Monday, June 4, 2012

Enough is Never Enough

So, I know I haven't written in about a week, but I just needed time to rest and collect my thoughts. I did survive my cake-making marathon, and they all came out pretty good. There were a few that I felt could have been better if I had a little more talent and a little more time, but overall I'm really proud of myself.

Delivery two cakes uptown last weekend, I employed my ex; Joel. It was a long-ass ride, with him opting to drive through Manhattan from the 59th St bridge ALL the way to 190th St, uptown. Despite me telling him to use the West Side Highway or the Henry Hudson Parkway, he insisted on going slow and steady through town and my blood was boiling.

I couldn't blow up at him because he showed up at 3pm, even though I told him 4pm, the day before, and he waited on me till 6:30- the time I was ready with the cakes. He was about to leave when I came running out with the first box.

I know he wanted to lecture me on my poor time management. Nothing gives this man greater pleasure than telling me what's wrong with with me. It was a trait I hated when we were together, and I didn't warm up to it now that we're apart. As much as I wanted to blow up and tell him what he could do with this antiquated opinions, I needed his help for this delivery and I had to keep my mouth shut until the cakes were handed off safe and sound.

"You know what your problem is..." he began with his usual, heavy accented drawl; a smile on his face because he was going to savor the lecture I was forced to listen to because he knew I didn't have any other choice.
"No, but I bet you're gonna tell me, aren't you?" I rolled my eyes, bracing myself against whatever bullshit opinion he was about to unload......again.
"You think you know everything. You think you got all the answers. You think you're all alone in everything, but the fact of the matter is you need people to help you because you're not good enough yet. And it eats you up inside like acid because you know this and you can't admit it." He paused to look for a reaction. When I kept quiet, and blankly stared out the window, he kept going. "I mean, that artist you used to fuck...did any of the talent come out of his dick and into you? You got a little better, but you've got a ways to go if you think you're ever gonna be as good as a real bakery. Just because a few people like your cakes don't make them good enough to be in magazines. Are you even filtering the cakes you put up on your website or you just asking your computer guy to throw up any old picture?"
"I don't have a computer guy; I do it all myself."
"Oh, that's surprising. You never even wanted a website unless someone else made it for you. Wasn't that what you were going to pay Bobby to do for you?" He asked, referring to his son.
"It's not because I wasn't capable of learning how to do it. I was trying to give him a paying gig, to save myself some time and to help him out. It's not my fault your son had better things to do with his time. And I think I did ok with what little I know about it, and I only had a couple of people help me out. You're trying to make me feel useless, and I'm not gonna let you sit there and call me that."
"You said it, not me."

There was a stretch of silence. He had a smug look on his face, and I was clenching my fists, trying not to sock him in the face while we drove. It took every ounce of strength and patience I had inside me not to beat him over the head with the Club.

"You think you're better than everyone." He continued once he was over the bridge. "You think you deserve more because you think you work harder. Yeah, you can work pretty hard, but you wouldn't be where you are today if I didn't put you there."
"Yes, yes, yes," I blurted out, having heard this shit a million times already. "The next tattoo I get will be a testament to ALL the help you've given me, Joel. Don't worry, you'll get your fucking credit."
"Did you get rid of my tattoo yet?" He asked, leering at me. I didn't answer him. "Tell me. Is it still there? Is it? Tell me. Why won't you answer?" I hated this because I knew what was coming.

When I still didn't respond, he reached over, hooking his fingers into the waistband of my pants, and tried tugging them down to get a look at my ink. Without hesitation, I smacked him hard across the face. He pulled back, looking stunned and furious.

"How would your girlfriend like to know how touchy you get whenever you're around me?"

I saw the whites of his knuckles as he gripped the wheel. After a few minutes, he mumbled out an apology.


"You're not someone who hates being touched," he added in his defense, pretty much negating his shoddy apology. "I saw your pictures all over facebook with your white boy. He seemed pretty touchy and I didn't see any pictures of you smacking him across the face. Still the violent type, eh? Maybe you should get back with your husband so you can both go at it again cuz that's what you like."
"I choose who gets to touch me, not you." I shouted at him. "Your right to lay a finger on me is long gone. If you want to touch someone, go home to your leather-skinned, saggy-tit girlfriend. You've been with her just as long as you were ever with me, so I guess you found a suitable replacement. Just because I don't have a boyfriend right now doesn't give you a right to touch me. I don't give a shit how much you think you've done for me. I'm not paying you with sex."

The rest of the ride was silent. I delivered, and was tempted to take the train home, but there was no train nearby. No trains and no cabs. On the way back, he tried to pretend nothing happened.


"Do you know why you and me didn't work, boo?" I didn't answer him. "None of it was good enough. I gave you everything you wanted, and more. You asked for a ring, I bought you the biggest one in the store, and you didn't want it. You asked for a car, and I made sure we had 3 ready to go. You asked for a home and I made sure you always had one- bigger than any other place you've ever lived. You were never happy. You wanted to start your own business, and I flooded you with customers. You were never happy. None of it made you happy. Ever. It's never enough for you. You can't just stay content."
"No, I can't. I can't stay at the same level and be happy there. I'm always going to want the next thing; a new goal. I'm not going to apologize for that."
"I would'v eventually given you what you really wanted- new car, new house, Hawaii....I just needed time, and you wouldn't let up on me."
"It was never going to happen with you, Joel."
"Why not?"
"Because you're happy being mediocre and I'm not. 
You're fine filling up your tank halfway, and I'm always going to want it completely filled up. I'm always going to want to strive for something harder to get than the last thing I just got, and you're fine fixing something that's broken."
"What's wrong with that?"
"Nothing...for you."
"That's your problem. Enough is never enough."
"Why the hell would I settle for just enough when I know I can get what I really want if I work harder?"
"Because you don't know what you really want. So, no matter how hard you work, you're never gonna get it. It's always changing, so you'll never stop working. And you'll never be happy."

I didn't respond.

"You're right," he said,  pulling up in front of my house. "Our time really is over."
"Yeah. Here's your money. Thanks."

(I had maybe three or four extra paragraphs after this point, but it either didn't get saved or Blogger ate it. I'll try and recall everything to the best of my ability, but it's like 24 hrs later, so who knows?)

Does he have a point? Does my inability to settle on any ONE goal kill any hope for happiness dead in its tracks? Maybe. Was he entirely wrong about what happened to us? When we first got together, I was saddled with a moocher husband who lived off all the money I made and spent all the credit under my name all willy-nilly without a single thought to our financial futures or goal. He had no goals. My ex-husband lived in the now and NOW meant he bought whatever my high credit limits could afford.

Joel was a breath of fresh air with his work ethic and his staunch ability to achieve his goals. The only problem I had was that his bar wasn't set as high as mine. Did he get me a car, like he said he would? Sure. But, it was second or third hand, and it was in his name. He made it functional for me and he made it easy enough for me to use when I needed it, but it wasn't really mine outright. He secured us a home. Okay, again it was in his name only, and I had to agree to leave Astoria and move out to Woodhaven; a neighborhood that wasn't exactly the Mecca I was coming from. Vacations? Sure, he delivered on that, too. Only, we worked gigs while we were "on" vacation, so a week's worth of R & R really only turned out to be 2 days.

If I pushed for the "better", with a solid fight, I know I would get him to agree with me. But, he is not a man of material values. Why buy a home when he  was perfectly fine renting. Why buy a new car when used ones can be restored "like-new"? Why goto Hawaii if Florida was just as hot and had some ocean around it, at a fraction of the cost?  Joel would have been content opening a deli and making cash hand over hand. I didn't want a deli. I wanted......more.

This is what he meant. I'm not a greedy person. I made him return a 10 thousand dollar engagement ring because spending that much cash on a rock is impractical for someone like me. I was flattered he thought I was worth it, but at the end of the day, he put the 8 grand back in his account for a rainy day. I never demanded expensive dinners or crazy thousand dollar handbags because that just isn't my style. Not that I wouldn't have appreciated it, but the man worked hard and to blow it on frivolous stuff like that doesn't make me happy.

When he says he tried to make me happy; he was telling the truth. He did. Fancy dinners. Fancy luxury gifts. Fancy jewelry. The only problem with that is that I'm not a fancy girl.

His assessment struck a raw nerve. He tried, but the truth of the matter is that even if he provided everything I asked him for to the letter, the fact that we had glaring discrepancies within our life-plans would have lead to a downfall somewhere down the line. I was willing to give up so much of what I wanted to make my square peg fit into the round hole he cut out for me, but I'm not the type to sit back and endure it as a martyr.

Maybe he's right. Maybe I don't have all the answers regarding what I really want. Maybe I don't know for sure where I want to end up and what I want to be doing once I get there. But, I know I'll work hard until I do, and I'm never going to let someone take away my right to decide for myself what's right for me.

No one is going to touch me if I don't want to be touched. No one is going to belittle me as a person or as a baker. No one is going to gut me the way I have let all these men cut away at my self-worth and value all these years.

Maybe I'll never have the huge social circle of semi-celebrities my ex husband had, or the strength and street-hustle Joey has, or even an ounce of the artistic ability the last one had. But, for whatever reason, I'm uniquely me, and I'm not going to apologize for not settling on a life that wasn't right for me. I shouldn't feel bad leaving a man who used and abused me, a man who kept me in a gilded cage and only let me out under his supervision, or a man who felt the compelled to lie to me to keep me "happy". Shaky foundation never support strong structures. Believe me, I've had enough cakes collapse on me to know that golden rule- a weak base and un-level layers will bring down a cake faster than an earthquake.

I was feeling badly that I've been dating the last couple of years and haven't found anyone up to par. But, that's one less break-up I'll have to go through, one less dinner for me to walk out of, and one less family I'll have to meet and try to impress. Forcing something that isn't a good fit hasn't been fruitful in the past, and it isn't going to be any better for me now.

I have the freedom to go where I want in this life without the burden of a partner or kids to shape the decisions I make for myself. While I do sometimes feel envious of my friends' new families and chapters, I feel okay knowing it isn't right for me at this point, and maybe someday it will or it won't, but that's ok, too.

No, enough is never enough, but I like it that way.

12 comments:

  1. Wait is this cut off because the end is so abrupt. What a fucktard. You shoulda clobbered him with the club.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, shit. The whole bottom chunk is gone. I have to re-write it. There wasn't much. I was sorta wrapping it up.

      Delete
  2. First, I wanted to yell at you for defending yourself here against that fucktard. After what he did to you, it's no secret what I think about you even talking to him, but that's all on you. Like you said, it's not like you're gonna let me or anyone else tell you what to do or not do. But you ended it by saying you're gonna do what you want anyway. cool

    Who cares what any of these guys say about you now? You're not together anymore and thank Hades for those miracles. Wrap it up, tie a ribbon, and glue on the glitter but any way you spin it- they didn't make you happy and they sent you off making you believe something was wrong with you because you couldn't make them happy. Guess what? Not your fault. None of them were right for you & vice versa. Otherwise, shit would've worked out.

    Pick better next time, like you're doing now. Date around, sleep around, dip your toe into many ponds. Don't settle for another dick because having a sure thing on a Friday night beats sitting there looking at your foreseeable future.

    Just remember this-- for every friend you're envious of because they're cuddling with a baby and husband- there are a few of them envious that you can head out at midnight to catch a drink at the bar spontaneously without making plans 3 months in advance. You can go to the midnight release of the Dark Night without looking for a sitter. You are not gonna be staring at the same tub of lard you married for the next 50 years as his balls shrivel up and your tits sag. Believe me, theres no such thing as a happy marriage. Its just two people who needed a piece of paper to force them to stay together so they don't feel like a loser.

    You're a very lucky girl in ways people wish they were. The reason you're not content with the mediocre is because exceptional people live with their eyes open. You tried being ordinary and it didn't work. Just be happy being extraordinary and go with it.

    Fuck joel. I hope he passes a kidney through his dick and is conscious the whole time. He believes in god right? Well, tell him I hope he brings some tanning oil when he gets to hell. i won't even rip into the others. I'm gonna take the advice I'm giving you- whatever. People are gone for a reason. Please make joel be gone. there are plenty of good reasons.

    love you katniss

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's great how you say you're not going to tell me what to do because I'm not going to listen, and then finish up telling me to get rid of him.

      LOL...I appreciate your blunt-force-honesty, and I know you scold out of love. I've sort of given up on the whole cookie-cutter future I thought I wanted.

      Whatever happens, happens. I just want to make sure I'm having fun doing it.

      Delete
  3. I know, I didn't mean to. You have this unending back and forth between being super girl and miss independent, and then going back to a quivering blob because one of your exes said something stupid to you. Why do you let them get under your skin?

    They're your exes. They're not around to be nice. They're there to make you feel like shit so that they can walk away thinking they were the best thing that ever happened to you. Don't give them that power.

    So you're not built to be a baby-breeding stay at home wife. Who fucking wants to live in the 50's anyway? You're a genius in the kitchen and a goddess in the bedroom and you've got a heart of gold. So fuck them.

    You got many years of living to do, make sure you do it with people that are there to bring you up, not take you down.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In my defense, I do have a baby-wanting gene inside of me. Any female with no emotional hankering for kids is indeed genetically broken, and nature is taking care of it. Most people who have traits that SHOULD NOT continue often don't have the nurturing-code written in them. That's just the nature trying to fix what's broken.

      I have the gene, I just don't want to make mini-me's in the wrong environment. It's not fair to the kid. And that's just my head trying to keep my shit together.

      Delete
  4. I know and that wasn't my intent. I hate watching you go back and forth with yourself. One second you're miss independent and the next you're a quivering blob because one of your exes said something stupid to you.

    They're your exes for a reason. They're not here to be nice to you, they're here to make you doubt and feel like shit about yourself so they can walk away believing they were the best fucking thing that's ever happened to you. Got it?

    The sooner you realize their words shouldn't carry any weight, the less sensitive you'll be to the shenanigans. Anyway, I don't believe you don't have ANYONE else there who can help you deliver besides that fucktard. Time to hire a new driver.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I had someone else as readily available and patient with my inability to keep track of time, then they would have the job in a heartbeat.

      I know. It looks like I didn't date very kind people. But, at one point, I did love and respect them a lot, so of course the things they say will get a kneejerk reaction out of me. They key is controlling that, and ultimately reminding myself why they go out of their way to be so mean. No big deal.

      Delete
    2. Wait am I reading this right? You would call this asshole again for another ride?

      Delete
  5. Oh shit, look. Blogger found my other comment that it ate earlier. This site is fucked up. Anyway, I pretty much repeated what I said the first time, left out the stuff I forgot about, and added that bit about getting a new driver.

    the end....OR IS IT?!?!

    ReplyDelete
  6. OH SHIT

    I think everyone should start any future comments on this thread with "Oh shit".

    ReplyDelete