RE: Owning as cultural baggage (was: Is Eugenics Really A Bad Thing?)

From: altamira (
Date: Thu Jul 06 2000 - 19:37:11 MDT

> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> []On Behalf Of Dana Hedberg
> >
> Hmm. I would hazard that there are many things, I call them pet peeves
> =), that all people who live in proximity do (or don't do) that make
> life a little bit of a chore. By the same token, there are probably
> little things that both men and women do that you would find extremely
> pleasant in your living arrangement. Indeed, you've mentioned some
> already.

This is true. But I've had 2 fairly long-term female housemates--one I
lived with for 7 years, the other almost 10. Sure, there were things we did
to get on each other's nerves, but we were always able to talk about it and
work it out. And above all, we were free of each other. We did things
together sometimes; other times we did things separately. No big deal.
OTOH, with the men (I use the plural because, although I've only had the one
husband--unless you count the Sicilian guy I was married to for 6 months
when I was 26 whose family turned out to be mixed up with the Mafia--I lived
with two other guys without marrying them and dated lots of guys over the
years)there always seems to be more of an obligation to do almost everything
with them, go almost everywhere with them, BE there for them all the time.
And when I would go my own way anyhow, I'd either have to put up with
moaning or violent ranting (not all the guys I've been with have been as
nice as my husband, and though none of them ever hit me or anything, some of
them got mad and yelled and threw things. Highly unpleasant).

> I've heard this claim many, many times. In fact, you could say this
> about any aspect of your life that needs to have consistency. When you
> decide to enter into an entertwined life arrangement, you need quite a
> bit of consistency, that is predictability, in order for that
> relationship to function.

But I've been in many other intertwinements: employer/employee; business
partner; housemate; mother/daughter. And never in any of these others have
I felt stifled the way I've felt in sexual relationships with men.

 Now, you can (with some work to be sure) make
> a relationship more dynamic, more chaotic, but what this needs is
> primarily two things: 1) A strong understanding of the *type* of
> commitment you and the other want to have, and 2) Communication. I can't
> stress number two enough. It is the only route by which problems will
> ever be resolved.

I understand #2 and agree completely. But I'm not sure what you mean by #1.
Could you elaborate a bit more, maybe give an example of what you mean?

> >
> Pardon my presumption, but if you honestly talked to him about this and
> no progress was made, you made the rational choice by vacating the
> relationship. Regret shouldn't ever enter into it. And, imo, as a side
> note, regret is a useless concept in general.

I couldn't agree more that regret is useless. So is guilt. So is a sinus
allergy. But that doesn't mean I don't succumb to them from time to time.
I only pretend to be perfect. I'm not really.

> It doesn't. There are people out there who have what they consider to be
> perfect relationships (marriages even) where they frequently go days
> without seeing or speaking to one another.

I've heard of people with perfect marriages, but I don't think I've ever
actually met any. I had a friend, M, who's dead now so I'm sure she
wouldn't mind if I write about her. She was around 20 years older than I,
and everyone held her marriage up as an exemplary marriage, as proof that
marriage DID work sometimes. Her husband was devoted to her. One evening I
was sitting around talking to her, and she said (out of the blue it seemed),
"Bonnie, you know, I've hated being married. It's like I've never lived.
But I didn't know what else to DO! Getting married is what women DID in my
day!" I almost cry now thinking about her wasted life.


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