I confess that she got engaged way earlier than just now. I had to get used to the idea. It’s a big change and of course I’m happy for her, but I’m nervous about the change.
I like the guy. Okay, of course I like the guy. Melissa is very good at setting a goal and meeting it. He is smart and interesting and loves Melissa and he is maybe the only person in the world who is as obsessed with gaming airline miles as she is.
But back to me. I notice that I’ve been thinking in analogies lately. My professor in grad school told us that writers use analogies to keep distance. Like the ants in Farewell to Arms. Hemingway can’t watch all his minor characters blow up at the end of the book. So he sets the ants on fire.
But recently I read that people do that as a way to form consensus. In my mind, consensus is railroading, to my own end. (And that is a metaphor, not an analogy.) But I think my analogistic fervor comes from wanting to have consensus with me and Melissa about what our next phase will be.
Here is an analogy I’ve been using lately. Deciding to have kids is like deciding to have spaghetti. If the only option for dinner is spaghetti, then that’s what you’re eating. You can only pick something that is not spaghetti if you have something else to eat. It won’t work to say, “There are a lot of really good things I could eat.” That’s irrelevant. Those things are not in your kitchen. You will starve. So it is true that spaghetti is mostly carbs, and stains your clothes, and probably you only have crappy canned sauce for the pasta. There are lots of bad things about spaghetti, but if there are no other choices then it’s irrelevant that there are things you don’t like about spaghetti.
Which is to say that if you have a choice between having kids and nothing else specific enough to evaluate then you don’t have a choice. All you have is kids. If you don’t know if you want kids, but you have nothing else you want, then you want kids.
Sometimes I think if I talk enough people will give in. They will say I’m right. Sometimes this tactic has worked with Melissa, but that phase is over. G. I guess we will use this name for him. G will not put up with that. He has very good boundaries.
I do not have good boundaries. That’s why you read my posts.
One of my favorite things about G is that he doesn’t mind when Melissa and I talk late at night. I told Melissa I have PTSD from her last boyfriend not letting us talk. She says she does too. But I think it’s worse for me because I couldn’t dump him.
So I was really touched that G not only lets us talk, but he joins in. Every time. He’s always there on speaker phone.
I always look forward to our late-night talks and that’s pretty much the nicest thing I could ask for from the guy Melissa chooses.
I have a new business plan every night. It’s a coping mechanism. Like some parents drink wine after the kids go to bed. I spout business ideas. Well, and my kids never go to bed.
I tell G and Melissa I met someone who wants to overhaul the pro beach volleyball system.
G asked how I’ll make money. He’s all about money, which will not surprise you if you have heard my tirades about how women should marry someone who can support them.
I just realized that I use analogies to entertain myself. Do you allow yourself to marry a felon? No. Because conjugal visits are annoying. So you make a rule for yourself, no felons, and then you work around the restriction. You can do the same thing with partners who cannot support a family.
Or maybe I make analogies to pontificate when I’m a hypocrite. Because it’s not like I ever chose someone who could support me.
So G asks how I’ll make money.
That’s usually my role. To tell someone their business idea sucks because it won’t make money. I like that he can be that role for me. People think when someone tells them the flaw with their business that it’s mean, but actually, when someone takes the time to consider the business and come up with the flaw, that’s a gift. I feel cared about each night when G dropkicks my ideas.
Another night I was telling Melissa that I don’t know what my role is in her life now. I’m the Velveteen Rabbit. People like metaphors because it’s a sensory way to present a complicated idea. I am hoping this is not true in this particular case because it is so pathetic for me to say I’m Melissa’s Velveteen Rabbit. I better be something better than that.
I could not have written this post without the distraction of metaphors and analogies. I don’t want to write about this topic. I don’t like this topic.
I cried at my brother’s wedding. And it wasn’t from joy.
I told Melissa this post will have to stand in for tears at her wedding because now I’m too old to have mascara streaming down my face.