Thursday, July 28, 2005

On secrets...

People say there should be no secrets in a relationship. I find this persuasive. But I think there must be exceptions, because people need to hold onto some individual space as well. The question an individual must decide is where to draw the line between secrets that damage or are an affront to trust, and little innocuous pockets of personal space.

Friends who are the opposite sex are a good example. Especially if you know they find you attractive, or vice versa. Another is fantasising, another onanism.

So what about secret diaries? My partner used to keep one, and was appalled that her ex looked in it one day. I have never looked to see if she still keeps one; she has said she doesn't, but if she felt the need I would understand and respect her privacy.

What about one that is secret from your partner, but shared with many others, like a blog? This blog?

I don't think I could write frankly if my fiance was reading over my shoulder, as it were. Yet I like the idea of having a blog, because I need to discuss things with people outside my group.

I especially need the counsel of women. Before this relationship I was single most of the time, and the bulk of my friends were women. I would discuss all personal issues with them as a matter of course- large quantities of coffee and wine were sacrificed. Now I mostly catch up with women as part of a couple, and most of my friends time is spent with men. At times, especially these sort of times, I miss the sagely female advice.

Am I keeping an unreasonable secret?

Would your answer change if I said I plan to give my beloved a bound printout as a gift the day we get back from honeymoon? I'm uncertain how she'll respond, but I think she'll end up liking it. Assuming I don't have a change of heart. About the printout, that is!

At least, unlike Nikki Gemmell, I'm not venting fantasies about having affairs or whining about how boring my partner is.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Working into the ground

She had the test, she got the all clear.

I will drink a large glass of wine in her honour tonight. She'll drink green tea due to a detox she's on which I don't fully comprehend.

My little brother has left us to wander up the coast in search of sun, so we'll have dinner together, and reaffirm the stuff that's important.

Her work push her so hard that even while waiting to have the test, with so much stress hanging over her head, she was bringing stuff home to slave over. I got to wondering how much this affects her health, what it could trigger. I've resolved that if they don't get another person in soon then I'm going to use all my persuasive power to get her to find a more human place in which to pursue a career.

This will be my next hectic project, after the wedding.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

It's all completely unimportant

Irrelevant nothings: Beloved's mother threw a bit of a turn, but it has been placated. I start a new job tomorrow, with more pay and responsibility doing something I've wanted to try for ages. Bought a new suit from Marcs to celebrate. We met with a travel agent about the honeymoon. I was physically present. But my soul was confronting the difference between importance and irrelevance, and it hurt like razor blades.

We've had our second visit from mortality this year. This time she had the scare. We had to wait two days for the GPs to get their fucking priorities right and see her. She'd mentioned having concerns for a couple of weeks; I'd said go see a doctor, but played down the significance, played up the denial.

Then I realised this could be happening, it could be the worst, and the switch was thrown.

So we're suit shopping, she's getting into it, being supportive and beautiful as always, and I'm barely taking in whether I like the colours or not, trying to keep a calm exterior- it's not about you, it's about her, stop being selfish- while feeling like punching a wall until my arms are bloody stumps with rage at the utter unfairness of life and the impotence I feel in the face of such a dirty, unconfrontable enemy.

I've spent 32 years finding her, any other life is inconceivable.

I lay beside her, the cat purring into our legs, my hand on her ribs willing all the love I can muster into her. I pray with the apologetic desperation of the agnostic confronted with the hopelessness of eternal death. My surface is calm, inside I cry for hours.

Today the GP gave her a cautious thumbs-up. I was overwhelmed with happiness, though she needs a test and anything is still possible. When you are in this place all positive news is incredibly good news. You latch onto it like a bush sticking out of a cliff.

If any relatives give her any grief in the next few days, they can fucking stay home and read about the wedding courtesy of a signed print out of this website. With a turd wrapped in the middle.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Others and their discontents

A break from me. People have sent me nice readings I want to share with you.

Another groomzilla rants in the Australian (hat tip QM):
The reality has spread like the numbness of a snakebite. After two months as an engaged thirtysomething and eight weeks before our nuptials, I have had to overhaul my boyish notions of romance.This, I'd imagined, was to be a triumphant time, when two people would celebrate the miracle of a destined union and I would get to show off a beautiful bride-to-be.
Naive fool.
As the Cat and her pride nut out every imaginable wedding nuance with cult-like control, I've realised that my choices have been, to say the least, limited.
I feel some tension in the air.
Of the three colours up for selection, only gold was the right answer. Red, it seems, is for blokes, like me, with a limited sense of style.
Here I feel some of his pain.
The wedding thing has left me far more the feather duster than the rooster.
Hmm, sounds like we've got some issues to talk through kids. At least most of Groomzilla's animosity is felt towards protagonists outside the relationship.

On a more sagely note, Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, on being adopted, dropping out, founding Apple, being sacked from Apple, bouncing back then almost dying (hat tip Brownie):
...when I popped out, they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night...
read the rest, enjoy.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Your turn to sing

Yesterday was my last day at the coalface of what I've done for 2 years. Monday I start a new job, and potentially a new career. So I celebrated with my little brother and the friend who will be my witness, in lieu of a best man, over Amsterdam Lagers at my local.

My little brother has been staying at a stressful time, and he niggles me a bit, no we niggle each other, with some of what my beloved calls sibling rivalry. Nonetheless I decided last night I can happily wear as much niggling as he, or we, see fit to engage in. I'm blessed to have found him, and to have this chance to be the older brother, to look after him while he tries to find his way and deals with the confusion of being 20. I only found him 10 years ago, and missed most of his adolescence.

He's the only person I'd still play support for in a band. I want to sing, but I really want to see him get up and use his gift. I can sing ok; I play guitar better. But my brother has a rare gift, an angelic voice that sounds strange and detached coming from an ordinary kid who likes to skate.

I'd play backups just to get him out there, and over his confidence barrier.

When I found my birth family I was able to note all the similarities and differences, the things I clearly learned from my life parents, the things that clearly came with my genes. Music was the glaring common ground, the thing we all have (or related obsessions like painting). The other, mirroring this, was the disappointment of risks not taken. The story of my birth mother, her sister, my older brother, the father of my younger siblings; all brilliant musicians, all having stalled, and still stalling, on taking that risk and going for it.

All unable to leave Hobart, as I was unable to leave Darwin, when I was 20 and an exceptional lead guitarist (now I can bust out a slow blues, that's it). The same path followed, though I knew nothing about any of them at that time. When I got into 2 courses at Uni; classical guitar and law, and chose law, I think I set the law up to fail, because it would always carry a portion of the blame for my own unrealised dreams.

My little brother has the dream too, but also the excuses, the defenses, that we all relied on when procrastinating our talents into history. He won't be pushed, I won't push him, but if I can use carrot to get him out there; play backups or set him up with musicians, then I will.

Meantime he better practice, because at our wedding, when my birth and life families will meet for the first time, he and my older brother are going to play and sing a duet while my beloved and I sign our nuptials.

It stresses my guts into rock and makes me smile all at once.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

What we want to know

...She wants to know if I love her, that's all anyone wants from anyone else...

So says the book I'm reading. Well, specifically, the grandfather who is about to leave his wife, in a book he writes for the infant child he'll never see grow up, never teach to shave, fight or talk to girls.

Is it so?

Is that why she gets so angry about things that don't seem important to me? Why she talked over me on the phone? Why I watched the show we always watch together while she banged things in the kitchen, then upstairs, and seemed oblivious to me?

She said she'd be working late, and that she'd bring some home, and what I heard was ok so you can pop in and have a beer with your friend you haven't seen for 2 weeks and what she heard was I'll be there waiting at home for you baby with a glass of wine.

Neither of us said these things, yet that which wasn't said can lead to trouble. I generally don't get angry at people for things that aren't willful acts, so I find myself unable to comprehend anything.

I walk along the deserted streets in the dark, a sadness in me that's deep and cold like Gunlom.

Gunlom is a waterfall, in Kakadu, whose water is black and feels like liquid ice. We would try to guess how deep it got, what might be lurking at the bottom. We would swim as fast as we could to the other side, and it left our lips blue. Sometimes people drowned there.

What do we really want when we get angry at people over things that don't matter?

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Fucking fonts

Before I launch, here's some lighter wedding moments from a Jaded DJ, via the wonderful Brownie:

The Greek wedding where the Greek DJ I found was from the wrong part of Greece and other tales...

Last night: the previous fight between beloved and her father has patched up. We want to do the right thing, and consider requests. So on the phone last night-
-a story in itself, we're watching Desperate Housewives, eating dinner testing a Cab Sav we might use, and the phone rings, and I say fuck it we're eating dinner, it's one of the rellies probably my mum, I'll call her after, and it rings all the way out, that's about 30 damn rings, then it rings all the way out again, then it starts again, so I walk up swearing and wrench the phone cord out of the wall, then re-attach it and shove the handset in a drawer, and it rings again twice, all in the space of about 20 minutes, so when I do pick it up a couple of minutes after the show ends I'm thinking someone must have been in a car accident-
- so anyway, her dad's called and they've looked at the invites and they have a couple of ideas.

Fire. away. please.

Got the email with the proposed invites, looking ok. Note the one you like. Don't agree. Isn't the invite that's tall rather than wide better? It looks better to us, how about changing it so it stands up straight?

No? ...Oh....

Well, what about re-wording the details about the date, time and location to read bla bla Turd* instead of bla Turd bla as you've got them now? We think that would be excellent, consider it please.

Have you written those ideas down?

Hangs up; look of despair.

We look at the re-word idea and it's fucked graphically, the lines are different lengths and fonts so that something like this:

bla bla bla bla
Turd Turd
bla bla bla bla
Turd Turd

Would become:

bla bla bla bla
bla bla bla bla
Turd Turd
Turd Turd

Which stuffs up all the nuance. You'll have to take my word for it.

So we spend the rest of the evening trying to think of something we can actually allow her dad to organise, so he has a role, so the peace is kept.

Why can't someone for once say we like your idea just as it is?

We go to bed early, and I hold her and tell her everything is alright.

I read myself to sleep.

(*Slight adjustments made to actual lines here.)

4 months of exponential

The date is November 12, it is now July 19.

Stress has locked my stomach into a permanent knot, and I know it's winding the woman I love into great big triple-reef-knots-with-loops too. I don't know what I'm going to write here, but it will be a diary, as honest as I can bear to make it, as far as I dare to risk it.

The process has been a microcosm of everything big in my life. It coincides with my search for meaning in my career, at its most acute, because I'm moving jobs and potentially changing direction altogether after 5 years of my profession. As we argue about finances I'm fighting to stay above water financially. At times I'm fighting not to lose the one thing that this is meant to be about- she and I.

The guest lists and arguments about who does what and when have dragged both of us headlong into the darkest corners of our family histories. My family will meet my birth family. For the first time. My beloved's tough relationship with her father and stepmother will follow a tortuous path to either a new, higher level of understanding or something like estrangement.

My grasp on sanity will feel, morning after morning, like I'm holding a string attached to a large helium balloon in a southerly gale and my fingers are slicked with olive oil.

Almost every day at some point I regret not eloping, and one day soon I'll tell you dear reader about the beautiful vision I had for the two of us, alone, making promises that no-one except us really has any right to witness. It involved a clifftop, a tropical island, a plunge pool covered with flowers, no clothes at all and a couple of glasses of Billecarte-Salmon.

But now it is as it is, and I'm determined that my beautiful bride will have a day to remember for as many of the right reasons as I can muster, that we stay sane, and come through happier together than ever.

Your patient ear and wise advice will be appreciated. Wish us luck...