so a small chunk of this country has achieved same sex marriage. but. it really is historic and significant, but. but it still isn’t for everyone. but the only peole who are excluded are people with a ‘legal gender’ of ‘x’, because even if it’s thoroughly problematic that everyone else is slapped with a ‘m’ or ‘f’, they are. is there even more than one person in this country who has achieved an ‘x’ so far? but even if only one person is excluded, it’s both unjust and insulting, the exclusion having been slapped on a previously inclusive bill at the last minute. hmm.
i wonder how many people will now run off to canberra to get married away from their family and friends. i’d think marriage was about celebrating with them, not getting a certificate, but at least three friends have announced their intentions on facebook already. hmm.
on the other hand, my concerns about success making the movement disappear have not eventuated. the progress towards obviousness is going to be so piecemeal, and so contested, that they’ll keep us fighting for years and years.
i’m glad that my friends who care about this development are happy. whatever happens, whatever it means for the rest of us and the country, if legal recognition makes you feel accepted or vindicated, or you plan to take up the opportunity to get legally married, then i wish you well.
this is my late night contemplation after the emotionally exhausting experience of a long day of election campaigning and an agm.
in other news, it’s raining. hopefully this extends to where it’s really needed.
update: i hear that same sex marriage has been established as something completely separate to ‘normal’ marriage – and if a married person transitions, their marriage is no longer valid and they’ll need a new one of the other sort. ‘different but equal’? ouch.
also, that there are indeed more people who already have a legal gender of ‘x’: some intersex people got shunted onto it by default. so despite all these changes, it seems that the concept of autonomy over one’s own identification is moving much slower than the details.
i was going to be married, 36 hours from now. my love affair with my car has been going strong for over 14 years, and i was going to acknowledge it in public, while making a statement about marriage, at the mass wedding at uts’ pride week. however we’ve just been mucked around. and the ceremony has been moved to a lawn, which is inaccessible for cars. sorry, they say.
11am on a tuesday was not an ideal time for people; my parents can’t make it. tim, my bridesmaid can’t make it. my photographer can’t make it. changing the time will be excellent, but will i have the guts to make a stand alone event of it?
it was suggested that i could show up with a photo of my car. that shows how much they think of the love of my life. it also reminds me of the humiliation of showing up to a birthday party at the bike track, with a bicycle photo frame in lieu of a real bike. i’d tried, i’d come to the party, literally and figuratively. but i still couldn’t ride the track.
it was supposed to be a stunt, but as i notify everyone that my wedding is postponed, i just feel hurt.
today i did an appaling exam, the kind i worry i’ve failed. that doesn’t happen often. we were all in the same boat, but that doesn’t help much when i don’t find out my marks till next monday, and if i failed i have to sit down there and then to do the retest, or fail the subject. i can’t really study just in case, i’ve worked on almost everything i could find already, and have seven more exams to prepare for anyway
the afternoon i procrastinated away pleasantly and productively, chatting to many people and mending clothes. when the sun started to set i finally attacked my work for the next exam, in front of a movie. cabaret is an old favourite, but i haven’t watched it since i read the book a year or two ago, and certain parts have suddenly become intensely personal. that’s thanks to my life, not my reading. how did i get myself into a situation so similar to a cautionary tale i know so well? did gender issues direct my focus the wrong way, or did i never actually consider it cautionary? i suspect the latter. it always spoke to me, but now it’s the pain, betrayal, vulnerability, internal conflict and compromise, irresponsibility, attachment and power relations, where maybe i used to see more of the freedom, risk, context, dissent, charm, integrity, intoxication, idealism, and waving the train goodbye with a smile.
these are still good, but did i think that i’d avoid the flipsides? or that they wouldn’t hurt? or maybe just that they pass? maybe. maybe i was right after all.
thursday: she announces she’s meeting her mother after five and not staying over. i took her to the cafe and we arranged we wouldn’t meet till tango class on sunday, then the three of us would meet up to plan the week together. i couldn’t ask for her to stay over sunday night; we’d have to arrange that then. we needed to talk: i was instructed to ring friday between five and six pm.
friday: two acrimonious 45 minute chat conversations as i pleaded her to talk to mim about the cat, rather than using me as a go between. still chatting at 6. i ring anyway, still bad. shes getting lost on public transport. has to go, says she’ll ring back. never does.
saturday: meela and daniel weekend, according to the calendar. it was put up when she was desparate to keep him and he was being controlling, manipulative and downright abusive. it stayed up even after i’d defended her to him and he’d said it wasn’t his idea. friday night to sunday afternoon just before tango. with an addition of meela and daniel lunch, across the first half of the class. i had to assume it was careless placement… still, i expected she’d be contactable to arrange a little matter of how we’re meeting on sunday.
12.46 sms from me: Is today on? Any arrangements?
2.52 email from me: so what are the arrangements for this afternoon? we haven’t made any.
8.12 sms from me: Are you ok?
8.30 sms from meela: Yes. Having Meela time without the phone. Thanks for asking.
8.31 sms from me: Then umm what’s with standing me up again?
8.33 sms from meela: You said we didn’t make plans.
8.34 sms from me: What? We had plans to dance and to talk about planning. We didn’t plan how.
me: are you there?
me: ah. have you been online all weekend?
I have been out
8:44 PM All weekend
Meela: Because I needed to be out and do things for myself. See my family, do some art. Think.
8:45 PM me: make apologies for standing arrangements you’re not going to make?
8:48 PM are you answering?
8:50 PM so does this mean, since the talking appears to have been cancelled, that no arrangements are going to be made ever again?
8:53 PM please write something, or ring me
Meela: I need space.
me: right now?
Meela: Right now.
me: all the space you want.
got off the phone saying she’d ring back. didn’t, not in five minutes, not in two days. didn’t make arrangements for the event that’s now starting in ten minutes. arranged only that we’d go, then we’d have this big three way discussion after. refused to plan anything else until said discussion. didn’t answer my sms, didn’t pick up the phone, twice. usually this means a crisis where she thinks daniel is going to leave and will do anything for him, including specifically neglecting me and making a show of it, too. we had agreed that next time there was a crisis she’d ring me. when i later was upset about the crises she ticked me off, saying she’s told me she’ll call and ask for help. no call has come. does that mean failure in crisis management, or no crisis, just unbelievable rudeness or something else? she told me she was determined to make this work, but was she only determined right then? this many things – and something like this happens every week or two – there can’t be another way to look at it, can there?
well, at least i seem to have an unscheduled extra afternoon to do all that work that i haven’t been feeling up to getting done.
i’ve been feeling sick in the stomach like never before. as much as i try to be patient, helpful and responsible, not take slights as personal, look after myself, not be jealous, build my life without her and not want more than she can or wants to give, things are manifesting in my body. tension with meela, references on her or daniel’s blog, entries on their calendars, status messages on gmail. little inconsistencies, ellipses, slights, every lead up to her meeting me when i don’t know whether she’ll show up on time, two hours late or not at all. every time i prepare to call her and i don’t know if she’ll pick up, or if she’ll turn her phone off. every time she doesn’t pick up, when i’m not sure, but the odds are that she didn’t just not hear it. every time she gets that mushy look in her eyes that she doesn’t get for me. every time she doesn’t take me seriously, or is inattentive. it’s usually when she’s not present, though sometimes she can be here and not be present. and it’s so hard to make time with her anyway, sometimes i get left with the residue of the feeling for days.
my other relationships, troubled though they may have been, never made me feel ill like this. my stomach isn’t dropping, i don’t feel like i’ve been stabbed, but i feel like a blender in my stomach is turned on every time one of these things comes up. and they come up so often. it isn’t good. there have been many people in my life who i have hoped i’d know five years later. it’s lovely that some have made it, and they’re more of a joy to know now than when i first got to know them. some i’m still waiting on, in close or occasional contact. a couple of people have contacted me recently, so i don’t think there’s anyone left who i’m consciously waiting on though they have specifically exited my life. i think, i hope, meela is showing the signs of being able to sort out her life in the end. i can see the progress, but i’ve found her right at the beginning of a process. how many years is it going to be of pain, of trying to appreciate her amazingness while feeling hamstrung to help where i see she needs, of putting up with, of washing machine stomach? if i don’t make it, can i come back later?
so endeth another fun night of feeling sick in the stomach, lightheaded and a little shaky because of someone else’s words and actions and lack thereof. the day had been all good. how many nights have ended thus? do i want to remember? to feel powerless in a pattern, to be a person who can be multiply betrayed, but maybe find something to change? or do i want to let them slip by, fortifying myself slightly for future transgressions by minimising each one? i cannot minimise enough to stop the pain. here come the question marks again.
it’s been an eventful few days. friday was the first day of my two weeks of holidays. meela was around all day. in the evening we went for gelato and had, finally, a fairly traumatic talk about where we were really up to, since we’ve been living a fiction and it’s not going to hold up to the fact that she’s moving in with daniel. indefinitely.
i wanted to do something exciting, but the best we could manage was to walk to her house. she cleaned a little, we sat and watched the cat and i cut her hair, which fairly uncomplicated and pleasant, as we got her tasks done and she was happy.
i got an sms from sally, a competition for the wittiest response to win a ticket to sleaze ball.
we got back to my place and sat in front of the tv with mim and nat – the first episode of six feet under and a whole miniseries, the fingersmith. we were just heading to bed when i got a call from heather, which i stayed up for. she was not joining the army, but she was going to new zealand, and wanted me to come to a concert with her first. we talked, subdued, deep and beautiful as i walked round and round and round the kitchen table. in the end she told me to go upstairs and make love to my girlfriend. when we finally managed to hang up, i went upstairs and cried in her arms instead.
in the morning i got a call back from katharine and arranged to have dinner that night, so meela said she’d make other arrangements for the evening. she had to be at her house so off she went. heather messaged asking if i wanted to have lunch, so in the next half an hour i discovered that sleaze was that night, wrote the response to sally and dashed up the street. had a lovely lunch and a nice wander and chat with heather, we sat around newq for a while and i took her to her train to work. wandering back to the newtown markets, i got the sms saying i’m going to the ball, just as i pass a corsetry stall. i now own a lovely black with blue pinstripe underbust corset, laced front and back.
i spent far too long at the markets, chatting to everyone. i giggled my way home, but my feet were so sore. i wanted to hang around and watch the film being made in the lounge room, but i had to have a rest
i told katharine i was going to the ball and she said we should do dinner the next week instead. so i stayed in bed till an hour before i had to be at sally’s, and consequently got there nearly an hour late.
we got dressed, i ended up in my corset and a blue bra, undies, stockings, suspenders and heels, top hat, tails, long gloves and a very thin scarf.
sleaze ball was interesting, i wandered about a bit and watched the spectacle, which was unfortunately ninety percent boys in jeans. the rest were spectacular though, heavily weighted with tutu-corset-fishnets outfits, and a sprinkling of spectacular ponies. i found some friends and got very cold sitting outside and chatting with them at the back of the ladies’ section. then i played balloon soccer and got too warm for my clothes, stripping down to bra and undies which made it much easier to kick above my head. not that i didn’t manage it in full heels and corset anyway!
i never found sally again after the first half hour, but i ran into cotton right at the end, and nat, hexy and i limped her to her car and she drove us to mine. it was dawn. nat and i took hexy home and we got home ourselves at about 5.30 or 6.
why do people go away just when i finally have time to play? what’s the bet that it takes an excrusiating two weeks to be contacted again, and the stuff in the back of the car is wanted the day i go back to classes? or maybe half a week later when workload, frustration and susceptibility kick in? what must be valued when someone’s there for the drama but not the dancing? pessimistic? i’m waiting to be proven wrong. notice how many question marks i need these days?
many people have been telling me recently that i’ve been following patterns, doing the same thing with my current maybe-girlfriend as i have with everyone else in my life. how do i break these patterns? for a start i need to figure out what they actually are. in heavy consultation, i’ve identified two:
i’m always understanding and accommodating. i end up with people who have major problems, and i do my utmost to not let them get in the way, in fact i do my best to help. every time i’m let down i turn around, try to figure out why they did it and try to support them in not needing to act that way again. i’m told how wonderful i am for all this, then they turn around and take advantage of me. lie to me. which brings me to:
i find it imperative to know where i stand. these days i am very clear on this. i emphasise my need for honesty and trust, and ask people to be honest with me even if i’m not going to like what needs to be said. i assume they’ve listened and understood what i said, and i believe it when everyone says yes, from ‘absolutely’ to ‘i’ll do my best’. i get let down. hard. even after i’ve justified and understood and accomodated almost everything. especially when they repeatedly apologise but never change anything, or alternatively change by preventing me from offering the small things i can, whilst continuing to take advantage of me in other ways that don’t even bring me any joy.
i don’t know what to do about either of these. is there some problem with who i choose – not that i ever really do the choosing – or are people to be expected to be like this? if it’s the latter, then how on earth do we have society? how can i live in this world if i’m the only one in the world who finds honesty and kindness important? or am i actually not living up to my own ideals either – do i actually affect people in the same way and just not realise?