Bookclub's latest book is Confessions of a Failed Southern Woman by Florence King. I enjoyed it. Parts are quite funny, much is reflective, part reminds me of Cindi. King wrote:
I did not understand how a woman so detached and blasé could be so
electrifying in bed. When we made love, she turned into a taunt, quivering
wire of sensation, but the rest of the time she was like a evanescent lamp
of antiquity flicking somewhere beyond my reach. She eluded all my efforts
to analyze her and remained an enigma, but I was too blinded by love and
need to consider the possibility that there might have been something wrong
with her. My only thought was to arrange things so that we could be together
The first time I knew that Cindi didn't love me, I wondered how she could be so sweet with her caresses and passionate with her kisses but not be in love. From then on, there were times when I looked in those compelling eyes and felt like I was staring at a lie. One time, she wanted to get frisky and I felt like I was in a stupid situation. She won. I did my best not to connect with her. I didn't want to make eye contact; I didn't want our bodies to connect. She wanted to be frisky; I could fuck. But she saw it. I don't know how deeply she saw it but she made me come close; she made me do those intimate things I didn't want to do like make eye contact. But she did them all of the time. Effortlessly. “Electrifying in bed...but... a evanescent lamp of antiquity flickering somewhere beyond my reach.”
A few days ago, I realized that I will be 28 in less than a month. Suddenly, the thought came to me, “I need to find a fiance”. Then I thought about what a waste of time my last relationship was: 2 years when it's time to get serious. I'm not sure where the fiance thought came from. I think it was a subconscious stuffing from childhood. Age 18: finish high school. Start college. It's okay to date some if I want. Age 21: Finish college. Go to grad school. I can date the person I'll marry if I want, except location might be an issue because I probably won't go to school the same place I'll want to live and that person might be from somewhere else and want to live there. Age 23: Finish grad school. Age 25: Be in a serious relationship. Get engaged somewhere ages 28-30. Be engaged for about 2 years (so by 28!). It's about fucking marrying time, ya'll. I hadn't thought about that timeline in years then all of a sudden it hit me. Where's my life partner? The person I fell in love with and was willing to marry could not emotionally commit to me. Now I have to start from scratch. Where do I even find that date? * sigh * Then I think about those 26 months of blind commitment and wonder (1) why I stayed so long and (2) when should I have gotten out (i.e., was it a waste of time)?
Why I stayed so long:
1.She gave me hope that it would work.
2.I thought I was dealing with the aftermath of her last relationship, that it would take time.
3.She wanted to take it slower. She had a plan about how we'd spend more time together to see how that went. She wanted to spend more time together to make sure she felt that way deeply about me.
4.She said she loved me more than she used to. It gave me hope that we could work.
5.I thought family was part of the issue
6.I realized she was being asked to give up a lot by being with me, particularly in Memphis
7.I loved her.
In sum, I kept believing her. I ended it once I realized it was all bull. I stopped believing in that hope.
Was it a waste of time?
I'm not sure. Part of me feels like it should have ended when I was willing to move to Nashville but she told me she wasn't ready for that move. SHE CHANGED BACK TO ENCOURAGING ME TO MOVE ALMOST IMMEDIATELY AFTER TELLING ME NOT TO. Wtf? But it made me feel loved and needed again and fueled the illusion of us being in love.
1. I experienced really good sex. That in itself makes me say it wasn't a complete waste, but I'm not convinced I shouldn't have given that up sooner.
2. The relationship took me out of my comfort box in a lot of ways. If I hadn't fallen in love, some of those experiences wouldn't have been had. But 2 years?
3. She encouraged my creativity. I was a writer when I was a kid. I miss being a writer. I really, really miss it, like I should have given it a funeral one day because it used to mean so much. Cindi makes me think about what I can do with the photograph. It's good to look at parts of life with a creative brain. I credit her for that.
4. Karma. I was J. and she was me. I cannot be upset with her for this experience because I understand wanting to love someone because they are good but simply not loving them. Plus, if karma exists then I deserved this even though I meant no harm. I had the sense and compassion to cut off J after 6 months. Too bad she never saw where this was going and stopped it before so much time elapsed and feelings grew even deeper. If they're deeper. I really think I fell fast and hard. What was just was.
5. I met kool people through her. I don't know that I'll be friends with any of them 5 years from now as we're connected through her but I did have good nights with people I otherwise would not have met.
6. I would not have been as confident in the decision if I had made it anytime other than when I had. I guess some part of me just needed that amount of time before it could say, “okay. Enough.” Now that I have been there, I hope that I never have to go through it again. If this is my one broken heart, then yes, I can say it was worth it. If lessons were learned from this than can shield me from distractions later, fine. In that sense, I guess I've always been looking for my life partner. Here's to hoping I find him or her in the next 25 months.
The end of my reading effects me much like the end of my relationship. I liked King's writing so much that I thought I'd look her up and find something else to read. Uncommon for me, I turned to facebook and found a fan page that references a wikipedia article that describes her as a “traditionalist conservative”. That broke my heart. I cannot put feminist, lesbian/bisexual, and Republican in the same sentence. I feel betrayed. I related to King in so many ways. I found her funny and grabbing. A fucking conservative? Really!? Ugh. This is what I want to discuss at Monday's book club meeting. This is what is most interesting. How can you be a lesbian from the 50s upholding tradition? * sigh * Tradition, I feel, is part of my problem.
Breathing, I can agree that conservatives and I disagree on many things beyond women's rights and gay rights. I guess King and I can diverge in those areas too. I'm still disappointed that this woman can experience discrimination on one hand and be republican on the other. * sigh *
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