You Don’t Get Out of Life Alive, but, Choose Your Battles Wisely

 

Axl Rose

My son didn’t ask, but mothers are pretty good at unsolicited advice in life and love and all those things that are only somewhat discerned by merit of age and time.  If I were to try to explain to him why he should abandon the “friends with benefits” arrangement he’s got going on with the ex-stripper, it would go something like this:

The great theologian and philosopher Axl Rose (of Guns-N-Roses fame) once stated in his version of Bob Dylan’s “Knocking on Heaven’s Door,” that, “You don’t get out of life alive.”  I  also understand his point about both the bank and the mortician- the two inevitabilities of this life are death and taxes.  Nobody escapes either of those.  Nobody escapes the common human dilemma of finding one’s way through life and surviving in the process, either, though some do a better job of it than others.

As far as the wisdom of the concepts of “not getting out of life alive,” and “you can’t take it with you,” go, both sort of go along with the Biblical admonition to give one’s life as an offering. You were created to have a purpose in this life, even if it’s simply one of being an example of what not to do,  or serving to expand others’ vocabularies.  We all came into the world naked and not having any stuff, and we all go out the same way, so what are you going to do with the time in-between?

coffin

We all know that our physical bodies are going to become worm food.  There are a few things worth sacrificing and fighting for, precisely because we cannot preserve youth and health and wholeness in these physical bodies, or for that matter, youth and health and wholeness in any aspect of our lives.  Entropy WILL win.  Systems all eventually break down, if you want to frame the inevitability of entropy in tech geek terms.  Life in this world is a finite proposition.

The question is, what do you do with the finite resources you have been given, that you can acquire, that you can pool with others?

gold-bars

It’s great if you can amass all kinds of wealth and get all the best stuff, and prepare for every possible contingency, but in the end, what do you do on that night when your life is required of you? (I’m referring to what Jesus said in Luke 12:13-21.)

If you don’t get what really matters, then who cares about money or power or prestige or stuff?

I’m not going to go on a morality-chastity-clean living rant, because I am no poster child for any of the aforementioned.  I have never been a paragon of virtue.  I am a Christian, but that is only by the grace of God.  He left me to my rebellion and own devices for awhile (about seven years’ worth) so I could see just how much trouble I could get into out there in the pig pen. I got a rather nasty taste of how nasty and depraved I can be apart from a relationship with God.  Finally, I realized, again, by the grace of God, like C.S. Lewis did, that if I were going to be sane and worth anything to myself and others, that it was and is Christ or nothing.

That realization does not make me more virtuous or more moral or  more prudy. It does not make me less human or  less fallible.  It does make me all the more aware that anything good anyone sees in me is not my inherent goodness, but the goodness of God. I fail a lot, but apart from Him I fail and screw up a lot more.

hypocrisy

 

Yes, Christians are hypocrites. Get over it.  So is everyone else.  I can say that, but for the grace of God, I would be a LOT worse.  I need God precisely because I know how depraved and hopeless I am without Him.

All these theological and philosophical observations being said, and back to the assertion that one of my purposes in life is to serve as an example of what not to do, I will give you a heartfelt admonition.

If you are one of those people who are blessed enough to find true love in this life, don’t let it go.  I know that it can and does happen, even if it is too late for me.

true love

Part of the reason why I can be so cynical and snarky when I consider matters of the heart is because true love has always eluded me.  I’ve been used, abandoned, exploited and deeply damaged by people who claimed to “love” me.   My wiring is such that I don’t understand or communicate very well in the emotional realm.  To add insult to injury, most men are intimidated by intelligent women, and most men are not terribly thrilled with plain and frumpy looking women.   I blend in to the wall pretty well.  It’s a survival mechanism.  At no time in my life were dudes ever banging down my door.   If they did talk to me it was to get my phone number- so they could call my sisters.  I was even voted, “Least Likely to Get Laid” in my (unofficial) high school senior will.  So I felt like I had to take what I could get, even if it meant settling for minimum standards such as, “vertical and sucking up valuable oxygen.”

Minimum_Standards

Hair and teeth optional, especially at my age.

I hate to admit it, but all I can say about my own marriage is that at best it’s a symbiotic relationship, but a good deal of the time it’s more like a parasite vs. host relationship.  Maybe it’s harsh to call Jerry a parasite, but he can and does suck the life out of me with his incessant whining and infantile demands.  He didn’t need a wife, he needed a mommy.  And I’m not all that great at playing the mommy role, but it’s all I have to offer.  I haven’t gotten a better offer, and even if I did, I would be morally obligated to decline it.  In Jerry’s defense, he has put up with me for all of these years, as frumpy and plain looking as I am, and as eccentric as I am.  That says something- although in Jerry’s mind it’s probably, “there’s someone in this world who will fetch my beer and smokes for me.”

But if you find true love, that indescribable and blissful universe of two, understand what it is.  Hold it, cherish it, fight for it, and never let it go.  Otherwise you will find yourself in the same predicament I am- either completely alone, or bound by a sense of duty(?) pity (?) desperation (?) to someone who only cares about you as long as you’re useful to them.

unique-not-useful

I guess I’m good for as long as I can fetch beer and smokes.

I will tell you that expediency and usefulness are not the same as love.  Sex doesn’t necessarily equate to love either.  It’s easy to get caught up in hormones and horniness (been there done that) but when the excitement and lust die down, what do you have?  From my own experience I can say that following the hormones and horniness path has led to a lot of guilt, embarrassment and shattered dreams.  It’s not worth it.  I’m thankful that my past indiscretions didn’t wreak as much havoc as they could have.

Don’t follow in my path.  Don’t let a chance at true love go because of fear or because you need to hold on to perceived obligations.  It sounds trite, but love will find a way.  Unless you’re an eccentric old bat who’s proportioned like a mutant troll.

True Love Quotes and Pictures (5)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Woman to Woman Cruelty and Other Wedding Insanity

Woof.  I don’t see any bridesmaids though, which means this chick either a. Didn’t have any female friends, or b. Was kind enough to her female friends to refrain from asking them to be bridesmaids.

The cruelest thing that one woman can do to another (and believe me, we bitches can be sadistic) is to ask a “friend” or unfortunate relative to be a bridesmaid at her wedding.  There are many reasons for this.

Traditionally the bridesmaids have to pay for their own dresses.  Now if I had the audacity to ask someone to be in my wedding, I really can’t justify requiring her to buy something that she probably can’t afford and probably will never wear again.   Considering what some bridezillas expect their “friends” or unfortunate female relatives to wear, just having to wear it one time is punishment enough without the pain of actually having to buy it.

Give me a break.  One would think you wouldn’t want your wedding pictures marred by Big Fat Bertha’s meaty arms and that overall overstuffed sausage casing look that large women lend to slinky no-sleeve dresses.  It’s no crime to be large, but if you want large girls in your wedding, please find dresses that will flatter ALL your bridesmaids’ figures.  Dresses with sleeves!!! Dresses that will restrain the “puppies” at least enough so that they don’t fly out the top of the dress every time the wearer bends over!

I like pink.  I really do, including hot pink.  However, this dress is only suitable if you are four years old and playing with Barbie dolls.  It will only fit properly on those with the proportions of a Barbie doll too, so please remember, Big Fat Bertha is going to look like a tarred and feathered giant pink whale in this monstrosity.

This is the absolute WORST dress on the planet for many reasons. I didn’t think in all my trolling that I could find a dress this bad, but I did.  I don’t think I’d like it even if the President pictured on it were to be the late, esteemed Ronald Reagan.  I particularly abhor sleeveless dresses of any kind because they are only flattering to the Calista Flockhart set.  Women like me who are all upper body and are proportioned like mutant trolls look really horrible in sleeveless dresses of any sort.   They bring attention to our meaty arms and ample chests.   However, the worst thing about this dress is the most obvious.  Anyone who would even think for one minute that I would wear, much less buy, a dress with Obama’s picture on it, can shove it where the sun don’t shine.  ACCK!

Thankfully I am old enough now that it is highly unlikely anyone would want me to be one of their bridesmaids (given that most of my female friends and acquaintances are either married or happily divorced already) and I would have to vehemently (though politely) refuse due to poverty anyway.  The last time I was strongarmed into doing the bridesmaid thing was when my oldest sister got married, and that was only because Dad wanted her to shut up.  That cost me $300 for a dress I never wore again, and $800 in car repairs from damage inflicted to my suspension on the road trips to and from the lovely Detroit area.  I don’t think there are shittier freeways than in the Detroit area anywhere. Never again.  My sister got her last sadistic laugh on that one.  I don’t understand why she just didn’t substitute a far prettier, more affluent and more photogenic friend.  That was pretty stupid on her part, but I think she got a certain satisfaction just in getting her way, and in the delicious knowledge that it was a major hardship for me to play her game.  When she got married I was in the process of arranging my divorce and needed every dime I could save to get away from my ex. 

There is, however, no arguing with a bridezilla.  My pleas of poverty and desperation fell upon deaf ears.  I expected my Dad to defend me, but even he couldn’t stand up to her incessant whining about it, so I got roped in and acquiesed to keep the peace with my Dad.  I will NEVER allow anyone to do something like that to me again.  It would have been different if I could have afforded it and/or my situation in life would have been different, but it’s pretty damned cruel to expect a woman in an abusive marriage who is trying to get out and get a divorce, to take her freedom fund and blow money to be in someone else’s wedding.  It may have been a happy occasion for her, but to me it was just another pointed reminder of what a dismal failure my life up to that point was.  I know I should forgive and forget, and I do try, but the sheer insensitivity and cruelty of  it made me feel like a bad puppy getting her nose rubbed in shit.  Having to pay for that fugly dress was hard enough, but having to deal with all the car repairs on top of it really added insult to injury.

Then again, asking someone who is on the brink of divorce to be in your wedding is pretty damned callous to begin with, and I don’t care who you think you are.

The things that bridezillas will do. 

I can’t see the logic in the big behemoth weddings anyway.  I see it as a huge waste of money and time.  I am grateful for one thing about Jerry and my wedding- we simply went to the courthouse, paid the county their $50 fee and got married by the justice of the peace du jour who was a Methodist pastor filling in for one of the judges.  No special clothes, no extensive travel, no fanfare, and it was just fine by me.  Of course we did not make any mention of it until after the deed was done so my mother couldn’t barge in and turn a wedding into an all-you-can-eat free for all for all her friends, most of whom I don’t know from Adam’s housecat.  Jerry does have his good points, and in this his frugality was a huge advantage.

Admittedly most women are not as minimalist as I am, and most women have more female friends than I do.  Even so, expecting one’s “friends” and female relatives to put up huge outlays of cash just so they can be there for you on your “big day” is a bit much.  It’s different if they are invited and can decline gracefully if circumstances don’t allow them to participate. 

I think people should remember that marriage isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.  There’s no such thing as a knight in shining armor or a woman who is perpetually a celestial vision, even if you plow through thousands of dollars to maintain that illusion for one day.  I say you might as well jump into reality.  Prince Charming he ain’t, she’s no prize either, so you either want to deal with that or not.  Romance is dead, and there is no such thing as true love.  If you can get by from day to day without throttling the son of a bitch, you’re doing good.

Of course it is always possible to simply live alone with the dogs.