I started this entry early in the week (around Tuesday?), but I never finished it.

Thinking, thinking, thinking. Iíve wanted to write for the past few days, but I havenít had the time. This is why having a job is totally counterproductive (except in the money making aspect of life).

Just a couple of minutes ago, I was listening to an old interview on Fresh Air with David Sedaris. I love his writing, but I donít think Iíd be able to stand him in person. I realized this when he was talking about his obsession with spiders.

The first time I heard that interview, I thought the spider thing was a joke. I thought it was hilarious the way Terri Gross kept the joke going by humoring him, and us. I forgot about it, but since hearing that interview for the first time, I read the book in which he talks about his obsession with spiders. This time around, I knew he wasnít joking. When he was talking about spending six (SIX!!) hours of his day catching flies to feed to the spiders, all I could think was, ďJESUS CHRIST!! How does his boyfriend stand it?!Ē

OCD makes me nervous. Adam has OCD, itís not terrible, but itís there. There are things about Adam that cause me to have this occasional thought; ďThere is something seriously wrong with this guy.Ē And, heís done nothing thatís remotely even same realm as spending 6 hours catching flies to feed to spiders.

Adam has habits and ideas that I never suspected any person could possibly have, before I knew him. I donít say this because heís so incredibly bizarre. I say this because thatís how naÔve and narrow-minded I am, sometimes. Iím not against most ideas. Itís just that most ideas donít occur to me.

Thatís the nature of intimacy. When you hear about people showing each other their warts, this is what theyíre talking about. At first, I was all shocked by his warts, but over the past year or so, Iíve been thinking, ďHereís a relatively intelligent, well-meaning, well-educated, optimistic, ethical kind of guy, from a nice background (which makes people a lot wartier than youíd think), and these are his warts. Can you even imagine the warts of the people that I dislike on sight?! Those people probably have warts the size of Canada.Ē

The other day, while looking at my google news feed, I saw some blog entry/article about how the happy marriage is the ďmeĒ marriage. I clicked on it and skimmed it, and I donít really remember what it said. However, I think I did find it refreshing that the author focused more on the goal of a happy union, rather than a union that lasts. It seems like the media is so focused on whether or not a marriage lasts. Some people might even measure the success of a marriage by how long it lasts. These days, when you donít have to marry for survival, doesnít it make more sense to measure the success of a marriage by how happy it is?

Anyway, that wasnít the focus of the article, but I did appreciate that part. The other thing is that it reminded me of that co-dependency book I mentioned a few entries ago.

I realized that I really donít focus enough on me. I know that comparatively, I focus more on me than a lot of women do, but Iím not going to go into that. I think it has to do with socialization, sexism and religion, but thatís as far as Iíll talk about it.

I think the point is, self-sacrifice sounds like the path to happiness, and I agree, it is, to a certain extent. If we focus on others, that will lead us to be less narcissistic. That should lead us to a state of grace in which we constantly identify ourselves as being no different from the whole. When we donít differentiate ourselves from the whole, we are happy to serve the whole, because serving the whole means weĎre serving us. However, ego plays a huge role in creating desires for things that will only benefit us individually.

Maybe itĎs the times, but itĎs almost impossible to escape ego. We want individuality, and we want that individual to be respected. We want that individual to be treated fairly, too.

Despite the desire to be a fairly-treated individual, so many people still feel guilty about that desire.

I do a lot for myself, but my brain betrays me a lot, too. Despite me setting up my life to be as me-centric, as possible, I still plan my happiness around others. Iíll still serve as though I believe that there is no difference between me and the whole, but when others donít serve in the same way, Iím disappointed.

Which, when you think about it, isnít service, at all. Resentment, anger, bitterness; that doesnít do anything for anyone. It doesnít even really matter if the relationship is unbalanced or not. The thing that matters is whether or not one person in the relationship feels as though the relationship is unbalanced. What is the point of a person serving in a practical sense, if that only invites poisonous feelings, that will ruin it for everyone?

So, I might feel guilty for not serving sometimes, but that guilt is so much easier to deal with than righteous indignation. Righteous indignation has got to be the most poisonous emotion, in a relationship. Itís almost impossible to control, and it will kill any chances of feeling any true devotion to that person.

Being all human and stuff, I donít always have the choice of giving selflessly. When that option isnít there, I have the choice between giving and expecting reciprocation (with potential disappointment, bitterness, anger, etc), or just not giving, and dealing with the guilt (which can fade quickly, as long as itĎs not fed).

Now, in my case, I do actually have the choice. If I donít sacrifice, no one is going to run out and spend all my rent money on drugs. My house isnít going to fall into ruin. My cats arenít going to starve to death.

Itís more likely that the laundry will have to wait another day or the dishes wonít get done immediately. Adam wonít get to spill his guts when something is bothering him, or seek my advice every time he has an issue with a student, colleague, professor or paper. Heíll have to figure out on his own, and Iíll have to give up control. Iíll have to be ok with not problem solving and making things ďrightĒ (in my view).

This is something that Iíve known for awhile, but also something that I have to remind myself over and over again.

Anyway, that was from earlier this week. I cleaned it up a bit and finished a few thoughts, but that was the jist.

Now, I can move on.
Last weekend, I ordered a Kindle. Since then, Iíve been obsessed with it, and it hasnít even come, yet. Itís expected to arrive sometime next week, but Iíve been breathlessly awaiting itís arrival with so much fervor, that Iím beginning to feel like Iíve been waiting an eternity.

People gave me a lot of grief for this Kindle thing, too. As though itís some kind of sin. People who arenít even regular readers seem to have some sort of reverence for physical books, like they are sacred in some way. It also seems like people who do not read for pleasure are resentful toward people who do.

Like, weíre dancing around singing, ďI looooooooooooooooooove going to the dentist! I never miss a cleaning!Ē

But, in actuality, there isnít anything inherently more ethical about reading, than anything else. It doesnít even give you sparkling teeth and a nice smile.

I donít try to achieve any kind of moral high ground through the media that I consume. I almost exclusively watch fluff, when it comes to TV and movies. When Adam and I are looking at our netflix settings, Iím the one saying, ďWho put Ďcerebralí in the taste settings?! Ugh! I donít want that!Ē

And no, Iím not afraid that it makes me appear less intellectual or that my brain is going to fall apart.

I read a lot as a kid because it was an escape and I didnít have many other options. I didnít watch TV because that meant I was exposed and vulnerable. A person can hide anywhere and read a book. I didnít have the money or guidance to get into other tween things, like clothes, hair or make-up, but I could spend 25 cents on a paperback from a rummage sale or Goodwill.

As a result, Iím a fast reader. I have a hard time making my books last. The Philadelphia library system drives me crazy, so I donít use it. I feel guilty about buying a lot of books because of killing trees, and I donít have the space to store them, anyway. I am not comfortable with giving them away because I do like to read books more than once (sometimes 3 or 4 times).

Given that situation, it only makes sense that I would buy a Kindle. Why didnít I buy one sooner? The reason is obvious; I felt guilty about that, too. It felt like too much of an indulgence. Too much, dedicated solely to me and my desire.

I feel like reading is my one desired activity that only benefits me. If Iím doing something active, like hiking, dancing or snowboarding, I am doing something I enjoy, but Iím also getting fitter and socializing. Which, in my mind, getting fitter and socializing are always on my ďneed to doĒ list, not on my ďguilty pleasureĒ list. The above activities are ways that I can combine enjoyment with obligation.

Reading does not make me fitter, nor is it a very social activity (although, I joined goodreads, which is a social network for readers).

I wasnít sure if e-readers would last, either. Could I be sure that there would be e-books for me to read in the future?

Now e-readers are becoming common and cheap enough that it doesnít feel like an over-the-top indulgence. Now it feels like it just makes practical sense.

And now, all I do is count the minutes until my ďestimated delivery dateĒ arrives. Itís estimated to arrive on January 11.

I was planning to write something about dance is going. Last night, walking from the car to the house, I felt pain in my right knee. It was sudden and intense, almost as if I had a Nancy Kerrigan experience, but without the actual crowbar (Was it a crowbar? I donĎt feel like looking it up).

I donít know what happened. As the evening went on, my knee started to swell and throb (like a ghost injury). I iced it and took advil.

I guess this means no zumba and no dance, this week.

I do happen to already have an appointment with a sports medicine doctor because I injured my right foot snowboarding a couple of weeks ago (not bad enough for me to curb my regular activity). Maybe itís related, maybe itís not. Maybe, rather than seeing the sports medicine doctor, I should have made an appointment with an orthopedist.

Maybe this is the universeís way of getting me to do more yoga?

Of course, on FB, all my friends are setting statuses about working out, sledding and playing their team sports today. Iím stuck in bed with a knee that can barely bend.

At least I have books.

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Saturday, Jan. 08, 2011 at 1:49 PM