Thursday, April 17, 2008

I can't relate

Its time for my annual blog about the one subject I know least; relationships. Just to get the caveats out of the way I mean intimate couple relationships, I’m not looking for sympathy, and these are simply MY views so I may come off as shallow and selfish but its MY blog so deal. OK, now that’s out of the way…For the last calendar year I have not, for the first time in a few years, been involved with any kind of relationship of any kind orthodox or unorthodox. I also realize this is probably where I’m most comfortable. I’ve never been a relationship guy, which likely explains how odd my last several relationships have been; younger, long distance, younger and long distance, younger, long distance and a relationship in only one person’s eyes…you get the drift. The one thing they all had in common was lack of total commitment and space. Now, commitment part, don’t get me wrong, I’m as fiercely loyal as the day is long its just all that goes along with that…be patient, I’ll get there. Space, well, yeah, until you grew up in a house of 8 you don’t even know what space is. I’ve never really been in many long relationships so I guess lot of the “stuff” that goes along with it mystifies me. I mean, in a relationship 2 people love each other, right? What I look at and see going on amongst my peers in their relationships makes me wonder if I’m not better off as is. I simply think I’ve been single too long and can’t imagine some of the stuff that goes along with relationships in my eyes. I think someone would have to break my will, spirit, and very essence of what makes me who I am for me to be who I would have to become. So, here are the top relationship phenomenons I either don’t understand or don’t see myself conforming to:

  1. Having “hand”- Marc and I speak of this a lot. I think it’s originally form an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm. It’s the concept of someone being alpha in any relationship. The person who wears the pants so to speak. The person with whom every decision is made. The one who makes the other grovel and beg for each and every thing they want or need to do. I’m sorry to say ladies that in 100% of the cases in my life of relationships where one person has “hand” it is the female who has it. This emasculating coexistence and the fact that people not only deal with it by strive in it may be the number one thing I don’t “get”. I’ve never been the alpha in any group yet not one to run with the pack either. I simply don’t want anyone controlling my life 100%. Not my parents, not my boss, and certainly not someone I love
  2. Constant contact- I get aggravated more then you can imagine with people whose significant other calls or requires then to call a half a dozen times during the work day. Now, some have kids, some have sick people to tend to, housing projects, etc. However, most of the conversations are more like this “ok, I will, I’ll talk to you later”. “Things are good here, I’ll talk to you later”. Again, I feel this is more a show of “hand” by the alpha to keep a short leash. This also extends to the checking in while I’m out with my friends call, I’m at a business meeting call, the I’m on my way home from the gym call, etc. I don’t need, want, nor understand the concept of anyone wanting that much control or more the point, anyone allowing them to be controlled that much. Again, I know there are times in everyone’s lives more calls are needed so please don’t give me the “you don’t understand you don’t have…etc” bullshit.
  3. Attached at the hip- I personally have a hard time with this. This is likely more a “me” thing then anything else. I’ve always been and worked hard to remain who I am, Rich O’Rourke. I am not now nor ever have been defined by my relationships. I don’t want to become “Rich and” when you think of me. This is totally petty but I’ve never been “Rich and” so I don’t get it. I really like how things are right now. If I want to go out with MY friends, I go out with my friends without having to feel guilty, if I don’t want to come home after work, I don’t. If I want to lay around in my underwear reading all day on my day off, I can. I can fly or drive to see whomever I want, male or female, by myself, without hurting anyone’s feelings. I don’t have to pretend YOUR friends are MY friends just because we’re us. I don’t share the remote, can shower as much or little as I want, go days without shaving…you get the point. It’s not very often you get to live your life, with the exception of the boundaries of work, with the sense of total freedom I have right now, at this point, at 41 years old. I think this would be my greatest hurdle to cross if ever I was to be in a relationship.
  4. Manipulation- Ugh, I see this too much. Sometimes it’s subtle, sometimes overt, and sometimes downright public. I swear, I know these people love each other but all they do is tweak, embarrass, maneuver, and browbeat their significant other to get their way right then and there or setting them up for somewhere down the line. Lying, scheming, hurting…I see it everyday by some of the people I love and respect more then anyone. I don’t get how you can live your life treating the person you love most like this. They use every tool they have, and in the case of women, the threat of not getting any (guys are so easy to manipulate) to get what they want no matter the hurt. And it runs the gamut from guilt trips for going out to set up going out themselves, making someone change what they’re wearing to something they like more, to making a huge decision they are opposed to simply to keep the peace with their significant other. This, more then anything else, makes me shake my head

Like I started by saying much of that sounds small, petty, and selfish but it’s where I’m at. I’m not ruling out falling in love hard enough to see past some of these things, hell a few years back I thought I was in love enough I totally put up with and did shit I never thought I was capable of. But I honestly think I’m too far-gone. Use whatever euphemism you prefer; old dogs, leopards spots, wild spirits being broken, etc. I truly love my life and lifestyle. For every period of loneliness I endure, there are times of true joy over things I love doing I couldn’t in a relationship. You fill in the lonely times with things you love to do. For me it’s reading, the gym, going to the bar, and cooking. OK, sex can’t really be replaced (haha) but at the end of the day while important, I won’t make wrong decisions based around it (I swear more people have fucked up for the sake of getting some then for love or money throughout history). Again, this is not throwing in the towel. Gosh, I mean, who doesn’t wanna fall head over heel in love? And I still hold hope, although unlikely, of kids. But I’m a realist. I am from a family with clearly drawn lines. Half went on to have huge families and half to be single their whole lives so I’m comfortable either way. If for the rest of my days I’m known as favorite Uncle Richie, Rich the reliable brother and son, Rich the loyal employee, Rich who is always up for a guys trip, Rich who I can always talk to when I need to as there’s no “Mrs. Rich”, or Rich who never forgot his friends for the sake of a girlfriend or wife as so many have done then I’ll die a happy and fulfilled man.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Good Luck Chuck

So, there is finally good news regarding my friend Chuck. He has been extubated and is breathing normally, aware and communicating although with some difficulty as having a tube in for so long wreaks havoc on the throat and vocal chords. It is such a relief for his wife, family, and friends and yes, Chuck himself. He is scheduled for a procedure tomorrow and hopefully heading home in the near future. His life will have to change somewhat I’m sure. It is definitely a life-defining event but sometimes that’s what it takes to focus on what’s important. I know this has been an awful strain on his wife. For the rest of his peers it’s been a struggle not only knowing what happened but that really it could have been any of us. It really made me pause and look at my eating habits, drinking habits, my beer gut, my medical conditions, my family history, and my attitude I definitely believe you only go through this life once and should live it with gusto but on the same hand one really needs to take care of ones self. Makes you rethink that pizza, 13th beer, skipping the gym and blowing off routine doctors appointments. I can’t say this will be a moment of clarity or anything for me but it really has caused me pause. All around me I see friends and acquaintances fighting through serious health issues. Other then my diabetes (nothing to breeze over actually) I have been blessed with a super human constitution but I really have age and history starting to work against me.

One side affect of the whole episode was how dear friendship is. I was overwhelmed by the concern people had for me, as I had not been myself between this and other (see below) events going on in my life. It meant more then they will ever realize. I don’t actually share a lot of my issues with a lot of people and prefer to be there for them. I guess that’s a flaw in my character or maybe just how I was brought up. I am thankful for the people who won’t accept that and keep on me about what’s wrong. Keeping bottled up isn’t healthy. On the other hand it did help clarify where I stand in some friends eyes and I guess vice versa, where certain friends fall in mine. I also found myself being a hypocrite (there’s that topic again) in that with all the talk about friendship I am as guilty as anyone of letting friends slip away. It happens. The further away you get geographically and philosophically the harder it is to stay close. That said most of us have the means through modern technology to stay closer longer and if we don’t take advantage of this then we have no one to blame but ourselves. So, I’ve pledged to, and already started, to contact all those I feel slipping away or really, I just plain miss. It’s not easy but I’m trying. My hope is making a massive road trip in early fall to see as many people in a short time as possible.

Real quick (as if I’m capable of that) on other shit:

- Refinance- was going swimmingly and fell apart day I was to close. No idea why as I keep hearing I’m a “home run” but whatever. I have time just wanted it over.

- Toe- all better. Will revisit issue at the end of the month and decide whether or not just having toe nail removed is the best idea

- I’m going to the Sox game in Philly in June. Yay

- I was sick Tuesday. By that I mean I called into work. It means I vomited. Neither of these events had occurred since Dec 26, 1999. Yes, kind of creepy I know this. And yes, I got all the Cal Ripken jokes already. Was odd tho

- Mice- yea, they are still around. I haven’t caught any lately but I still here the little fuckers at night. It just stinks having to think so much about how and where you store food. I also fear the mice that have died under my cabinets etc coming back to haunt me in the form of rotting corpses. This really has me out of sorts as it makes you feel dirty even if it’s not your fault

I guess that’s it for now. I know I haven’t been on Myspace much and that’s likely to be the case. It simply doesn’t do much for me anymore. I love writing and reading blogs, hearing from friends, posting and looking at pictures but these days most of the people I hear from on Myspace are the same one’s I hear from in “real life” so it’s become redundant. As much as I once loved Myspace I now find it can be an exercise in mixed signals, drama, and confusion. I don’t need more of that then I already have thank you. I’ll never give it up, as there are some people it’s my only connection to and they mean enough to me to keep me somewhat attached. Anyone who ever wants to talk I’ll give you my cell and email and I promise I’ll be there for you.

Just a special shout out to a friend going through some issues. Good luck tomorrow and let’s hope for the best.