Saturday, September 25, 2021

A story of 3 couples.


Recently, a conversation with a person triggered some thoughts about personalities, and Carly Simon's "You're So Vain" came to mind.  So I figured I'd start off by noting the chorus to the song and see if it fits:

You're so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You're so vain (you're so vain)
I bet you think this song is about you
Don't you don't you?
- - - - - -

Today, I got to thinking about general personality types for divorcees and widows, and I realized that much of the problems we have in choosing second (third, etc.) partners are related to how we filter our memories.  Widow(er)s will often put the late spouse on a pedestal, filtering out the bad memories.  Divorcees will often put their ex spouse in the demonic light of hellfire, filtering out the good memories. Not often enough will people see their absent/former partner in a balanced light.  The truth is usually in the middle of the extremes.

So I'll start off by relating three stories of relationships that ended and see what you think:
  1. Several years ago, after breaking up with Ex-GF-M, I placed personal ads on OK Cupid and Plenty of Fish.  One of the women I talked with was a pleasant looking Brunette wearing glasses.  But from the beginning I knew that this person would be wrong for me.  She was going through her second divorce, with her to be ex husband sharing a house with her.  All she could do was vent about him and her first ex, and I realized that I didn't want to be the third ex in waiting.

  2. When I was an active member of the AOL Widow/Widower chat room, I befriended a couple that were widowed before they met.  They married, but broke up (in part) because the husband put his late wife on too much of a pedestal.  That's not the loss I'd want to experience if I were to remarry.

  3. One of my friends (who has passed away) stayed on good terms with her ex, and she (with current husband) and her ex (with current wife) would go on vacation together.  I never heard her say a bad word about her ex, but never did she go out of her way to praise him either.  He was a decent man, but someone she couldn't live with.
What I see is that in the case of the nasty divorce, one partner has no empathy for anyone but herself.  In the second relationship, the husband put too much of himself into his relationship with the late spouse, and didn't have enough left for his current spouse.  And in the third case, everyone found a happy medium.  Although the third couple must have had some nasty spats, they didn't label the other partner as evil or backstabbing.  They simply agreed that their relationship didn't work out and moved on from there.

- - - - - -

Friendships can end in the same way as couples #1 and 3.  For me, I'd rather be like the 3rd couple, than either of the other 2.  Sadly, this is often not the case.

Just before the pandemic hit last year, I received an email from the ex-wife of my former therapist.  Although she was divorced from her ex, she still loved him.  She just couldn't live with his demons.  She had nothing bad to say about him.  And, having met me in New York, she invited me for lunch at her ex's favorite restaurant.  Too bad that this place is in Hawaii - I'll have to make an extra effort to take her up on her offer....



Friday, September 24, 2021

It's amazing how little information I retain these days.

The title of today's entry is misleading, as it leaves out the context of how one memorizes things.  In my case, I have driven to a particular town in Jersey many times, and I could get there very easily from TCL's house.  However, since MWL takes a different way to the same town via back roads, I can't seem to remember the route because I'm not driving the route.

In the past, I didn't need to develop a form of mental muscle memory for routes from one town to another.  Now, I have to drive them a couple of times to pick up on the details my subconscious needs to know to do the route by myself.  This makes me worry a little about whether my memory is starting to betray me.  But I'm remembering enough things to make me realize that things are normal for a person my age, and that it'll take much more for me to be at risk for major or rapid cognitive decline.

There's a part of me that wishes I could selectively forget things.  Yet, in many ways, I'm glad I can't forget some things.  Forgetting things makes it possible to make the same mistakes again.  And I don't want that.  When I started going out as Marian, I needed encouragement and help to continue doing so.  For this, I will take a former friend for being there when I needed her.  Although there was one person who said I should be proud of what I accomplished, I feel sad that this person couldn't accept me for the person I became.  These are the types of memories I'd like to forget.

- - - - - -

Yet, I ask myself: "What would happen if I go further down this path?"  Would I want to forget more of my past, and manufacture a new one for public consumption?  That I will never know. All I can say that I wish I had a roadmap for the future.  And this doesn't exist yet.


Thursday, September 23, 2021

A quick note: being too tired to do anything

One of the problems I've been having lately is that I'm too exhausted by the end of the day to do much of anything.  It could be clinical depression.  Or, it could be that I am no longer able to put in 40 hours of work every week.

- - - - - -

When the pandemic started, I got into a rut and let my apartment get too messy for me to have my cleaning lady come back.  Now that she is able to work again, I haven't been able to call her in - my place is too much of a mess.  It'll take me a while to dig myself out of the mess.  But at least I can still present myself as an attractive person outside the apartment.  (I use "attractive" loosely here, as I am not pretty by female standards.)  Yet, if I devote a little time to the process of mess clean up every day, I will finally get my place in order.

Why do I mention the state of my apartment?  Well, I believe that the apartment reflects my current place in my path towards femininity.  Not everything goes as expected.  None of us gets on this path and has everything go smoothly.  I lost a girlfriend (in part) because of this path.  Yet, I have no regrets.  I miss one former friend because of my stupidity. Yet, I've grown stronger because of her exit from my life.  This has been a benefit to me.  I'm in my second job where I can go as Marian.  Yet, I still have to maintain my identity as Mario.  Finding romance is complicated, as I can never be sure of how a woman will react to my identity as Marian.

- - - - - -

Travel along this path can be exhausting, and I have no regrets.  I'm finally out and about as my real self. And who can say that this is a bad thing?


Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Thinking about a different cruise than before


Normally, I wouldn't think of going on this cruise.  I've been to Port Canaveral, and was bored there.  I wasn't impressed by the cruise line's private island (Great Stirrup Cay), so I didn't take the tender to the island.  (My then girlfriend wasn't that impressed either, as the water wasn't clear, and the tenders were running with delays when we were there.)  But I do want to get to Charleston for a day, as this is a port that is not often on cruises from New York.

With the exception of the single 8 day cruise which adds a stop in Nassau, Bahamas, all of these cruises are reasonably priced.  Given that two of the stops are on US soil, and the other is on the company's private island, I figure that my risks of infection are minimized on this cruise.  I don't plan to get off the boat in Florida, and I may stay on the ship when we're at the private island.  But I will want to go out and see Charleston, and try and find out whether it is worth a return visit.

Yes, this will be a cruise in Marian mode - something I haven't done since my last cruise with my former cruise partner.  Hopefully, she'll be happy doing what she now does without me as a friend.  And I hope I will be just as happy having a stateroom to myself.






Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Favor, n: an effort in someone's behalf or interest


Favor, n: an effort in someone's behalf or interest.

The above is one of several uses of the word "favor".   It is not the meaning that someone used with me lately, nor is it the one that catalyzed another round of angry messages from someone who was once a close friend of mine.  I will not go into the content of those messages, as they are not the point here and I don't want to rub salt into that person's wounds.  The messages only spurred me to think about the following when communicating with someone with whom one does not have good relations:

First, one has to have real empathy for the other person.  Even if angry at that person, continue to see that person as  a human being worth respect, even if the thought of that person makes your blood boil.  If you can see an issue from their point of view, you might be able to avoid phrases or actions which would make the other person angry.  In short, one must think of how the other person may react before saying or doing anything.

Second, Don't expect others to think like you.  Often, people assume others share the same values, and then get angry when they don't react in the expected way.  Recently, I read about a husband who gave his wife jewelry every year, and never saw her wear it.  He didn't care to find out what she wanted; the gifts were simply an extension of what he'd have wanted had he been in her shoes.

Third, be generous with your thoughts and actions, but don't expect any thanks from the other person.  Sometimes, you will make a big mistake.  And that's normal.  Learn from your mistake and move on.  If you can, try to think of ways to make the other person feel better in the future.  Sometimes, the future will give you a second chance to get back into the good graces of a person.  And sometimes, it doesn't.

In the situation I mentioned at the top of the entry, an action thought of by one person as a favor was thought of by me as needlessly rubbing salt into an open wound.  If you received a "gift" which only brought back sour memories, would you think of it as a favor?  I doubt it.  Hopefully, the person who got upset at me will read this and understand where I come from.  But I doubt it.  If this happens, I'll bet that I will not hear of it.  

Monday, September 20, 2021

Sometimes, it's too easy to delete voicemails

Lately, I've gotten so much spam voicemail that I've forgotten that sometimes I person I want to hear from will leave me a message.  This is what happened to me this weekend.

- - - - - -

Recently, a woman at work and I have struck up a friendly acquaintanceship.  When I mentioned that I might need help sorting out all of the medicare options available to me, she volunteered to put her friend in contact with me.  One problem - I accidentally deleted the voicemail, and I don't remember the woman's name.  So I'll have to go back to my friend, mention the situation, and hope I can get the information I need.

Most of the time, dealing with voicemail spam is easy. One swipes to the right to delete the spam.  But when there's lots of spam in the voice mail folder, performing this task can be tedious.  Yes, there are ways to highlight each bad message and then mass deleting them.  But the process is not intuitive.  So I tend to do this one message at a time, and often delete messages I want to keep.

Yet, I'm willing to clean up the mess on my phone, as it's a lot easier to deal with the mess on my computer or in my apartment.



Sunday, September 19, 2021

It's hard to keep up with my friends and family, but....


Ever since I've been "post retirement" working, I'm finding it impossible to get together with many of the people I'd like to be with.  Last year, it was the pandemic.  This year, it's been work exhaustion.  What will it be next year?

What I find strange is that the older I get, the harder it is to meet with people.  Some of the people I know are dying off.  Some are moving away to retirement residences (in low tax states).  Then, some are taking care of others, and not able to get out to do things for themselves.  In short, everyone has a life, and we're all trying to make as productive use of our time as possible.

- - - - - -

Recently, I got together with FH after several weeks of looking for a time we could get together.  We had a nice day talking about life and catching up on things.  Of course, I wasn't going to screw up a day with MWL to spend a Saturday with her.  Vicki #2 is impossible to meet up with these days, as she has important family problems of her own that she's dealing with.  And I haven't seen my brother in what seems like ages.  We all have responsibilities that we have to manage, and I respect my family, friends, and acquaintances for doing just this.

The other day, I found out that a cruise I was thinking of taking was sold out. As a result, I realize that I now have an opportunity to see some people I haven't seen in years.  The first is a transwoman I know who has cancer.  I know her through a woman who once was a close friend.  If I see this transwoman, it will have to be soon, as I know what cancer can do to a person.  In better times, I'd offer a seat to this former friend on my trip. It's doubtful that the two of us could be civil long enough to visit my acquaintance - so I will not even suggest it. (Neither of us were pleased by our last communication, and I don't want a repeat of this incident.)  Since it doesn't make sense to gamble on being in this city just for the sake of visiting this acquaintance, I'll make sure that I'll visit the usual tourist spots and get together with someone I met on one of my cruises.  The second person I'd meet is a train buff who reads this blog.  It'd be nice to catch up with her in Baltimore when I finally get to visit the B&O Railroad museum.  If I was lucky on this part of the trip, I'd also get to meet a transwoman (and her wife) who I haven't seen since my only trip to Fantasia Fair.

- - - - - -

Several people I know have moved to Florida over the years.  I am not in a rush to go there.  But when I do, I will try to visit them.  Yet, assuming I do, I will need to make sure that my trans identity doesn't get in the way of doing things.  It'd be nice to see YGM again....

- - - - - -

Years ago, my wife and I went to the wedding of the daughter of my late uncle once removed.  (That is, my grandmother's brother's daughter, my cousin once removed.)  I don't remember much about that day, save that we didn't get to the church on time.  Since then, her dad, then her mom passed away.  My brother and I talked about going to visit her, but never did.  Hopefully, I will get the chance to see her soon.




RQS went home, and I got keys made - a quick post

  One of the problems with going about as a female is that almost everything one carries around during a typical day is carried in a handbag...