I had trouble concentrating on work today. For good reasons (dreaming about Martin) and not so good reasons. I happened across a letter I wrote my ex back in 2007. I apologized profusely for being so emotional and sad and for letting things get to me. I apologized for not being able to let things go for years without dealing with them like he could. I apologized for not getting over the fact that he was likely having an affair. I read and read and shook my head and remembered how I blamed myself for everything that happened. I took it all on myself in part because I really didn’t want him to leave. I grovelled.
I always considered myself a strong person but when push came to shove I cared more about saving my family than my pride. And I guess it all happened how it was supposed to but sometimes when I think back I get mad at myself for taking the hit over and over again.
We had the last school function of the year tonight, the band banquet. My daughter won a big award, the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award for her dedication and character and musicianship. She plays bass guitar like nobody’s business. They served baby back ribs and chicken with salad for dinner. Baby back ribs are my favorite. My kids love them too but my ex got two pieces of chicken instead. My son asked him why and he said he felt like chicken. I chimed in and said, “Dad doesn’t like ribs cause they’re messy.” and he agreed saying, “I like the end result I just don’t like the process.” and it was like a lightbulb going off in my head.
That is EXACTLY how he is in life. He would rather miss the ribs altogether and eat dry chicken breast than have sticky fingers and bbq sauce in his goatee.
It is a very consistent character trait. He wants things neat and tidy in all ways. If things get a little messy he suffers through it or avoids it altogether.
I was talking to Martin last night and told him how I ignored the house this weekend because it was a holiday and I wanted to have fun with the kids. I was kind of down on myself for the clutter that built up. And I said how I admired people who could stay on a disciplined schedule. How if I just picked up a little each day the house wouldn’t become a disaster.
And he said, “Yeah, balance is important but you could take it to the extreme and be regimented about everything and lose the joy and spontaneity in life.”
And I realized that I kind of like things a little bit messy. It feels more “real”. I’m not a fan of chaos but who wants to live in a hotel? It’s very impersonal and stark by contrast to the piles of books I’ve read in the corner, the notes and school papers on magnets on the fridge and the big hugs that come after tears.
I never ever want to be someone who bypasses ribs just because they leave my fingers sticky. Part of the fun is licking them clean.