Tuesday, August 29, 2006

To blog, or not to blog?

So, aerobil raises a question I've been contemplating myself: when can you know it's okay to blog stuff that involves other people. Frequently, as she notes, that's the really important stuff in your life: a fight with a friend, a new relationship.

I found myself recently deleting a (very short) post that made reference to changing the images in a collage frame that friends had given the Ex and I. Yeah, I wanted to put up these photos of the friends and their children, but I didn't want to look at the Ex every day. So, I pasted another photo over the top. Which felt rather...mean? Petty? I'm not sure what. And posting about it in such a flippant way felt really petty.

So, here I am in this public but quasi-private space--private like walking down a crowded street is private, because hardly anyone pays attention to others--considering important issues. And if those issues pertain just to me (like my paxil-withdrawal-shit), then there's no problem. Or, if someone does something nice for you, then an oblique reference is fine.

But how much of my romantic life do I want to include here? Susie Bright recently talked about a blog she really admires, in which the writer goes into pretty explicit detail about her erotic life. But she has created a well disguised identity for this purpose; Susie (who isn't exactly shy about stuff to do with sex, since that's her business) admits that creating this disguised doppleganger would be too darn much work. And I have to agree.

Of course, one reason I don't talk about my love life is because part of me fears judgment from my friends about getting involved with someone so soon after breaking up with a woman I'd been with for over 13 years. And if I'm fearing their judgment, it's because I'm judging myself. In many ways, this is a Bad Idea: I haven't had time to fully process and heal and confront all those issues that kept me in a stale relationship for Way Too Long. That in fact kept me in that relationship until she was the smarter one and said we gotta stop this.

The thing is, this new relationship feels very different. My love life as an adult consists of two long-term relationships, one for nine years and the other for 13. Both of those relationships began with great intensity. I was 19 when I met my first lover, who seemed so much older and worldly wise (she was all of 24), and the whole thing started like a trashy version of Marina and Jenny. Really. A mess. And it never fully stabilized. The second relationship began with rapid merging--we were living together within five months. In both, I felt like the junior partner, albeit for different reasons.

Now, at the ripe old age of 43, some things feel very different. For one, I have a career, even if it's just the beginning. Despite all the insecurities about my academic work, I know it matters, and that I'm good at it. I value my own space and time. And this relationship has begun very tentatively and cautiously. Both of us have full lives--careers and family and friends. We've had a long time to develop those things independent of each other.

(Wait, didn't this post start out as a discussion of blogging personal stuff? I am SUCH a ramblin' fool...)

But I really like the slowness, the deliberateness of this beginning. I like taking time to really know someone, I like knowing the questions I need to ask about how she deals with family, and money, and parenting, and everything. I like that I'm admitting to all my crap early on, and I like that she calls me on it. Of course, part of me wants to loll about in bed with her All The Time. But it's not that obsessive, I'll-just-die-if-I-don't-see-you-NOW kind of love.

That's a song I like by Two Nice Girls, who I saw in concert during my last single phase back in 1992, that I'm fond of: "Rational Heart" by Kathy Korniloff.
"I don't want a sweet surrender
I don't want to full drunkly in love
Nurturing private emotions
We're the only thing we're ever thinking of
I want a rational heart
Give me a rational heart"

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