Valentine’s Eve Dream

I’m in a bar in my (very nice) nightie.
An old burnt out white guy
out of Tucson asks me
“Did you come here for a change?”
I think he means something like
“Did you leave Boston for Santa Fe?”
so I say “I’ve been here
my whole
adult life.”

He tries to
put the make
on me
but I go back
to my cousins’ party
and put on
the wrong pair of shoes
and then can’t
get the car to turn off.

I need to find you
and beg you to take me back.

When I wake up
I realize I did indeed
come here for a change
except here
is not a guy in a bar
but the realm of dream.

2 Second Fix: I Don’t Want To Work At Love by Miriam Sagan

2 Second Fix: I Don’t Want To Work At Love

I always start to feel bad when folks talk about “working” on relationships. I’ve never been a huge fan of work. It implies making an effort I wouldn’t otherwise for a monetary pay off. I’d rather play. Or engage in an activity for itself. I’ve certainly worked—heck, I’ve got a pension—but I don’t want to “work” on my marriage.
I’d rather play. I do put a lot of time and energy into the relationship. It’s pretty much my fave activity, my best hobby. I try to be entertaining, and thought provoking, friendly, supportive. I like to flirt. I try to not just wear schmattas around the house. I want to be honest, and even uncomfortable in my pursuit of intimacy. To let things change. Develop. Experiment.

Thank you, Ursula Le Guin, for inventing a planet where the word for “work” and “play” are the same.

Love, Love At First Sight, and Love in Life by Ezra Katz

Full disclosure–Ezra Katz is my wonderful nephew. My three nephews have added immeasurably to my life–and given me a lot of faith in millennial men. I’ve been publishing Ezra off and on on Miriam’s Well, and really have followed his writing since high school.
Check out his blog, at https://pandorasboxblogsite.wordpress.com

Love and Other Things
On December 5, 2016 By ezk1993

For those of you who do not know, this weekend is Drew and my’s fourth anniversary (hence the trip to Puerto Rico). Falling in love, being in love, and building a life together are those things that everyone dreams about but often the dream doesn’t sync with the reality. In no way has my life with Drew been what I imagined, which is part of what makes it so rewarding.

I don’t believe in love at first sight, I never have, and at this point I see no evidence in my own life to suggest otherwise. I do believe in lust at first sight, no question about that, but lust and love are two very different things. With Drew, the love developed slowly and in a way that I wasn’t expecting. This isn’t a negative thing. Think of it like a complex dessert or wine, at first you taste it and you aren’t sure, but there is something deep within the complexity that keeps you coming back. That was how Drew was to me. At first I found him pleasant to be around but I certainly wasn’t in love and planning our wedding. But the evolution of my feelings for Drew took time. Part of the trouble was that we were doing short distance, I lived in Grinnell and he lived in Des Moines, meaning that we only saw each other for about twenty-four hours once a week. That isn’t a lot of time to get to know someone, especially when you consider that after one whole semester Drew and I had barely even spent two weeks with each other. I think that distance really slowed down the process, which makes sense.

So, if I didn’t know right away, when did I know? At the end of Sophomore year, about six months after Drew and I stated dating, I was going away to Jerusalem for the summer. I was going to be gone for ten weeks and I thought about breaking up with him, just ending it, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. It was in this moment, that I realized something, I was going to miss Drew. When we said goodbye, and went our separate ways, I was sad. Like really sad. Like sad enough that I called my mom and cried in the car as I was driving east from Grinnell. That was something that I had never done before, never (not the calling to cry to my mom part, but the being sad that I wasn’t going to see someone part). For those of you who know me well, I’m not a particularly sentimental person, so I don’t usually get upset when I have to say goodbye to people, I just don’t. But with Drew I did. Things continued this way while I was in Jerusalem, I missed Drew and it felt weird. Missing him, was my first clue that Drew was far more important to me than I had first imagined.

The fact that I missed Drew, was a clear message to me that I loved him, that our relationship and my feelings for him were more than just a fling. Our relationship continued from there and matured nicely. We met each other’s families, started traveling together, and started having serious talks about the future.

After college, we started to build a life together, which was a new and difficult adventure. Just a little fact, Drew and I never spent more than thirteen days in a row together until I moved in with him in January of 2015. That means that our relationship for two years was based on short bursts of time together. Moving in really changed the dynamic. Luckily, we lived pretty well together. No, he isn’t as clean and organized as I am, and, yes, I really do boss him around a little bit too much. But overall, we live very well together.

However, building a life with someone is quite different than building a relationship. A relationship is about feelings, lust, and energy while a life is about security, comfort, and existence. Building our life means doing boring things like going to Target and doing chores around the house. It also means the evolution of how we view each other. Drew isn’t just my love object now, he is my partner, my copilot, and my sidekick. My life revolves around his and vice versa. Creating a life as one is on one end the most challenging phase of our relationship while also being the most rewarding. I am so thankful that I met Drew and I am so thankful for the life that we have built. I look forward to many more years by his side.

Letter To My Younger Self by Chasity Anderson

Once

We pretended satellites were falling stars and if we just believed hard enough our wish would come true. It was a simple wish. The need to be wanted, the want to be needed. Love. And we got that.

But.

I don’t think I need to tell you what we feared the most in our hearts. I don’t want to tell you that one day those fears would come true. One day we will be left behind, lost, forgotten… And I won’t be our fault, and it will be our fault. And the hardest we will ever have to do is

let it go…

move on…

There is nothing wrong with us, we are not…toxic…

And.

I can’t promise that even with telling you all of this that the pain will go away. It’ll show up at unexpected times, we will get sad, we will get angry. We will worry that our only purpose in terms of other people is to watch them leave, go away, never look back, and forget us. And it will happen. And I can’t promise that that part of us isn’t true. But we’ll find people who love us as well, even if they aren’t there.

Once.

We pretended satellites were falling stars and if we just believed hard enough our wish would come true. A need to be wanted, a want to be needed. Love.

Believe

Love and Socks

Letting Go of the Grudge: Not Building A Case Against Socks
Does the following story seem familiar–out of all the billions of people on earth you find one–the one for you. You pay a large sum of money for a wedding, a house, a vacation. You love this person–would do anything for her or his happiness. Then you see the socks lying on the floor. Or the unbalanced checkbook. Or the leftover brussels sprouts. Suddenly, delusion kicks in. Those dirty socks or withered vegetables are important–much much more important than love, commitment, yearning, or vows.
If these socks seem to demonically posses your love relationship, you are not alone. What would happen if you simply ignored the socks? Your first reaction to this might be shock, horror, or both. Ignore the dirty socks? Wouldn’t they simply multiply and soon fill every room in the house, like the furry little creatures called Tribbles on an episode of the original Star Trek which were cute until they clogged the entire spaceship?
And then the rationales kick in–it isn’t my job to pick up socks, these socks show a disregard for my needs and wishes, this disregard demeans me as a person, these socks show my beloved no longer cares for me. In fact, these dirty socks are soon an anti-love missile. As a rule, we fear that love can be destroyed by betrayal, adultery, abandonment, lack of concern and compassion. But in reality the day in and out problem with love gone domestic is more apt to be a quarrel over the recycling than a political disagreement.
So try again. What would happen if you ignored the socks? And socks are not a feminist issue. I know because I have had two husbands complain about my part in our shared housekeeping. In fact, much to my amazement, they seemed to have the same complaints. I simply considered it to be a remarkable coincidence that both of them wished I wouldn’t leave apple cores in odd nooks, cups of cold tea everywhere, and my shoes in doorways. To be honest, I like these little unattractive habits. They make me feel like a cosy guinea pig, safe in her messy house. But they seem to drive other people crazy.
Apparently my worst habit is that I never wrap cheese up properly when I put it back in the refrigerator. I eat a lot of cheese, never wrap it, and then it dries out. I mused once to my friend Carol how odd it was that both my husbands felt I didn’t wrap the cheese properly. I chalked this up to one of the mysteries of the male psyche.
Carol had once lived with my for a few weeks and knew me well. “But Miriam,” she said. “You don’t wrap the cheese properly. And it dries out.” I was shocked by this feedback, which was obviously true.
The story of the cheese could have only one effect on me (besides encouraging cling wrap). I had ordinary irritating faults that did not bother me at all but that bothered other people. And I knew deep inside that I was not leaving stray apple cores around to upset anyone or to show a disregard for their needs. I was at times a bad roommate but basically I was a devoted wife. And both my husbands seemed to intuitively understand this. I got on their nerves, but they did not build a case against me. Perhaps I could learn from how others were treating me.
People may change a bit, or not at all. You can try linking things in the environment to your sense of security–when you don’t wash the dishes properly it makes me feel ignored and alone–but it is not that likely that you will get a positive outcome. After all, this is simply the imposition of your world view on another person’s. You could analyze this forever or go into couple’s counseling over the socks. Or you could stop building a case.
When I first took up with my second husband Rich, I was in an altered state. I was still grieving the death of my husband Robert, while being ecstatic to be re-united with my first love. Death and the changeable nature of things were always present in my mind. This made me feel open, spontaneous, at times even transcendent. But I was not immune to the delusive state of mind induced by dirty socks.
At that time, I was still seeing the therapist who had helped Robert and me during the time he was ill. I’d stayed on in couple’s therapy, only this time my partner was an empty chair. After Robert died, I was haunted by how we’d quarreled about mundane things, never realizing our time together was limited. Robert always claimed he was about to paint the trim on the house some hideous drab color that I loathed. One day it was gray, the next olive. We’d fight, but of course he never even went to the paint store. After his death I couldn’t believe how much I had nagged him about things. I nagged and nagged, he never changed at all, and then he died and I was desolate. Of course this is actually a description of the human condition. But I hadn’t seen it until I was out of the situation, when of course it was too late.
So I was sitting in my therapist Fred’s office talking about my new relationship with Rich. Fred handed me a piece of paper and said: “Write down the three things you like the least about. him.” How exciting! My sock mind kicked in. Forget about death and the transcendent view. I was going to get to complain! Happily, I went to town, and handed the sheet back to Fred. Without looking at it, Fred crumpled it up and threw it into the garbage can. I was shocked, but then truly relieved. It appeared these alleged faults were not my business and not my problem. I don’t know where Fred got this radical approach from, but it was freeing.
You can try it yourself. Do just what I did.

1. Write down three things you don’t like about your partner.
2.If you are single and dating, try this with even a more casual acquaintance.
3. If there is no one current in your romantic life, try it with an ex.
4. When you are done, re-read it.
5. Then, crumple up the paper and throw it in the trash or burn it.
6. It might be interesting to also try this with a co-worker, family member, or friend–anyone you want to practice basic acceptance towards.
7. Repeat as necessary.

William Blake has a beautiful poem called “The Poison Tree” which is about anger. He says: “I was angry with my friend/I told my wrath/my wrath did end/I was angry with my foe/I told it not/my wrath did grow.” The anger becomes a huge poisonous tree spreading over everything. Essentially you need to remember–perhaps over and over–that your beloved is your friend, in the largest sense of the word. If this friend is truly not a friend, but mired in some kind of addictive behavior or pathology, then obviously you cannot regard her or him as benign. But what about that most usual of circumstances, being with someone you love who is just as flawed and ordinary as you are, a person who lives in an impermanent changing world, a person who will someday die, and a person who is really not thinking about you at all when she or he tosses socks on the floor.
You don’t need to water the poison tree by adding these socks to a long list of grudges. Try picking up the socks and making a little hand puppet out of them. Talk to that delusive part of the mind that thinks socks are more important than love. Or just ignore the socks.