The Rumpled Persona

The Rumpled Persona

I was absolutely dying to take my persona off. I’d had it up to here with being polite, chipper, enthusiastic, patient, accommodating and on time. I wriggled out of it so fast I didn’t notice I’d forgotten to hang it up. 

I have to put it back on tomorrow and was disheartened to find it compressed under a pile of unaccomplished to-do-list-items and some dirty socks, probably the mates of all those single socks that came out of the laundry as an annoying bafflement.

It looks even heavier than I remembered. I wish there was a Persona drycleaner who could steam it back into something elegant and desirable, maybe stuff its pockets with a few extra witty bon mots and some sincere sounding answers to the question, how was your holidays?.

It’s not that the answer is terrible, I had a lovely holiday, it’s just that I want to be wild and free a little longer. My inner wildness is uncivilized. It doesn’t want to be seen. It wants to be in the woods. But it’s also a bit reckless, tracking mud everywhere, howling and snarling just for fun. I don’t want to get that mud on anyone I care about. I don’t want someone to accidently get snarled at.

The Persona is graceful and kind, she always wipes her feet on the doormat and greets the door opener with a smile. I would like her to greet me first, to tell me everything is going to be ok. Then I would feel comforted as I slipped her back on, knowing that while she constrains, she also prevents regret. 

I Don’t Like This But It Seems Like It’s My Fault

I Don’t Like This But It Seems Like It’s My Fault

My husband just told me that if we are on a plane together and something starts to go wrong, he is going to sit with someone else because I get too upset.*

I don’t like this at all, but it’s kind of on me, right? I need to calm down.

I am not good at being calm when a lot of unpleasant unknowns are coming at me.

My first reaction is to short circuit and yell. I start making it all about me. How dare reality impinge on my wellbeing like this?! Neither admirable nor attractive, I too would skitter away if possible.

On the positive side, I usually get my shit back together reasonably fast. I don’t stay in that state for hours on end. I burn bright and quick. Since I really want to be a source of strength and pleasure for those in my company, I try to tidy up the emotional mess soon after it appears. But I just can’t seem to figure out how to nip it in the bud.

I hate sharing this because all I seem to hear is meditation mediation meditation. I know! And I do! My goodness. That’s how I am able to right the ship. I am very mindful. Mindful enough to know I am an animal and when I get scared, that’s not the time to try and pet me. I have to have my little moment of pure shock.

Life is quite challenging. It’s very hard to be perfect. If you’re stoic, which is awesome on bumpy airplanes, you might not be the most fun. If you’re emotional, which is taxing, you might give the best hugs. If you’re resourceful and effective, you might seem too competent to empathize. If you’re a wreck, you might be exciting but unreliable. You just can’t do it all and be it all. I would like to, to be everything to everybody. But I can’t and I don’t and I’m not. Oh well.

But I think I will try to be one iota more contained. An iota a day keeps the husband not away.


*Just in case you are new here, my husband said this in jest, and it was well deserved. He would not actually abandon me on a plane or anywhere. He is a very nice man. I am glad he said it because it’s important to know when you’re at the boundary of too annoying to put up with. If someone cares enough to give you a signal, you can retreat a few steps back and just be moderately annoying.

Matrimonial Quantum Entanglement

Matrimonial Quantum Entanglement

Marriage is the agreement where you and another person decide to physically merge in such a way that you will be guaranteed to show up at the same spot at the same time for maximum inconvenience.

A few examples:

You are about to work out in front of the TV. You’ve been setting this up for a few minutes, turning on the tv, adjusting the sound. It’s super obvious what is happening but nevertheless, just as the workout is starting, your spouse positions themself directly in the front of the tv. They claim they left their coffee there.

You need to leave the house ASAP and your spouse is obstructing the exit by hanging laundry in the back room. The washing machine takes up so much space there is only a very narrow strip, maybe 16 inches wide, between it and the wall. You can’t both be in it at the same time and yet you are.

You need to go from the front of the house to the back. Your spouse receives the quantum notification and proceeds to move from the bedroom to the balcony such that you will jostle each other in the hallway’s bottleneck. This passageway was originally designed to accommodate two traversers, but your spouse has lined a good portion of it with a small table and a folding screen. You have further eroded the pedestrian capacity with a huge metal filing cabinet from the 1930s and an Ikea cupboard that could probably qualify as a small third bedroom. So maybe you like it when this happens?

Though frequently at opposite ends of the apartment due to offices in different rooms, you show up in the kitchen at the same time, rummaging in the same area, but not for the same things. Your spouse wants beer nuts, you grab around them for Pringles. Too hungry people working in near total solitude confused by congestion.

Let’s not even discuss the bathroom except to say why is it like this? How does one sync one’s biological plumbing to go off at the exact same time? This one is probably the hardest to handle.

Maybe it’s a small cramped apartment. Maybe its perfectly correlated wave functions. Maybe you are no longer two things but one inseparable whole. You know that’s not true but it’s the romantic spin you place on these daily collisions. Satellites of Love as Lou Reed might say.

Sidewalk Face 128