yet for others it coaxes out a true humanity and the love we all have inside of us.

There is a gentleman I follow on Instagram whom I have never met nor have ever conversed. It has become apparent with his recent posts that he is going through a breakup. At first it was all subtext (a lot of selfies and cheeky butt shots) or the sporadic vague post about “going through stuff.” He finally disclosed his and his husbands break-up in his Instagram story and my heart broke for him. I have watched with interest as this stranger shared his life through photos: spending time with his boyfriend as they travelled the country, to their marriage at the site of a plane crash (no joke), and as they spent time together with their son. I have “hearted” almost every snapshot into his life. And now as he goes onto a new path I eagerly watch hoping and praying for his happiness, all the while never really knowing him.

I have been blessed to have been on the reverse of that, as people who happen to read this little blog or follow me on twitter have asked me how I’m doing. They barely know me, yet something compels them to care and reach out. Their little messages bring a lot of light into my world. And because of their loving curiosity I find myself wanting to share more.

As of late life is good. Wonderful in fact. Things with the husband have greatly improved since our little Palm Springs excursion, during which we laid out all our bull shit on the table for he other to inspect. I will admit, after all the sordid disclosures it took me some time to get through the following mess of emotions, but I have since arrived at a happier place. One in which I don’t ever want to leave. There is power and peace in rigorous honesty. And the communication since has flourished.

Then there is my awesome boyfriend. He is the kindest, most understanding person and I don’t know how I lucked out twice to get such amazing men in my life.

I shared all of this with my therapist during this last Tuesday’s session. She participated in my joy, but like any good counselor she didn’t just accept the good she also asked probing questions. For whatever reason, the one that stuck with me the most was: how do I not compare the two. My immediate response was that I don’t. The two of them are so different that there is no way to hold one up to the other in comparison and to do so would be a disservice to each of them.

After having more time to mull over her inquiry, my answer is still the same but I am more confident in my response. I truly can’t compare them because neither has what the other offers. It is trite to say but they’re like little unique snowflakes. And what I realized is that to break it down into such black and white ideas is not how this works. Polyamory (if that is what this is) is more complex. There are levels and layers to affection, emotions and multiple relationships that can’t be easily described in terms of “oh he’s so much better here.”

I don’t have my fears like I did. The thought that I would somehow be replaced by my husband’s boyfriend have left me. And my fear of us “just fooling ourselves and drawing out the inevitable divorce” has waned. It still lingers at the back of my mind, but it is a faint nagging that I scarcely ponder. Much like the zen attitude of just enjoying the moments with either one, I don’t let these negative thoughts cloud my present.

So, if you’ve wondered or worried over this stranger, as of right now there is no need. But your concerns have touched me more than you’ll know.

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Conundrum of Age

This week has been something else. I have quite a few things to discuss with my small collection of readers. However it’s all going to have to take it’s time. The most demanding of posts is in regards to a small twitter “feud” that occurred between Armie Hammer and James Woods.

We’re gonna let the name slide for now… but just know, I am not a fan. What I am in favor of is his portrayal of a young 24 year old college professor that falls in love with a 17 year old boy in the film “Call Me by Your Name.” While I have yet to see it, I am aware of what it’s about, and I eagerly await the opportunity to do so for the simple coincidence of the character’s ages.

My husband and I met when I was in the final days of 17 and he was in the twilight months of him being 24. Our meeting was an accident. He had messaged me out of the blue during the AOL instant messenger days, thinking I was someone else who happened to have a similar screenname to mine. (My internet handle was “Melancholyschaos,” good god was I such a hipster emo.) He was dating someone at the time, his first message to me was in fact “Diego and I are still together.” I carried on the conversation like I knew who he was and what he was talking about before I finally just asked him who he was.

For some reason I had a hunch he and this Diego would not last long and every time he appeared in my “buddy list” I would message him. Finally, he ditched his former and I swooped in. We ended up meeting near midnight at a Denny’s, close to where we live now.

My husband hates this story. He also hates the fact that I was 17. It brings him more shame than it should. In the end it was just a number, and I turned 18 only 3 weeks after we first met. He did the legal thing and waited until that magical age to take our relationship any further than just talking.

I understand his discomfort. Yet it’s strange to think that numbers play such a significant part of public perception. In the case of James Woods, I also see how that seems young. If he were a year older somehow that makes it miraculously better and no one would bat an eye. However, that wasn’t the point he was trying to make with his comment. He was equating that to NAMBLA, which is an entirely different organization; one that should be shunned from every corner of the globe. He suggested that this group was “getting their way” and destroying public norms. Mr. Hammer’s response to that was “Didn’t you date a girl that was 19 when you were 60?” Well said, Hammer. Well said. James Wood’s response was to block him on twitter. So, I guess he won that argument.

I hesitated for so many years to divulge our ages at our first meeting. Mainly because of his insecurity, but a small portion of my own. But, seeing as how we’ve been together for so long it’s just part of our history. There’s no reason to be ashamed. I knew what I was getting myself into and what I was pursuing. Most would say, “Well, you were immature.” Yes, but was I? At what point do we just assume someone is an “adult” and stop treating them as if they “don’t know.” Is it when the clock strikes midnight and I roll over to 18?

The best portion of this “ twitter fight” was of a young actress that chimed in with a story that Mr. Woods had invited her and some friends to Las Vegas for a weekend. Her response at the time was that she was 16, to which his reply was “even better.” Since her tweet, he has said that her retelling is an outright lie, but when one looks at his dating history, it would appear that he has a taste for the young ones. So, who is to say? (Oh, he totally did it.)

Again, I don’t understand why age plays such a huge role in a relationship. I mean, it does 100% when it comes to the maturity level and “making it work,” but what I don’t understand is an outsider’s perspective when learning the ages of the couple.

Now, don’t for a second think I am advocating the dating of underage boys or girls. Quite the contrary. I don’t think teenagers are capable of grasping the idea of monogamous relationships. I know that in my early years I was still discovering who I was as a person or what I wanted out of life.

The simple answer to this is that there is no cut and dry response. It is a murky topic that goes into a downward spiral quickly. I guess, it just boils down to intent. What is happening with the relationship and what is being gained.

I will say, if you’re old enough to be that child’s grandparent, you probably shouldn’t be messing around with them. Okay, Woods?