living out loud

4 big questions.

Thinking woman with question marks above the head isolated on white background
I image searched this, and over 300 other people have used it too, so I’m going to claim artistic license. Plus, this is EXACTLY the face I make when thinking hard.

Trying really hard not to freak out about money. February is going to be a tight month, too, Internet. Afraid to look at my credit card bill – they keep declining everything that comes to them. I know I need to talk to them about it, but I keep paying the bill hoping that eventually they’ll stop declining stuff. I promise I’ll only use their power for good from now on, by Thor I swear it.

According to Facebook’s memory thing, I was sick like this in 2009, 2011, and 2013. I skipped last year, or I’d start to think my body has a viral pattern, a literal viral pattern, that maybe Science should study (would they pay off my credit card bill if I let them study me? If so, where do I sign).

I can also tell I’m in the midst of a winter funk. It’s cold, there’s no money, and the days are short/nights are long.

So. Let’s play a game, shall we? I’m calling it 4 Big Questions, but it’s actually just something I saw on a random website I get in my Facebook news feed because I clicked “Like” on it ages and ages ago, and it felt like good blog fodder for me to think (aloud) about these four supposedly revealing questions everyone should ask each other on a first date (actually, I think there should be five, Q1 being: “How do you take rejection? I mean, do you get sad and hurt and confused and angry like most normal people and go: well, fuck you too! and find a way to move on…or do you fucking flip a bitch and need medication and possibly commitment to some sort of facility because your ego-controlled brain literally can’t deal?” But that’s another effing post for another effing day). Not totally convinced these should be asked on the FIRST date – the first date seems to be the one where you meet for coffee just to figure out if you’re attracted to the person in person…if so, then you meet for a full dinner and pitch these questions:

  • What five things are most important to you in this world? 

My daughter, my family, my friends, stories & art in all forms, and good health. In that order. Keep it simple, but make it big.

  • Are you mainly driven by logic or emotion?

I’m a little bit of both. Here’s how I work, in a nutshell: first I have a deep and largely uncontrollable emotional response of some kind – I cry, I freak out, I get furious, I feel utterly gripped by absolute terror, I get intensely excited/happy/overjoyed/whatever. And then reason resumes its hold over my brain, and I begin to rationalize and come to my senses as this is Real Life not the movies or a Harlequin Romance novel…until something else happens, and then I am pure mood/feeling all over again.

I think Freud (or somebody) talked about this as the id, ego, and superego phenomenon. Captain Lenny, my undergrad Psych 101 professor, told us that in psychoanalytical circles the very worst insult you can ever hurl someone’s way is to say to them: “You appear to operate on a very primary id response level.” Because apparently, this is essentially calling someone a big baby. Your id is your baby – it wants what it wants, when it wants it, and it doesn’t care how it gets it. Waaah. Your ego is the narcissistic parent in control of your big baby – it says, “Sure, you can have that. You can have whatever you want, baby. Just…chill for a minute, and let’s think about how to get ourselves this thing without getting arrested or killed.” And your superego is your personality’s God. It’s the part of you that controls your id and your ego and goes, “What a second, you two freaks! What?! No! NO!! Are you insane?! Jesus Christ, you’re both exhausting. No. You cannot have that thing. It is wrong for you, it is wrong for society, and the fact you’re even considering it makes you morally reprehensible. Four hundred Hail Marys and a long mikveh for you. And NO DESSERT.”

But that’s just from memory – I don’t have my Psych 101 notes from 20 years ago with me right now.

What I’m saying, essentially, is that I am controlled mostly by my superego, and have moments of ego like everyone else, but my id is completely under control. And, once upon a time, I was basically an overeager puppy when it came to making new friends, but now I’m kind of satisfied with the close circle I’ve got because the ones I’m willing to confide in I know well and feel like they’re safe. But occasionally, when it’s not the dead of winter and I don’t have a head cold and my hair is cooperating, I can be an overeager puppy, work completely on emotion…until my Superego God/rational part yanks me back to reality and I calm down.

I’d really like to share my astrological natal chart with you here right now, but I have to move on to the next question; I feel like I’ve given out too much information already.

  • True or False: All is fair in love and war?

False. Unless ISIS or Vladmir Putin is involved, or your biggest celebrity crush reveals she or he has a crush on you, too. Then, go for it – do what you gotta do. Otherwise, see what I said above about id, ego, and superego. Always try to do what’s right and fair. And by that I mean: Always do the right and fair thing and if you ever DON’T do what’s right and fair, at least be discreet about it and/or don’t become a nutcase. And if you become a nutcase, don’t be surprised when you find yourself blocked off, forever and ever. That’s how love and war work.

You know what. This Love and War question was actually the hardest, because so many parameters and Life is full of shades of grey and I am simply not a black and white thinker. This is why I’m not in charge of a country, exactly why.

  • What do you read?

According to the article, if you ask someone this and they say to you, “Ha! What? READ?! I don’t do that crap!” You need to run, run like the wind! And I concur.

Reading is the one way, if you can’t physically travel, that you can kinda sorta get a picture and/or idea of how the world works and what life is like for other people. It’s also the one way you can expand your entire mind, your whole perspective, and open up to possibilities and to worlds that don’t, theoretically, exist.

So basically, I’ll read anything. If it works for me, I’m consumed by it. If it doesn’t, I can go: okay, tried that and not my thing but maybe I’m just not ready for it yet.

I do know I’m drawn to memoir. And I prefer fiction over non-fiction, specifically stories featuring strong and/or quirky women, and sweeping historical things. When I think of books that have really captured me in ways that still haunt me years and years later, stories like Wuthering Heights, Gone With the Wind, Eat Pray Love, An Untamed State, The God of Small Animals, Little House on the Prairie, The Bluest Eye, Their Eyes Were Watching God, The Glass Castle, the Clan of the Cave Bear series, Peter Pan, The Wizard of Oz, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, East of Eden, and pretty much anything by Anne Lamott were things I read in formative years or really important life phases that have just stayed with me for a very, very long time and are things I either go back to re-visit when I feel I need a story-friend, or are bits and pieces that have lodged themselves in my soul and I will carry with me, forever.

And THAT’S why you read, non-reader dopes.

Okay, that’s it. I’m going to go back to worrying about my credit card and hacking cough now, and researching ways to donate my body to Science for a fee but still come out of it alive and/or not looking like Frankenstein.