I have spent lot of time wondering why I hung out with The Narcissist for a couple of years. There is no denying I was trapped in my own personal psychodrama at the time, and the relationship facilitated my recuperation. You can never underestimate the value of emerging successfully from a psychodrama - especially one that colors your life for decades. I had to knock my head against a certain brick wall enough times to get the point. Being involved with The Narcissist was so intense that I finally learned something that had eluded me for a life time.
But that's not why I liked him, and I really did like him even though he drove me crazy. In fact, I have come to realize that if a fellow doesn't drive me crazy, and if I don't thoroughly hate him every now and then, I won't like him at all.
That's why The Artist from the South of France never had a chance. He was nice and everything. He took me to lovely places, gave me stuff and treated me with deference and respect. He was so solicitous that it was like having your own personal maitre d' at an elegant French restaurant. As it happened, he made a good living as a waiter in a couple of French restaurants when he was a young painter in California. When I told him I didn't feel like going out with him anymore, he actually said, "Was something not to your liking?"
As easy going, understanding and affectionate as I am when all is well, I can be a shrew. Taming of the Shrew level Shrew. I have mentioned before that if Life were a Dog, it would be my mother's pleasure to neuter that dog. My mother would cheerfully slice the balls off The Dog of Life. Granny the Ho was fun loving, but when she was mad she was out of control. When her third husband locked himself in the bedroom to get away from her, she busted a hole in the door with a hammer then went after him with it. I believe she was taking a lot of Dexedrine at the time as a prescription diet pill - but many people take amphetamines without chasing their husbands with a hammer. When she was pissed off about something her second husband did, she cut bald spots all over his head while he was asleep. This is my heritage.
I don't get violent, but I'm a volatile female. If the man in my life cannot take the heat, I'll toss him out of the kitchen my own damn self and call him a sorry-assed pussy while I'm at it.
A Shrew needs Petruchio which is why I adored and respected the hell out of The Narcissist. It's true he had many annoying traits - but so does everyone. Maybe I'm feeling nostalgic because I haven't seen him in so long I've forgotten just how annoying he can be - but he was very smart and strong. His character was solid and distinct. He was goofy and entertaining, enthusiastic about his work, passionate about his kids. Despite his unwavering self-absorption, if I got scared in the night, he was attentive, kind and calming.
We met just as both of our marriages were ending, and getting involved with someone again was not on anyone's agenda. I had already been trying to get divorced for a couple of years, though, and must admit that I had been dating for a while even though Buzz Kill still lived in the apartment. The Narcissist, aka HCW (handsome, charming and wonderful), was in the process of moving since he had been summarily kicked out by his wife. I'm sure that he was such a confrontational, provocative jackass that he's lucky she didn't throw the china at him - but from what I've heard she was also pretty difficult. It's hard to know because when people are trapped in intolerable situations, they do crazy shit. God knows I'd hate to hear Buzz Kill's side of the story because I was guilty of very bad behavior.
Buzz Kill is actually a decent guy. Velvet has said that as individuals we're both okay, but together we suck. The thing is that people often choose partners who perpetuate their original dysfunctions, so the marriages are dysfunctional.
It's kind of odd that when I think of the men who have been most influential in my life (besides my dad), Buzz Kill - my husband of 17 years - is not among them. I'm not sure what that says, but it means something for sure. So far, there are three significant love interests: My True Love, Bradley; My favorite fiancee, The Man from San Antone; and The Narcissist, HCW. All of those men have a fully developed sense of personal integrity. While it may seem warped to other people, in the context of their own lives their behavior consistently shows an adherence to a code of honor. I suspect I don't understand HCW's personal code because there are cultural dissimilarities between us. No one could ever mistake him for a gentleman and his only experience with The Code of The West has been from the movies. In his way, however, The Narcissist/HCW was protective and did his duty as he saw it.
Buzz Kill was too frantic about everything to even recognize his duty. My British ancestry is showing here, but I think a clear sense of duty is crucial to integrity. Buzz Kill means well. He just lives his life in a state of panic and denial which ultimately undermines his ability to be effective. Bradley, The Man from San Antone and HCW are all capable, effective individuals. They are also fully formed, three dimensional characters. Buzz Kill's character is three dimensional and sympathetic, and he's as lovable as any other person - it's just that he's too subservient to be a dominant force in anyone's life. Passive-aggressively controlling, yes. Dominant, no.
When you live your life like I do, as if it's being filmed in CinemaScope with an orchestrated soundtrack, the leading characters have to be dominant and three dimensional. Intense, complex, flawed. Lovable despite themselves.
- ► 2014 (13)
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- Reclaiming My Living Room
- Velvet Goes to College
- In Which Buzz Kill Blows a Gasket
- Small Blessings
- Bull Shit Processing Units
- Dolphin Finds the Sofa
- Another One for the Soundtrack
- Sex and Drugs: Menopausal Stoners Preliminary Poli...
- Hope & Hell in a Hand Basket
- Whole Lot of Stupid Going On
- Road to Nowhere
- Song for the Shower
- Buzz Kill Avoids Jail Time Again
- In which Velvet says I'm Maniacal
- Margaritas, Coming Up
- Building a Fence
- Theme songs and meme songs
- Tits and The Patriarchy
- Taking a Lesson from Dr. Seuss
- Life in CinemaScope
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