This weekend has been mostly nothing. Sleeping, walking the dog, not much else. Saw the latest Star Wars. So long as I separate everything out into the appropriate Multi-Verse Theory, I didn’t mind it. The Trilogy as it existed before 1990 is one Multi-Verse. This trilogy inspired hundreds of books via Bantam Publishing, some excellent comic book arcs, and dozens of amazing video games via Lucas Arts. All of which is cannon to that trilogy. Then the Special Editions came out. They aren’t bad, per se, but they mark a new Multi-Verse. It is in this Multi-Verse where the Prequels exist. As the existence of the prequels significantly alters/damages/changes/ignores the pre-established canon of the Bantam publishing series and video games… we now have two Multi-Verse worlds. Trilogy and Special Prequels. But these prequels also inspired books and video games and other things that were said to be canon. (now imagine Obi Wan’s voice) “Until the dark times. Until the Empire.” Disney’s take over establishes yet another new Multi-Verse. Their multi-verse includes the Prequels, and the Special Edition Trilogy, but does not include any of the pre-Disney story-lines that existed outside of the movies. This is so that they can go back and do movies, books, comics, and video games of their own without spending an iota of thought on pre-existing canon. Thus, there are 3 Star Wars Universes. Trilogy, Special Prequels, and Disney. I can accept the Disney Universe as “the one we’re currently in” and for what that is worth… well done, Disney. But I’ll always prefer and cherish my original universe. The Han Solo Trilogy. The Grand Admiral Thrawn Trilogy. The Tales of the Bounty Hunters. The Boba Fett Trilogy. The X-Wing Series. Quality, skilled, bright, and diverse science fiction writers taking the characters and settings of Star Wars and creating more than we could have ever experienced. That is my preferred world.
Martha is gone for today and tomorrow visiting the other side of her family for Christmas. So that will be 5 days this week where Martha isn’t in the house. Which allows me space for my mind to think. Which creates… an interesting looping argument. Actually, to be honest, it creates two interesting looping arguments.
Argument the First: Comfort versus Potential
So, there are loads of times throughout a given week where I’ll think that this whole separation is a mistake. I mean, Martha and I have had sex more in Nov/Dec than we’ve had in years. Martha actively takes care of Nala’s needs without my badgering her. She’s even started making dinner and helping with dishes again. And I start to think, “Is it so bad to have a room-mate marriage? I mean there isn’t passionate love… there isn’t romantic love… but there is friendship… and with the occasional fucking… is it really so bad?” But then I answer myself. “Of course it is.” Especially because of the specifics of what is going on. I mean… announcing that I’m done trying? THAT motivates her to do some of the things I’ve been begging of her for our entire marriage (like… sex). The fact that she is between semesters right now isn’t to be ignored either. She took two intro college courses and made them into her every waking hour; including further neglecting Nala and I. With no classes at present, there’s nothing else to take her focus. So instead of thinking, “Is this ‘comfortable’ really so bad?” I need to think is this acceptable as “the best you can ever expect?”
Now, I’ll admit… perhaps my expectations from a romantic partner are a bit much. Still don’t know about that one, honestly. But “the best” I can expect is… sitting on the couch in front of the TV every night, drinking, and having a partner say “we should eat/live healthier” but not ever do anything to help support the lifestyle changes I attempt to implement to achieve that goal. In other words… yeah, maybe I’ll live the rest of my days miserable because I never achieve a true “best I can expect” in my life but frankly.... if the best I can expect from a marriage is someone who “tolerates me when it is convenient” and “watches TV with me occasionally”… then… screw that. That seems… like a miserable thing to settle into.
Argument the Second: Beauty
This weekend, for various reasons, I’ve been feeling particularly unattractive. I don’t know what it is exactly. Just… feeling very unattractive. And then I think back to before I met Martha. Now, I had a lot of trouble with the ladies… but I liked how I looked. I didn’t think I was “too ugly” for the ladies, back then, so much as there was just something that must have been fundamentally wrong with me. Well, that is no longer the case. I no longer like how I look. I haven’t liked how I look in a long time. I tried to inspire myself. I tried to think, “You’ve lost more weight this last year than in many years since. AND you broke your plateau for the first time since you started trying. Ever. You deserve to feel good about what you’ve accomplished.” And then I tried to take a shirt-off picture… and couldn’t. Literally could not bring myself to to physically take the photo. Because I was so appalled and offended by what I saw in the mirror. So that creates a self-argument. Because… do I really want to separate from a women who tolerates my physical appearance on the off-chance that maybe potentially (highly unlikely) I’ll find a woman who finds me attractive? But then I try to turn the negative talk into self-positive talk. I tell myself that I have a lot of talents… writing and speaking and acting and the like. I tell myself that I’m a good person who is caring and respectful and kind. I tell myself that I have a much better financial position than even most American Men my age… as I have a full time job north of 50k per year with full health insurance; own my house and have no debt beyond mortgage. I don’t have a criminal record, I don’t have a drug problem, I don’t have kids. I’m a damned catch! But then reality interrupts the positive self-talk. Because we live in the world of Dating Apps. Dating Apps don’t give a shit if you’re kind, or caring, or a good writer. The only two rules that exist on dating apps are (1) Take excellent selfies; (2) Be attractive. Those are the only rules. And I fail both of them. So… again, the question comes… do you really want to leave a woman that you are attracted to knowing how unlikely it is that you can turn yourself into someone you find attractive?
And the answer comes back… rather brutally, actually. Now, I don’t blame Martha for my current self-esteem issue… but I certainly give her ample credit for how I’ve gotten this far. And can you blame me? 8 years of an almost entirely celibate marriage? A marriage where my Wife has often stated how fat and/or unattractive I was?? Granted, she’s since walked it all back, admitting that it was her own insecurities and personal issues. But logic doesn’t have a lot of leverage after the emotional hit has been absorbed. So the answer comes back: “Don’t reward her by staying. She influenced this self-hate and shouldn’t benefit from it.” Yeah, maybe that is harsh. But… ::shrug::. I could have been (theoretically) in a relationship these last 8-14 years where my partner made me feel good about my appearance. Instead, I’ve been in a relationship these last 8-14 years where my partner has made me feel mixed about my appearance (at best).
So yeah. Maybe I am afraid that I’m honestly too unattractive to succeed at finding someone that likes me in a physical sense. And maybe I’m a little afraid about losing “comfortable mediocrity” to try to find something better. And that does cause me to waiver somewhat. But in spite of that… the doubts my fear throw up are met with both logical and emotional responses by me. So fear and doubt exist; but so do the appropriate responses.