February 9, 2010

"If you make sure that nothing bad ever happens to you..."

"... you'll also make sure nothing really good ever happens to you either."

40 comments:

Scott M said...

Steve Martin's Parenthood is infinitely quotable and one of his best movies.

I love the old, senile mother-in-law in every scene she's in, but she illustrates the topic beautifully. I'm paraphrasing here...

Grandma: You know, when I was nineteen, Grandpa took me on a roller coaster.
Gil: Oh?
Grandma: Up, down, up, down. Oh, what a ride!
Gil: What a great story.
Grandma: I always wanted to go again. You know, it was just so interesting to me that a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited, and so thrilled all together! Some didn't like it. They went on the merry-go-round. That just goes around. Nothing. I like the roller coaster. You get more out of it.

rhhardin said...

They went on the merry-go-round. That just goes around. Nothing.

That's the ignorant Grandma problem.

Erving Goffman on the merry-go-round.

SteveR said...

Nanny State

Sarah said...

You know, I've never broken up with anyone -- at 26, I'd never been kissed or gone on more than 2 dates with the same individual, and then 2 months before turning 28 I got married.

Sometimes I wonder if I missed out, if somehow the heartbreak makes successive relationships all the more satisfying. And I certainly felt my fair share of rejection even WITHOUT ever breaking up, simply from feeling perpetually unwanted.

But on the other hand, my husband had a pretty similar track record (no long-term relationships before me) and it was wonderful being able to share our innocence of figuring out relationships and settle into being with each other and never wonder if we measure up to past girlfriends/boyfriends.

So I feel a strange combination of envious and sorry for JAC. Lovely little bittersweet blogposting from him.

-Chan

Fred4Pres said...

JAC, sorry you are going through that right now.

FoBWgal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
k*thy said...

As much as it's tempting to try and go through life avoiding pain, it's really (Really!) no way to live. Now's a time to grieve and learn. On the learning side, a friend of mine would call this "another fucking growth opportunity". On the grieving side: this too shall pass.

Scott M said...

It's a wonder of our design (yes, I said it) that we cannot remember pain, whether it's physical pain or cognitive suffering, such as the loss of a loved one.

We can remember being in pain, but, thankfully, we cannot consciously access those sensations or feelings. Oh, I'm sci-fi enough to believe they're in there somewhere, but day-to-day, we cannot get at them and would probably go insane if we could.

While it's certainly cliche to say so, that makes it nonetheless true: time heals all wounds.

And...just remember...we're never given more than we can handle...ever. That's a very comforting thought.

The Crack Emcee said...

I remember pain - and how - so JAC's comments sound like the usual half-truth ramblings of the clueless beta male. I find it interesting he doesn't define why they broke up - which one of you modern creations is so special you couldn't be satisfied with the other after a year?)

Hey, JAC, my ex-wife killed three people after committing adultery with a homeopath. I can't watch TV (with it's emphasis on NewAge nonsense) or visit a Whole Foods without gagging. Should I be glad 20 years of my love, effort, money and commitment were wasted on such scum? And should I be looking forward to the next one? Yea, sure, when what I've mostly learned is that I can't even expect most people to grow up enough just to tell the truth? About almost anything - but especially about themselves? Puh-leaze.

This kind of sad Hallmark card bullshit makes me ill.

I much prefer The Macho Response.

The Crack Emcee said...

"We're never given more than we can handle...ever. That's a very comforting thought."

It's also another lie. My divorce stress, alone, sent me to the hospital with a bruised disc in my neck from screaming - in my sleep. A much more accurate formulation is:

"We're rarely presented with more than a hospital has seen before. That's a very comforting thought."

Grow up, y'all: it's all well and good to be in love but, along with sex, it ain't everything to shoot for in life by a long shot - especially with this current crop of situational ethics-minding assholes. Your dick in somebody's vagina, or your hand in someone else's, doesn't make you a whole person or even a good one - it just makes your lonely ass less so, which, if you were actually good at something, wouldn't bother you so much to begin with because talent causes others to gather 'round.

That's The Macho Response.

William said...

Crack: You make everyone feel better about their ex-wife..... I think the new romantic ideal should not be a happy marriage but an amicable divorce. Any twenty something with hormones can have a happy marriage for a season, but it takes tolerance, self discipline, and commitment to make a divorce work.

Scott M said...

"We're never given more than we can handle...ever. That's a very comforting thought."

It's also another lie. My divorce stress, alone, sent me to the hospital with a bruised disc in my neck from screaming - in my sleep. A much more accurate formulation is:


I stand by my belief as it's borne me through quite a bit. Did you ever stop and wonder, Crack, that everything that's happened to you was for the singular purpose of providing an example to other people?

Moving in mysterious ways, and all that...

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Too much introspection.

They say an unexamined life isn't worth living, and this is probably true. However, a minutely and obsessively examined life or relationship, just isn't going to be worth living or survive the scrutiny.

I liken it to putting on make up. If you just stand in front of the mirror and put on some foundation, blush, eye liner etc., you are going to look just fine and be satisfied with your results. If you use a magnifying mirror that shows all your pores and flaws in gigantic detail....you will never be happy with the results.

No one else looking at you at a "normal" distance is going to be so concerned with the minute details of your pores and stray hairs. People need to quit obsessing over the tiny details and enjoy living.

That being said: a break up is very hard to take and you will get over it....just don't obsess.

edutcher said...

The grandma story is the right angle, confining it to romance doesn't make the point.

There are plenty of people who play everything safe, never take a chance, and never really have a life. They're usually kind of sad.

In a book about Merrill's Marauders, the author includes a quote from Pericles, "Courage is the secret of a happy heart". And there are, of course, all kinds of courage.

Think Ann and Meade.

t-man said...

Scott M -

I guess you are among the many who believe that God does not follow the philosophy of Immanuel Kant.

I have to go with the Cracker here, many people are given more than they can handle (no jokes about the current President here), and shuffle off this mortal coil.

For JAC - try not to be so earnest.

t-man said...

DBQ -

Very nicely put.

Scott M said...

t-man

many people are given more than they can handle (no jokes about the current President here), and shuffle off this mortal coil.

Ah, but if you subscribe to my pov, then shuffling off this mortal coil is not a bad thing. Theologically speaking, it is, in fact, better. Further, your circumstance and ending may server as a lesson to yet another person.

Ribby said...

From the best lines in Finding Nemo:

Marlin: I promised I'd never let anything happen to him.
Dory: Hmm. That's a funny thing to promise.
Marlin: What?
Dory: Well, you can't never let anything happen to him. Then nothing would ever happen to him. Not much fun for little Harpo.

former law student said...

Too bad, because his ex was a knockout. But at his age he can still be looking for his soulmate.

At least from this he learned more about the kind of women he gets along with, and the kind of man he is. Life is a series of adjustments, and some are too uncormfortable to make. In the midst of infatuation, you must be practical: do you love this person for their own self, or for what you perceive them to be or for what you want them to be?

knox said...

What a thread. Haven't decided if it's in a good or a bad way...

Richard Lawrence Cohen said...

Ann, occasionally I'm tempted to tell off some of the pathetic borderline-psychotic blowhards who populate your comment section, by telling them who they are. As you know, I could do it, without profanity, in fifty words or so which they would never forget. But refraining is the better practice.

El Pollo Real said...

*applauding RLC*

Scott M said...

@Richard

lol

That's the first comment today that gave me a good laugh. A blowhard talking to people who he thinks are blowhards and reminding Ann how much of a blowhard he can be.

I have to take pains to keep my five-year-old from bragging. Did your mother miss that lesson? Or were you creche-raised?

Beaverdam said...

Well, now I'm scared,

Beaverdam said...

In fifty words or less, even.

George Grady said...

I am a rock. I am an island.

Freeman Hunt said...

I don't know whose mothers missed what lessons, but some people definitely missed their lessons in manners.

former law student said...

pathetic borderline-psychotic blowhards

I see myself more as "platitudinous."

vw: imabor
too, too true

Scott M said...

I prefer the term "conversational opportunist".

traditionalguy said...

A personal piece of advice, if you permit me: Wait a year before making another commited relationship. The real hurt can make one open, which is a bad strategy until you have recovered your strength to say no to unsafe people. Friends and more friends are good for the time being. Just plan things to do and places to go with friends weeks in advance. That way the weekend never comes around without something to do.

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

The Bad News: Broke up with his girlfriend.

The Good News: Mom sent some link love his way; 2010-style parental support in action.

The Bad News: Then Dad showed up and started trolling Mom's comment section.

Hehe... this is better than reality TV...

Freeman Hunt said...

tradguy, wait a year? Seriously? He wasn't married. It was a girlfriend.

I'd suggest that a person should only wait until he meets someone else he'd like to take out. Then again, if you put an artificial time limit on it, you'll still take out anyone you really want to take out, time be damned, so maybe a time limit helps weed out the weak interest.

knox said...

I can understand RLC's reaction. But the blogosphere is a tough place. JAC has (voluntarily) put himself out there.

There were rude and wise things on this thread. That's life, and the internets. The good with the bad... yadayada.

traditionalguy said...

Freemon...He can use more social friends then ever, and they will all add back some pieces of what he lost. The year is time to heal the beaten up place in his heart that can be easily taken advantage of for awhile. Men get emotional wounds that are serious, believe it or not.

Freeman Hunt said...

Men get emotional wounds that are serious, believe it or not.

Of course they do. But you're asking him to take a time out that's longer than the relationship he was in. I think that's extreme.

Mrs. Raylene Cattlemarm said...

He wanted to marry immediately and have kids, and she didn't.

She wouldn't marry him.

And, there you have it....the oh-so-private reason for what went wrong.

Neither one of them are mature enough to handle the responsibilties of marriage, despite Jaltco thinking he's the most sophisticated individual on the planet.

Both sons have a lot of growing up to do before they are even remotely marriage-material, and with Mama's continual coddling and pampering....it won't be any time soon.

Cheers,

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

Mrs. Cattlemarm – that is some interesting stuff!

Next up will be Dr. Phil calling to make a booking...

former law student said...

While the die has been cast and the ship has already sailed, a thought did occur to me overnight:

Let us take a purely hypothetical case in which a young man meets the young woman he wants to marry and have children with. But let us further imagine that the young woman is not ready to give up her current life for motherhood.

Then, in my opinion, the guy should back off and enjoy what he has. Finding wife and mother material is hard enough -- why insist that "the successful candidate" be ready to marry you on your schedule and not hers? The male biological clock has decades to tick.

Don't dismiss a woman's objections to ever having children, certainly. Then you have to decide if being with that woman means more to you than having children. But every woman I knew who "never wanted children" in her twenties had at least one baby in their thirties.

michael farris said...

"I'm tempted to tell off some of the pathetic borderline-psychotic blowhards who populate your comment section, by telling them who they are. As you know, I could do it, without profanity, in fifty words or so which they would never forget."

Oh, puleeeeeeease.

Pretentious much? You have no power over any commenters here, which means your harsh appraisals have no weight. Do you worst sir, do. your. worst!!! And I'll laugh and shake your hand.

(note: in person I have a tongue that can vaporize steel at 200 paces without trying very hard, on the internet with people who don't care who I am .... not so much)

wv: splatio, where you go to relax after a hard day in the sususudio

www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQBT89MFnS8

Mrs. Belinda Gimmelsmuth said...

"the young woman is not ready to give up her current life for motherhood."

______________________________


Hey Former Law Student-- Reread Jac's post. This wasn't the case in this instance. Jac writes "I have to believe that there's somebody BETTER out there for both of us.....

Interpretation: She thinks she can do better (not with that face, she can't) .

Trust me, if the guy has enough money/status......there's not a gal on the planet who isn't willing to stay home and have babies....if the price is right.

Some guy with a difficult personality who works for a public agency, no ambition, and little prospects for anything better.....the kind of dynamic girl he's looking to settle down with (at his ripe old age of 27)....not gonna find it.

But isn't that what real maturity is?---the idea that you finally realize ....THERE'S NOBODY "BETTER" OUT THERE FOR YOU, SO YOU BOTH BEST FACE REALITY, HUNKER DOWN AND MAKE A LIFE, OR ENJOY YOUR SOLITUDE AND FREEDOM TILL YOU WIND UP IN THE NURSING HOME A-L-O-N-E.

Both these two kids are living in dreamland with fantasies that all these vivacious, eligible suitors are lining up ......

Time to grow up, and let go of the delusions.

Fondly,