Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Smug Marrieds

A dear friend recently wrote the following to me in response to something I had written about in my blog...

I hate the unwritten rule that newlyweds are never allowed to talk about stuff like that --their lives are now supposed to be perfect because guess what you won the lottery--you're married! You and Scott give me hope for the smug marrieds.

So, because we are not spouting sunshine from our asses, THIS is giving hope to the singletons?

As a result, I have been mulling over this single vs. married thing. Here's what I've churned out so far...

It WOULD seem as though once you get married, you are in fact supposed to start having sunshine coming out of your ass. So far, however, haven't set any toilet paper rolls on fire -- so I think it's safe to debunk that particular myth. Now, I am NOT going to sit here and try to tell you that married life is SO much harder and "you crazy single kids should just live it up and enjoy it while you can." That's just crap. The truth is that life just wasn't supposed to be either way, but society just likes us paired off and so it gears everything in that general direction.

Here's the thing they don't really come out and tell you in the handbook though -- society wants us married off, but really just because that's the "acceptable" way to reproduce. Why is reproducing SO important to society? Because if there's more of us, then there's more of us buying things and the species gets to go on forever and while they're doing it they're going to be buying LOTS of stuff.

Wait, this isn't my consumerism rant. Sorry. I have to clean out my attic, so I often get a little "more stuff = the devil" when that happens.

Where was I? Ah, yes -- smug marrieds. But, backing up -- singletons. I think the only division greater than the Republicans and the Democrats is that between the Smug Marrieds and the Singletons. Smug Marrieds are those couples who are always keeping up the guise that being married is just grrreat and there isn't anything better and aren't we just so friggin' happy all the time?? The fact is that I happen to be married, but I am not overtly smug about it. My reason is that while I believe very strongly in marriage, I really don't think it's for the weak-hearted. Don't get me wrong -- not spending holidays alone and not having to tease my hair on Saturday nights and always having someone to kiss on New Year's Eve and whatever else movies are selling these days -- these are all good benefits. So, while I am not alone, I am also NOT alone.

Being married is like having another job. (This is why I'm so amazed at parents -- that is having 3 jobs if you work outside of the home. How DO you do it??) There is now another person whose needs and concerns and feelings are now a part of your decision making process. Your life becomes we-speak, which is why married people are seen as smug. But, really -- you have to consider the other person because they really are now part of who you are. A line in one of my favorite getting married books was "a sock on the floor isn't just a sock on the floor anymore -- it's a sock on the floor for the rest of your life." And that's so true. And there's the constant balancing of where the lines are drawn and what you let go and what you don't and trying not to point out what you've let go and what you haven't.

Frankly, I could go on and on. But, I also know that when you don't have that other person in your life and that that is something that you truly long for and desire -- that all of this may sound like woe is me, smug married whining. And maybe it is. But, truly -- it's just different. It's very rewarding in many ways, but I truly believe that is because the person with whom I have chosen to share my life with complements me in so many ways. Most of you know, I was married before. Been there, done that -- so to cliche. So, I didn't have a burning desire to be married -- but I wanted to be married to Scott. Maybe that's what makes me smug, maybe that's what keeps it real. Maybe that's just too much "secret couple talk" to be airing out here. But, fuck it -- let's get the elephants out!


Sunday, March 27, 2005


This morning over brunch with HP2 and Scott, I divulged a confidence from HP2 that I didn't realize that was a confidence. HP2 was not terribly upset that I divulged the confidence, but merely that it was done in front of her. She said that it just seemed like something that was going to be divulged during that secret couple talk that no one talks about. (Ooops, probably shouldn't be releasing that either.)

I've been thinking about secret couple talk ever since. I've picked it up and held it up to the light and examined it from many angles.

Here's the main angle... I do not understand societal conventions, and I have just now really REALIZED this. It's not that I do not understand that they exist. I get that they're out there and that are things that one just does not talk about. What I have a hard time understanding is why it is that we cannot talk about these things? How do we get to this point that we have to keep things in the dark and keep them out of the light? Sometimes they are bad things, sometimes they're just things that we see as bad. But we never talk about them, we never confront them. Not really.

They come up sometimes, but we're always hiding. Avoiding the truth. Delaying the truth. I'm so tired of it.

More secrets. We had to read The Minister's Black Veil by Nathaniel Hawthorne for English Lit. I think I just got it. He decided to wear a black veil every day and the town immediately thought it was because he had done something terribly wrong and shunned him. But, no one ever asked him why he wore the veil -- they asked what he had done, what he was hiding. The truth was that if you didn't have something to hide yourself, you wouldn't think that other people were hiding things.

So, I don't mean to spill your secrets. But, I try to spill mine too. I try to keep things open and in the air. I really want people to believe that what you see IS what you get. But, I'm not sure if that really is true or not.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005


Sometimes I think that I can't really relate to anyone, nor can anyone really relate to me.

This is one of my most self-pitying moments. The truth is that I KNOW that I am not really like anyone else. I assume we all have these moments from time to time when we fully understand how isolated we are from other people. I think that these moments have just been coming along a little more regularly for me.

I see my life as a series of facets. The sides of me that people see and the sides of me that they don't. Some people see different sides, some people choose to believe that other sides don't exist. Some people do not even know that those other sides exist. To most of the people that are in my life, I am single-faceted. I am only one Heather to them.

I may be the Heather that listens and gives soap-box advice to their problems. I may be the Heather that only gives the advice and doesn't listen. I may be the reading in the corner of the cafeteria Heather. I may be the Stand-up Comedian Heather. I may be the Drama Queen Heather. I may be grumpy Heather. I may be any one of the many pieces that are me. There are VERY few people who really see and accept the full, true me. And among this small group of people there may be even fewer who truly understand me.

Are you reading this wondering which one of those groups you may be in? Maybe. The truth is that I don't let many people past my guarded walls. There's a lot of trust that is involved in that, and frankly I don't handle disappointment well.

This goes back to my earlier allusion about the best friend thing...

My husband works with a woman whom I like, but she has a friend that I have met through her whom I like more. The friend of friend and I have more in common and have similar perspectives on life in general, it seems to me. A few weeks ago, there was a situation where we were all hanging out. She said that we should hang out some time and I said that I never approached it because I thought she and the other woman were best friends and I thought it might be weird since I only knew her through person. She said "no, L--- already has a best friend. We've known each other a long time, but I am not her best friend."

Yadda yadda yadda, this conversation sort of trickles back to L. She doesn't understand why her friend says this, but acknowledges -- begrudgingly -- that they are not "best" friends. That there is criteria for best friends that the two of them do not quite share.

This is fascinating to me. That this best friend dynamic still exists. Yet, I know it does. I myself am fortunate enough to have two friends whom I consider to be "best" friends. I know why they have this label, and I think that each of them also knows why. They couldn't be more different and I think this is why they are both able to share the "label" without any sort of bad blood about it. Not that they are the sort of friends to ever have bad blood about my other friends -- which I think is part of the reason too.

Some of you may be wondering where Scott may fit in to this best friend equation. The truth is that anyone who has a good relationship with their husband can understand where I am coming from when I say -- my husband is above all others my very best friend. I love him more than anyone, I trust him more than anyone, I would do anything for him and I know that he feels the same way. HOWEVER. There is no substitute in this life for a good girlfriend, period. There is no way I can talk to my husband for 8 hours straight and still have more to talk about 8 hours later. As much as he makes me laugh, it's not the same kind of laughs I have with my girlfriends and he is never really going to "get it" the way they do. As much as I love and respect and praise this man above all others, he is -- at the end and beginning of every day AND in between -- only a man.

I mean, I'm just saying. :-)

Total digression, but I'm tired and a little wined up.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

drama rama lama ding dang!!

I have to admit that sometimes I miss the drama. The why didn't he CALL me and the and then Suzy said that Janey told her... and all that jazz. I don't miss it enough to invite it over and feed it a meal or anything, but I do miss it.

But, fortunately I have found a substitution for all that drama. It's called Smallville and it's on the oh-my-God WB. Yes, I am becoming the poster-child for the only white shows on theWB and I could NOT be prouder!

Now, I do admit that Smallville is really addictive when combined with other substances (insert your drug of choice here), but I'm starting to get where it's the other substance on it's own.

The background is that this show is about Superman's life as Clark Kent when he was growing up in, you guessed it, Smallville. Clark's got all these super-powers that he has to hide because his parents (the adorable Jonathan and Martha Kent) don't want them to take him away to study him. He's from another planet. He's madly in love with Lana Lang and his best girlfriend Chloe (the nosy journalist, hmm) is madly in love with him. And there's Lex Luthor who is actually Clark's best friend.

And it's the Lex and Clark relationship in juxtaposition (who had an English terms test tonight, huh?) with Lex and his father Lionel. Lex has what can only be referred to as a complicated relationship with his father. He believes his father is trying to kill him because he learned the truth about his father's past; meanwhile, his father tries to convince the world that Lex's theories are crazy and that Lex is in need of mental help. BUT, is Lex crazy or is Lionel really rich enough to buy that many people into his conspiracy?

But, that's too far along. Because the dynamic that builds first is that between Lex and Clark. Clark and Lex truly are close -- not at all what you would think. Lex can almost taste what's different about Clark and really struggles with pushing for information while trying to maintain some kind of honesty in their relationship. In the beginning their chats were a little cheesy. And maybe they still are and I've grown immune to it.

That's probably it.

I just want one more person to get into this cult with me so that they understand. I NEVER though I would get this deep into the Smallville. I thought it's a bunch of pretty people and how clever to explore Superman as young Clark Kent. But, this show is worse than crack. It's like comparing Starlight Mints to crack. Y'all know my affection for the Gilmore Girls and they will always be my original WB ho's. But even my addiction to this can't hold a candle to my Smallville problem. I have lost sleep. I have pulled conspiracy theories and yarns up the wazoo. It's just crazy how much it can mess with your head.

Frankly, it's poetic. Because there are so many elements to it that are in the cheesiness and schmaltz that turn it into something better. There is the quippiness of the dialogue. To see Lex and Lionel verbally spar with their references to obscure dead Asian Emperors is like being able to see a really good sword fight in person. There is the weird things that kryptonite does to people. There is Red Kryptonite Clark -- an exploration in the dark side of not just his personality but of anyone's. You're not all good all the time, no one can be. There has to be an outlet somewhere. But the people who love us, they refuse to see that dark side. They doubt it. And then, there is the music. The theme song will get an earworm on you like no tomorrow. There's probably one of those hidden messages in it which is why you get so addicted to the show. (You better waaaaaaacth this shooooow. From now on. Uh huh. <-- sung to the tune of that Save Me song.) During all of the dramatic moments, there is the very low flute playing. The music slowly rises as the drama gets more tense and builds and builds and then the music stops. Like it never was playing and you were just imagining it. But, then it slowly softly starts again. You're not even sure you're hearing the song, and was that the teeniest piece from the Superman movies that just played?? And then there are songs that were completely ubiquitous a few years ago and then they slowly faded away to the point where when you heard it you were like "Oh, I love that song" after so recently being tired of hearing it all the time.

(What, like you never got so sick of Don't Worry Be Happy that you were worried that you wouldn't be happy again? But, then a few years after it finally faded away and you heard it you found yourself begrudgingly singing along and then really getting into it and actually being happy?)

Where was I? Yes. Smallville. Ah. It's just awesome. Go watch some but don't tell me what happens in Season 4, I'm trying to stay in order.


Tuesday, March 15, 2005

this is an audio post - click to play
Sometimes It Ain't Fun & Games

The thing with the insides of my head is that sometimes they are not funny party stories. Sometimes they are the philosophical bullshit that I pull out from the recesses that I like to analyze with people from time to time. Sometimes some of you will review them with me and I LOVE that. I really enjoy it at 2 in the morning after several bottles of wine, but I don't always remember it then.

But, it's like this. It's Full Heather Jacket here at Inside Heather's Head -- sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad. Sometimes it's funny, sometimes it ain't. You take it all when you sign up.

With that in mind, since my last gossip update I've thought a lot about the friend thing. I thought about the people who continue to try to keep me in their lives, even though I'm evasive. I've also thought about the people who I have tried to keep in my life, even though they are evasive. Some of the people in the latter group have turned to me time and time again when things aren't going well in their lives and I have always tried to be there for them -- and then when things are going well and I want to share in that too (who wouldn't?), they don't have the time to keep in touch.

The thing I have to remind myself of time and time again is that we are all at different places on our journey. On this walk through our lives. Some people we have to work harder to keep up with and some people have to work harder to keep up with us. If I am not going to make the effort to try to keep in touch with people who work so hard to keep me in their lives, then I simply cannot feel bitter about the people who treat me the same way. It's a pattern, it's a circle, it's just the way that it is.

I do feel bad about friends that I have let drift away. I do try to keep that going. The honest truth is that sometimes it just wears me out to catch up. How's so and so, how's such and such, what's happened since 1998 when we last REALLY talked?? Yuck! And I know this is part of it for those who don't make the effort to keep up with me. They've got their own things going on that are IMMEDIATE (family, closer friends, jobs, etc) and you lose the ability to stretch it out past more than a couple of layers. It doesn't mean that you don't care about the people in the other layers, they just didn't happen to get into the innermost fabric of your life.

Shit happens.

I want to talk about "best friends" too, because I stirred up something interesting with that this week but we'll save that for another time.

For now, I'll say that if you have one really GOOD friend that you can trust with your innermost YOU -- then you should count yourself as lucky. That's more than a lot of people have. I know that sounds like some cheesy internet forward shit, but I think it's true.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

I have often wondered how it is that every man loves himself more than all the rest of men, but yet sets less value on his own opinion of himself than on the opinion of others. -Marcus Aurelius, philosopher (121-180)

This was one of my quotes of the day in a word of the day email I get daily. (If you're interested, you can sign up here.

It came to me the morning after a "fat day." Which I'm going to share with you now.

Scott and I have recently joined the YMCA because we are trying to get back in shape. This is an uphill battle for anyone, but for us it's very daunting. We have a long ways to go and we're very much aware of it. It is a struggle to get motivated to go, much less keep going and going. But, we try.

The other night I was over at my mom's house for a visit. I had to cut my visit short because I had an appointment with a personal trainer. (It's the Y, so it's not QUITE as glamorous as it may sound.) She gave me a mini-lecture on how it wasn't enough to go work out, you have to diet too. I mean, duh. Does she think I don't have access to the news? But honestly, can't there even be a minute of "I'm proud of you for trying to get off your butt and do something."


Then, my appointment with the personal trainer turns into a mini-lecture about how I shouldn't make jokes about my weight, it's detrimental to my plan (damn, there goes my stand-up routine) AND did I know that I had to do more than just work out? I had to diet too??


Let me share with my faithful readers that yes, I am aware that I have to diet. Thank you for the news flash. But, I also know that not dieting AND not exercising has just GOT to be worse than exercising and not dieting. I mean, baby steps, right?

Then, I come home and watche Kirstie Alley's show Fat Actress. The show is a reality show like Larry David's show -- not quite reality, but based on it. Here's the thing -- the show was pretty funny, but the scary thing is that it plays on the fears that all overweight people have and that is that people are really dogging you out as much as you think they are. As much as you may be dogging yourself out. All that talk about how important it is to love yourself and respect yourself goes out the window when you see dozens of people calling her a blimp and a whale and enormous and huge AND adding to the stereotype that black men love fat white girls. Wow. It was depressing. Unless you've been there, unless you've lived with those insecurities that just when you thought you were at your hottest was when everyone in the room was in fact making fun of you for thinking you were so hot -- you will not know what I am talking about. And frankly, that makes me glad for you.

And also a little jealous.

Then the quote. Then the reminder that I shouldn't let other people's opinions of me matter, since in all other matters I seem to hold my own opinion SO highly. (Just ask anyone who's had my advice barked at them!)

So, I guess I'm going to keep on keeping on and hope that I get picked for one of those extreme makeover shows soon.

Damn, already didn't stop making fun of myself...

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Just a quick note to say -- sure was nice writing about something "controversial" and getting all those comments! :-)

Always nice to know there's someone out there reading.

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