Not in a trope-ish, generalized "Chicks are just nuts, amiright, fellas?" kind of way.
More like a concrete, "Your behavior contradicts both what you say you want and your own best interests. Repeatedly."
He has a bit of a thing for crazy women, which both explains how we got together and makes him something of an expert in this arena. (To his ex-girlfriends: When I say crazy, I don't mean you. You were obviously the exception.)
I would like to argue with him about this, and not just because I'm good at it. But he has that pesky empirical evidence to back him up. To wit:
- I will blithely pay $10 for a single cocktail, but balk at paying $20 for a pair of shoes.
- I express the pain that a family member has caused me and then immediately feel guilty, because other people have actual narcissists/psychopaths/Republicans in their families, and I could have it so much worse, ergo I don't have any business complaining about it.
- I hoarded every book I ever came in contact with (this became several thousand; regardless of whether I liked it, regardless whether I had the room) in case I suddenly become dirt poor again. Because under those conditions, obviously not being able to buy BOOKS would be my biggest worry.
- I apologize. Compulsively. In almost every situation. I apologize for eating the last of the sour cream. I apologize for standing in the grocery aisle if someone else even looks like they want to come through. And of course, I apologize for apologizing too much.
- I didn't wear sleeveless shirts in my 20s, on the theory that my upper arms were too ugly to force other people to look at, but they somehow might be BETTER when I was older.
I'm not crazy. But I am wound and bound in a knot of mixed messages and muddled values, with a candy coating of conflicting desires and poorly-understood impulses. All this is complicated by an upbringing that taught me not only is it sinful/wasteful/bad to HAVE nice things, it is equally evil just to WANT them.
The thing is, I think this is fixable. I believe that with reflection and honesty and probably some trips to Out of the Closet to get rid of the crap that clogs my life, I can make this stuff better. I can make over my mind into a quieter, happier place in which to dwell.
I know I'm lucky. I have the Songwriter to help me, gently and with lots of humor, take a stab at the knot that has my life so tangled. And I'm doubly lucky, because I also have awesome friends, and this blog, and all of you.
And part of me feels kinda guilty about that.