What I Can’t Say

There are words and feelings I have constantly, constantly struggled to verbalize to my boyfriend. Mostly because I do not think he understands. So, I’m laying them out here. I don’t expect this to be read. I had a nightmare every night over the last three or four nights, presumably from stress. This is an attempt to lighten my mind.

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The End Of A Decade

The 2010s are almost over. I must admit it’s been an eventful decade for me, especially since its start was terrible! The same could be said for the first decade era I lived through (2000 – 2010), but I don’t remember much before 2006.

Occasionally, I wish I remained in my hometown and grew up with my childhood best friends, especially since there was ultimately no good reason for moving as much as I did, let alone to new cities (my mom didn’t get along with people). Reconnecting with my childhood best friend via Facebook only serves to strengthen that wish. It’s to the point I’ve made sims and stories based on what my life could be like if I never moved. It’d likely be the same, but it’d be in the place I called home and the events of 2010 (which I call the worst year of my life) would’ve never occurred.

Of course, I wouldn’t have my current best friend, nor any of the friends I have now, and I possibly would have a more distant relationship with my boyfriend since it’s harder to get to where he lives from my hometown than from where I live now. There’s a reason I’d be content burning every year of my life that preceded 2011, and that particular year is only because it’s the one where I met my best friend. Otherwise, I’d burn every year before 2015, when I met my boyfriend. If I didn’t have him, I’d burn every piece until July 2019 when I got my current job.

Cheesy as it is, the power of love and the power of friendship are real. It may be a bit unhealthy, but I’m not kidding when I say my friends and my boyfriend are the only reason I care about my life. Yes, my family is excluded from that because, as much as I love them, I strive not to be like any of them. They’re terrible role models.

The one thing I can say is almost every year of this decade had a major event. Sadly, the one in 2010 is the biggest one, and it’s another reason I’d burn that year to utter ashes if I could. I’m going to skip that one and start with 2011 because I simply do not want to talk any more about 2010 right now.

  • 2011: I met my best friend of now eight years (and counting)
  • 2012: Nothing! I would say I turned 18, but that age really changes nothing.
  • 2013: No more high school! I’m free! Hallelujah!
  • 2014: I learned community college sucks and dropped out.
  • 2015: I met mi amor, and as of January 2020, we will have known each other for five years (and been a couple for 4 1/2)!
  • 2016: My first job, which I was foolishly excited about. If only I could’ve foreseen how much I’d grow to hate it.
  • 2017: I’d say being promoted to full-time, but that was an utter disaster and is the reason to refuse to ever try for a higher position again. So nothing for this year too.
  • 2018: Back to school, and it was a waste of time and money.
  • 2019: The year of the jobs! Counting a second job I’m about to start (that pays more than my current, but is seasonal), I will have had six jobs this year! Seven if I count the school’s internship and eight if I count my recent venture into DoorDash. I’m happy with my current job, though. Just wish they would stop sending people home early every day! Tax time is going to be fun. Six jobs will owe me a tax form (not seven; DoorDash sends a form only if a dasher makes $600, and I doubt I’ll hit $100).

I am looking forward to 2020 – mostly to celebrate five years with my boyfriend and hopefully going on the special trip I’m trying to save up for to be our five-year anniversary special – but I’m also scared of what the next decade will hold. I hate I’ve lived where I currently am for almost ten years. I certainly don’t want to live here for another ten.

One of my high school classmates has a master’s in psychology and recently got an internship she was aiming for. She graduated a year before I did, and she has definitely accomplished a lot in those seven years. My best friend, six years after graduation, is going to comic and anime conventions, and having the time of her life, often in NYC. I’m so happy for both of them, but I admit I wish my life was thrilling like theirs are. Unfortunately, I couldn’t care less for school or conventions, so those things wouldn’t make me happy. Aside from where I live, I genuinely am happy with my life, but I really don’t know if I have any exciting interests. Strangely, I did achieve something none of my friends have yet: my driver’s license and a car. But that probably still pales in comparison to being on the way to becoming a therapist or being a regular at conventions. Maybe I’ll find something someday. Maybe not. I guess that’s the pitfall of liking a quiet life where your favorite spot is beneath your bed covers. Too bad quiet can’t be exciting.

If nothing else, I want the 2020s to be the decade I finally accomplish my ultimate goal: moving into my own apartment!

And a passport. I want to get that just to have it.

Children’s Consent

My boyfriend and I had an interesting argument. Not the good meaning of “interesting”.

The topic of pierced ears and children came up. I’m well aware ear piercing is essentially harmless and it’s very common, but I’ve personally never liked the idea of piercing an infant’s ears because it’s purely cosmetic and the only reason for is tradition.

Unfortunately, my boyfriend likes tradition. His reasons for it amount to tradition, superstition (it’s supposed to bring good luck), and a baby won’t remember it anyway.

First and foremost, I believe if “they won’t remember it” is an argument for anything, it’s probably not a good thing.

More importantly than that, my biggest reason, aside from it being a needless cosmetic procedure, is that I’d prefer waiting until my (non-existent) child is old enough to understand what ear piercing is and consent to do it because it’s her (or his) ears that will have a needle or gun shot through them. But my boyfriend threw all of that down in the name of “tradition”, saying he didn’t understand why waiting until a child is old enough to consent would be necessary.

That’s where I officially had a problem.

“Just because it’s what’s done doesn’t mean it’s what should be done!” – Cinderella, 2015

My boyfriend deemed my value of a child’s ability to consent and understand what will happen to their body to be irrational. I deemed his reasons of tradition and superstition to be sentimental, and a child’s supposed lack of memory (fun fact: studies have proven children as young as three months old can form memories) to be an archaic idea.

Should I ever change my mind about parenthood, it will spell the end of our relationship, even if he also changes his mind, because someone who values tradition and sentiments above a child’s well-being, even for a matter that’s supposedly harmless, is not someone I want to raise children with. The perhaps ironic thing here is he says it’s not a big deal. If that’s the case, why the rush to pierce a child’s ears before they have the ability to consent to the procedure? If it’s not a big deal, why is “they won’t remember it” a reason for it? If it’s really not a big deal, remembering the pain shouldn’t be an issue.

He stated the pain will go away, which is true. But he stated this in the same vein as “they won’t remember”. Never mind the pain will also go away for an older child, a teenager, or an adult.

And yes, I had my ears pierced as an infant, at seven months old. Considering I very rarely wear earrings, I really wish I hadn’t. On a different note, can someone please explain the borderline obsession with cosmetic procedures, especially about an infant?

Let’s be honest: it’s to make the adults feel good. It is not for the baby because the baby cannot grasp what’s going on, why, or give consent. It’s for the adults to fawn over and feel special. In the end, he said he would get a (female; of course, not male) child’s ears pierced as an infant because every woman in his family has done it. With that type of thinking, I’m surprised he isn’t a parent. After all, if he does something because everyone else does, why hasn’t he had a child thus far? That’s definitely something everyone (or almost everyone) in his family has done.

My frustration is I find this argument to be a sign of a bigger problem: my boyfriend doesn’t think. I don’t hate tradition itself, but this isn’t a tradition like putting up a Christmas tree for December 25th. This is a tradition that affects someone else (yes, babies and children are people). And no matter what reasons I presented, even pointing out factually that babies do have memories (whereas he had none they didn’t), they were drowned out in the name of tradition. That scares me. If he deems tradition and superstition to be of greater important than logic, consent, and autonomy, and believes someone’s potential lack of memory justifies bypassing their willingness, what else does he believe? What does he believe about me?

I said if we did have a child and he pierced our child’s ears without my knowledge or mutual agreement, I’d divorce him. His response to this was: “Jeez… So much for death do us part.”

I agreed two years ago to marry him. I may need to rethink if I can spend the rest of my life with someone whose primary concerns are tradition and sentiments.

Setting The Bar Low

I don’t like to bring up social issues on this blog. There’s probably something that makes this seem like a lie, but I genuinely don’t. However, this is one I couldn’t ignore.

I’d rather not get into the details, but two days ago, I got a huge reminder of how fortunate I am to have my boyfriend. I say that in spite of the arguments and near breakups we’ve had, and I mean it. I’ve read a lot how men are praised for doing the bare minimum, especially when it comes to caring for their children, and I agree it’s ridiculous if that’s the case. At the same time, when you’ve never gotten even that, the bare minimum can seem like the peak of the mountain.

A friend of mine is in a very rough spot right now. She’s staying with friends and relatives, alternating between houses. She had to argue with her boyfriend just to get his attention and check in with him if he’s home or not, despite he knew she had to go out. From her frustration and arguing, it was obvious this happened a lot. He apparently has a habit of ignoring her just to rile her up (if she’s not exaggerating). Even when she finally got a hold of him, they continued arguing. All because she wanted to know if he was home or not so he could possibly let her in.

My boyfriend came with me when I needed a root canal for no other reason than I asked and was anxious. He asked the dentist if he could hold my hand. He couldn’t (dentist said certain things splatter), but he was allowed to stay in the room, so he did. Note my boyfriend lives thirty miles away, so this is going out of his way. He still did it, and arranged his work schedule to allow him the time for it.

That specific example may not be the bare minimum, but caring for your partner’s well-being is. January 2020 will mark five years since we met (June 2020 will be five years of being a couple), so any honeymoon phase ended long ago.

I hear of relationship struggles like my friend’s all the time. In general, it’s a running joke a woman’s first child is her husband and it’s so odd to me because that doesn’t describe my boyfriend at all. Contrarily, as an example, we argue (playfully) about who does domestic chores better and he insists on doing certain ones because “I don’t do it right”. Yet for some women, their boyfriend or husband washing a single dish would be a small victory.

I know being over the moon for doing what anyone who shares a household or a relationship should do is setting the bar low (note: I’m talking heaps of praise, not simple appreciation and a thank you), and my boyfriend agrees, but it’s hard not to feel I lucked out when I grew up with and continue to be surrounded by relationships where it’s an endless battle solely to get a helping hand. When my friend was arguing with her boyfriend on the phone to know if he’s home, my mind couldn’t stop drifting to my boyfriend, who’d wait at home all day until I came back if he knew I couldn’t get in without him (or give me the key, which is more sensible).

I feel writing this post is mocking people who have these struggles in their relationships, and that is not my intent. Rather, it’s bewildering to me this is so common, getting the bare minimum feels like winning a battle. I’m describing an observation, not trying to belittle others, and a very confusing one at that.

What A Saturday Should Be

The following is purely my opinion. Like everything else non-factual on this blog.

I would say my new job is going well, but at only two days in, past experiences have taught me not to be excited. Yesterday, I worked my standard four hours (I love, love, love having a set schedule!) and left to enjoy a day out with my boyfriend. The plan was to go from to the pool, but delays made him late, so I stopped at home to drop my purse off and eat something before going back out.

We got to the pool an hour after they opened. We took some pictures, a few seconds out of our two-hour stay. Unfortunately, the clouds wouldn’t stay out of the sun’s way for long, but we enjoyed the water nonetheless, though I may have enjoyed it a bit more than him. Nevertheless, he said he had a good time. Yay!

I didn’t get bored of the pool, but I did get hungry, and the food stall at the pool accepted only cash. So, after I took a jump into the pool and unpleasantly drew water into my nose, my boyfriend and I called an end to our pool time and got back into our regular clothes. We settled on going to Pizza Hut, which has become much fancier since I last visited any location, which was so long ago, I can’t remember it. He pepperoni pizza, I got pasta with chicken, and we shared the cinnamon sticks I ordered.

Lunch was over and to avoid being out too late (we both had to work early, after all!), he decided it was time to go home. Despite I was tired from not yet getting any sleep, I waited with him until his bus came. We hugged and kissed goodbye, and unless tragedy strikes, we will see each other next weekend. But as much as I hate to think about it, you never know which “I love you” will be the last.

Though I wish I didn’t need to work, four hours is nothing to complain about, especially when I still had the whole day ahead of me. In my eyes, this was a perfect Saturday, and this is what the weekend is for. Sitting by the poolside with someone I love, playing in the water without a care for anything except how long we’re staying. A few hours of work, if really necessary, with the most of the day still ahead of you instead of long hours into a late night where your only solace is a half-hour to eat.

I said it in my last post: Money can’t replace time. If I worked a standard day at my retail job, I would’ve made $62 to $78 (after taxes), which is a lot of money to me, but I also would’ve missed out on an amazing day and more memories with my love. Unlike retail, summer does not last all year round in this state. Sure, you could argue there’s always abother day or other things to do, but the same applies to retail. That store will never not need help (in fact, our store manager recently left and new hires last around two months on average, so to say they need help is an understatement; the receiving manager actually begged for me to work on one of my days off), so I’ll always have more chances to work there if I really need extra money. But time with my boyfriend is not infinite and we don’t always know when we’ll be able to see each other again. If memories had a price, I’d say that Saturday was well worth $78.

They can’t all be good weekends, but here’s to hoping next weekend makes the week worth trudging through.