So, I’ve been gone a little while. Dealt with a few new existential crises (the price of living back with the fam-jam) and have officially gotten over Johnny. I met a new guy, who I may never see again, but who I have on FB (though he’s ignoring my messages presently).
I think I’ve mentioned how tough it is to be living back home. There is the whole issue of my older brother who has a butt-load of issues. He shadows my interests and is just a frustrating individual to live with. He has been hyper-critical of my life (which I reflect back because I’m defensive) and has the emotional mentality of a twelve year old. He is harmless, passive, and incredibly gentle/sensitive. But I have been getting increasingly defensive and mean with him after trying for so long to help. Last night, he was simply sitting in the living room waiting for his tea to steep. My father, other brother and I were watching hockey. Older brother (who has never shown an interest in professional hockey) begins commentating and I bristled. I left the room and returned to accusations of selfish behaviour and had to remove myself from everyone.
Yes, I was in the wrong. But I have been getting increasingly frustrated with his interest in my life and hobbies. He has no friends of his own (and hasn’t for over ten years) and I have always been there for him through thick and thin. I have finally had enough and it makes me a bad person because I have grown beyond him. He has not changed within the last three years. At all.
Now, to something a bit happier. Although I do not think that this new fellow is interested in me romantically (even though we hooked up…twice), we are friends. He is a gorgeous individual; very tall, blond, muscular and tanned. He is a tree-planter in BC right now and will soon be going to Africa to build wells in rural villages. Hear that sound? That’s the sound of my panties hitting the floor so hard that they shattered the hardwood. He’s also a mechanical engineer and seems to adore zombie flicks. Hurray for possibilities!
In closing, I need to move soon. It’s getting claustrophobic here and I feel constantly under fire for my personality and who I am. I love my family, I really do. They have been there through my whole life, even though they have a tendency to be very judgemental and critical. Then I am criticized for being critical because I pick up on the energy of the place and I get blamed. I feel like pounding my head against a wall because there is such a profound lack of understanding within us as a collective.
Here’s a picture to make everything feel a little lighter.
Well, if you’ve been following this blog at all…you will know of my turbulent “relationship” with Johnny. It has officially ended sexually today, but we are to remain friends without benefits. I was very annoying and quite insecure within the FWB setting, especially because he was not a warm person. I believe a lot of the problems came from me; I had no relationship experience going into it. I definitely got too attached and my expectations were too high…I learned. I’ll move on and I’ll be okay. As long as he remains in my life as a friend, I think I can handle it.
This whole thing has taught me a lot about relationships. About self-worth, -respect and a healthy dose of -confidence. I lacked all that and it culminated with me subconsciously pushing him away. He was never mine, but I was his. That shouldn’t be the way it is. I need someone who is mine and be someone’s as well.
I’m getting really upset now, so I’ll just end it there. At least he’ll still be around, even if we aren’t gonna talk for awhile.
Evening everyone! Happy Easter or Passover to all!
I got lost in another book, but this one is a very different creature from the last one I reviewed. The former was a fantastical undertaking of updating the legends and folklore of our ancestors for the jaded generation of the 21st Century. The Story of Beautiful Girl (2011) by Rachel Simon is an intricate tapestry of the many kinds of love, but with a different tack than other novels. It follows a young developmentally-challenged woman named Lynnie Goldberg and her family, although family is a loose term to use in the traditional sense.
She is a resident of an institution called the School for the Incurable and Feebleminded. In her teens, she was sent there by her biological family and remained for many years. Within the institution, Lynnie’s narrative highlights the cruelty and horrid living conditions that were very much alive in the 1960s.
It is revealed throughout the novel that Lynnie was raped by an attendant within the School and became pregnant. The novel, in fact, opens with the night she and her lover, a deaf African-American named Homan (but Lynnie only knows him as Buddy) run away from the School. That night is transformative for so many lives, it is imperative that the author breaks the chapters down into individual perspectives. The character of Martha, the adoptive grandmother for Lynnie’s daughter Julia, is a very strong character in her own right: she knows when to ask for help and knows when to keep something quiet. Simon accomplishes a strong emotional bond between readers and her characters which results in the novel being a massive bittersweet delight.
There really are no other novels to compare it to, much like Dreams and Shadows. It has its own strong narrative and the characters, especially Lynnie and Homan, are unique and empathetic. The thematic exploration of differences and love crossing the conventional constraints of mental illness or sensory deficiency and passing through the latter half of the 20th Century is wonderfully done. This novel contains so much heart, it is a wonder it does not pulse while you hold it.
In short, the story of Lynnie (Beautiful Girl) will enrapture the reader and cloak them in a warm covering of a spectrum of emotions. My only real complaint is the lack of a narrative from Julia, although that may have pushed the novel into an unnecessary melodrama which was not required. Regardless, a lack of insight into the life of a child who never knew her parents is a hole within the novel, but does not take away from any of the plot. The true love exemplified between Homan and Lynnie is so pure that it hurts as you read, but offers a perfect glimpse to the rare love that transcends voice, thought, speech and all other perceivable pathways. It just is. This book is truly beautiful.
Rated: Four out of five stars.
1. You don't have to wait three or more hours for a response for a simple text every time you send one.
2. They aren't embarrassed or put out by introducing you to their friends/including you sometimes in their outings.
3. They are willing to give, or at least share, the last slice of pizza.
4. You are not afraid to be yourself around them -- your strange humor, your occasionally awkward mannerisms, your interests in things that other people might consider a waste of time.