June 15th, 2020. That is the day I will mark on the calendar for when our entire community decided that willpower mattered more than health sciences.
First: I was running a little behind today, so I stopped at DQ for food. None of the customers, none of the staff (kitchen or counter) were wearing gloves or masks.
Second: As I was driving out of town; I saw more and more people just… hanging out together on lawns… no masks, no gloves, no social distancing. Again, not even the elderly in wheel chairs.
Third: As I arrived at my office; all of our COVID signs had been taken down. Our front door was open, apparently- we are entirely open for business. No masks, no gloves, no social distancing.
Meanwhile… April 30th, Iowa sat at around 7,000 confirmed cases. Today, we are at 23,350. So… math. 46 days… 16,350 additional cases… that is an average of 355 cases per day. That’s a bit less flattening the curve and a bit more “do whatever you want” if I do say so.
That being said, yes… because “if the entire state is supposed to be open, we need to open our government offices… even if the courts won’t open back up until mid-July at the earlest.” I am in the office. Did my Juvenile Hearings by phone at home; then came in to take care of work from noon to 5. Honestly? There is a lot to do. I’m fairly certain that, provided I can just keep going, I’ll even get it done. At least… done to my standards. Which admittedly, are lower than I prefer. But that’s a part of all of this, isn’t it? Amidst COVID and Marriage Termination and Personal Disability and Upheaval for Law Enforcement (of which I am technically kind of a part) and everything going on… I don’t have to be mad at myself or disappointed in myself if I’m not Top Ace Attorney Man. That being said… I do need to figure out how to get to that point at some time if and when the world returns to a more reliable sense of function. I don’t want to be the guy that just cruises through his career because he never tries anything difficult for fear of being outed as a fraud.
So, as I mentioned previously… there is a LOT I can’t say on social media due to my job. That being said… do you know what I’ve noticed myself doing a lot lately? I’ll hit reply, or click comment… type out my response… and then delete it. Because then I feel like I said what I had to say; I delete the comment without ever having actually put it out onto the internet; and I move on. Now… true that means my perspective and words are not being shared in regards to the topics and matters of importance to me. But we know how this world works. If I start ripping open some jackbooted fascist asshat online… all he has to do is expose those views to my local GOP agitator and I might be out of a job.
TOPIC SWITCH (a bit more juicy for those interested in emotional content)
Thank you all for your notes on my Marital Struggles stuff. The notes of late have been very supportive and I appreciate that. I am not looking for sympathy; I am looking for support. And I thank so many of you for understanding that. Through those words, and a quick stop over from Nancy over the weekend, I’m beginning to come to terms with some stuff.
Saturday, Nancy needed to come over to grab some things. I asked her if she would be willing or able to make my head hair more presentable as (but for going to a salon with no masks, no gloves, and no social distancing) it would still be sometime for me to get a haircut and my head was already forming massive seagull wings. I can’t grow my hair out properly. As it gets long, the back starts to curl in weird and contrary ways while the sides begin to form massive wings. It… is a weird look.
ANYWAY… she agreed. Cut my hair, fairly well too, and then grabbed the things she wanted to take with her. Things like… her camera and her rollerblades and her… in short, she was collecting all of the “interests and personality things” she exhibited when we were dating that she completely chucked when we got married. And as she was collecting that, her boyfriend called to invite her to dinner. And all of those connections kind of… tripped the rage meter in my brain… allowing me to get to the next part of that process.
Nancy doesn’t know who she is, what she wants to be, or what she wants to do in this world. She’s never spent any quality time asking about her place in the world or even her place in her own life. She’s just got a checklist that ends at “get married, die.” That’s why for her… who she was when we were dating, defaulted into an angry grouch when we got married and she still had to work… defaulted into a lazy do-nothing when she was able to… defaulted into not being an active participant in the marriage. Because the wedding wasn’t “The beginning of the next adventure.” To her; the wedding was “the end of the chore list.” She “got married” she didn’t “start a marriage” and I think the difference in those concepts is important enough to write a book around. Is your relationship in a static place of “married” are are you two engaged in a marriage? One is a state of being; the other is an activity. Marriage should be an activity.
And that’s the thing. Whatever personality, or person, Nancy was when we were dating… existed. Exists again. But as soon as she got married… there was no longer a need for a personality or even for being a person. She went from Nancy who is a Girlfriend to Wife. Not Nancy who is a Wife. All of these things are… coming to me, and settling in my brain, and making me honestly kind of want to write a book about marriage from that perspective. How marriage isn’t an agreement or a status… it is a way of doing things. It isn’t “a castle to guard against the world”; your marriage should be the raft in which you both explore the rapids. For the last too many years… I had a partner who didn’t know who they were, what they wanted, where they were going, or what they were going to do. Yes, in the grand scheme of things; but also in the small things. And while everyone goes through that from time to time… to live there… to refuse to ever leave there… that’s not a life.
I don’t know what’s going to happen to me. I’m sure I’ll have days where I’m distraught as all hell. But… seeing the naked truth of it… seeing her collect the very things that were part of our dating memories so that she can share them with someone else despite 15 years having elapsed? I mean… I’m not the same person I was 15 years ago. I have new hobbies and new interests and new conversations and all of that. But for her? It was like she had pressed pause on her life at “getting married” and when “being married” ended, she hit unpause.