Wednesday, September 16, 2009

entropy, or, why i am marrying the man i am marrying.

I believe it must be part of my soul's work to understand the value of maintenance, and the balance within domesticity. When stars align, I am so content to cook, wash dishes, vacuum, put everything in its place. But when anything in my life shifts towards the negative, even slightly, its first reverberation is felt in my domestic life. When before I could notice the charm of our clothes lying tangled together on the living room floor, or the sunlight casting shadows behind a half empty glass of milk, I suddenly see the mess, the carelessness, the disrespect towards our environment. The joy of creating a meal dissolves into a bitter sense of obligation, and the monotony of loading the dishwasher AGAIN sends me into mute rages.

I had one of these moments a couple days ago. I had just cleaned the house, and the surprising entropy of a two-person household had ruined my good work. Gabriel had come home and was in the direct line of fire. Since I would be the one to clean, and since I am the one who is a woman, I put all sort of meaning and history into this not-necessarily-causal set of two facts. But Gabe is patient with me as I ask him if it's too much to ask to live in a clean house. He has learned not to take it personally because he knows what comes next. My rant inevitably turns inward, as I am predisposed to self-recrimination. I'm not even working, I don't have children, I should be able to at least keep a house clean. How could it be so hard? And then to a deeper level. I'm not even working, I should have extra time now. I should be able to do all the things I want to do, why haven't I? And further. It's so weird not to work. I just cook and clean and I don't even get anywhere. What is the point? And I make a mistake asking that last question. Because that is the death spiral released. What IS the point, even if I work? What should I do? Making money obviously isn't the point. I think it's ridiculous and condescending when people say they want to work to help other people. So what's the reason to do anything? Etc.

I will spare you all the ugly et ceteras. But picture me sunk in my chair, whining softly, hands hanging in the air, which, to me, is heavy with lack of inspiration, motivation or purpose. Gabe meanwhile has been listening, asking a question or two, and once making an exploding sound to simulate my brain's well worn path towards masochistic, over-analyzing self-destruction.

I finish my half hour rant with a sigh. And he sighs back. Oh honey. I don't have the answers either, but I'll be right here with you as you try to figure it out.

Now that is a man I can spend my life with.

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