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Where now?

Revisiting the basics, cos I am doing a metric fuckton of processing right now.

Monogamy doesn’t prevent you from falling for someone else, or stop your partner from falling for someone else.

We’re in situations where we meet new people all the time. Monogamy may mean those situations aren’t acted upon, but it certainly doesn’t switch off the feelings they cause.

Meeting someone new often has nothing to do with the state of the current relationship.

Rather than deliberately looking to fall in love because things are bad at home, the universe throws amazing people into our lives when we least expect them. People in relationships don’t choose when to fall in love anymore than single people do.

If I were monogamous and my partner met someone else he chose to pursue, his options would be pretty bleak.

Do the ‘honourable’ thing and leave me, so he could explore the new relationship without lying or cheating – breaking up our family.

Do the commonplace thing and explore the new relationship in secret – in which case I could be going insane wondering where he was until 3.30am every other night and who he was spending so much time texting.

Makes me wonder how we got to a point where having an affair in more socially acceptable than having two partners with everyone’s informed consent?


A Nursing Tale, or How I Weaned My Toddler

When I first thought about weaning a toddler I cast about to see what others had written and not much of it was helpful. Hence, despite the embarrassment of breastfeeding posts already out there, there’s about to be one more.

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Permissive parenting

I worry a lot about exerting my will over other people. I hate the idea of forcing someone to do something they don’t want to, and worry that even if someone says, or even thinks, they’re happy to do something, deep down somewhere they are resistant to the idea and only complying to please me.

I can see that this is ludicrous. Layers of second-guessing quickly become meaningless – when someone says “This is my answer, this is my reason,” I have to accept that.

I can also see that this might have something to do with being raped. I explained before that it wasn’t a physically violent experience, only emotionally so. His bullying and threats wore me down and in the end I said yes. This presents a thorny issue. If I have to take other people’s words at face value, does that mean the rape was my fault. Could I have prevented it if I’d said no long enough?

Rhetorical question – I know academically my asking “Hey, do you want nachos…? Are you sure?” is not the same as bullying a crying 14-year-old into having sex against her will, but I need to acknowledge all the swirling, competitive thoughts about control and sense of self before I get onto today’s (non-rhetorical) question – what does this mean now I’m raising a child?

Toddlers have their sticky little fingers in EVERYTHING. Plug sockets, toilet bowls, plant pots, eye sockets. Plus they have no impulse control. My instinct is to let Isaac have at it unless there’s a chance he could kill himself. Knife in a plug socket? Not ok. But dumping a bowl of cereal on the table and smacking his hands into it? I’m fine with that, and I’ll clean it up without complaint.

J-dawg and our nanny are not fine with it though, and grumble about manners and things getting broken. But stuff is just stuff, and seriously I think it’s easier to teach manners by being polite yourself than by trying to control another person’s behavior.

I think you can use love and trust to teach children self-discipline – letting them make mistakes, solve problems, have a chance to learn are all part of that. I also think entirely permissive parenting is a form of neglect. The message you end up sending is that you don’t care one way or another what your child does. What I’m trying to find is the line between the two, while avoiding a swing in the other direction – where you control someone because you think you ought to, not because they benefit from it.

Body mod

I’ve just signed up for a trial session of laser hair removal (more specifically IPL). I did so for three reasons: I spend $60 on waxing every month, so I’d save money in the long run (and stop getting ingrown hairs); the trial was half price; apparently it’s painful – I’m curious to know what it feels like.

But I have serious reservations about progressing from the trial to a full course of treatment. IPL is designed to vaporize hair at the root, ideally also destroying the hair-producing follicle. A highly successful course means permanent removal of almost all the treated hair. More usually the process is partially successful, but even that means hair becomes permanently finer and more sparse.

All hair removal is a cosmetic affection, but I don’t think I can embrace that in a permanent form. I love my body and would feel like I was betraying it were I to change it forever. What’s more, IPL would mean I could never again grow an amazing 70s bush. Is that too great a cost? I suspect so.


I don’t like the idea of another person having control over my choices. Especially sexually, I hate the idea of ownership, exclusivity and vetoes. I can’t accept someone trying to claim them from me, and I try not to claim them from anyone else.

But a relationship isn’t supposed to be two (or more) people living parallel but unconnected lives. A relationship means frequently, voluntarily sharing control of our choices.

Every time we appeal to a lover we are theoretically giving them the power of veto. Sometimes we don’t even notice the exchange:
“Shall we go to the pub?”
“Nah, let’s stay in.”

The implication by asking is that we care about and will do our best to accomodate the answer. If we have no intention of listening to the response, we shouldn’t ask in the first place – but we can’t expect a relationship like that to develop huge amounts of trust.

I’m writing about this because I just asked the Boy if I could sleep with a friend later, and heard a “No”, the first in a long while. Now I’m trying to reconcile my thunderous, thwarted, thoroughly spoiled mood with the senisble things I wrote above.

Breaking it down, I feel hard done by because:
• To my mind, having sex with someone this afternoon would be no different to having sex with someone last week, about which the Boy was fine
• J’s objection was that he has too much to deal with at work, but clearly his job won’t get any harder or easier however I spend my afternoon
• The next time I see J he’s going to be in a pub with a drink in his hand, work day forgotten, and will probably no longer see random sex as a big deal.

But I can’t argue based on future assumption, and can’t really argue at all.

It’s clear looking at these points that my anger or frustration comes from not seeing any logic behind the “No”. But I didn’t invite logic. I gave J the opportunity to present me with a blind, irrational veto, and implied that he could trust me to honour that.

I guess however much I value being rational, there has to be some space in a relationship for faith.

Hypochondria is a confusing word

I was going to go into this in the last post, but I realised it would be too long and distracting, so for all you etymology lovers out there, here it is.

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I watched the Watchmen

Finally! And it was… Ok.

I didn’t hate it. Some of the dialogue was great (although a lot of it was poorly delivered) and the art direction was amazing, but these are attributable to the comic.

The movie was certainly the most faithful adaptation of Moore’s work I’ve seen, but is that enough? You can trace over the Mona Lisa and produce something almost as good as the original, but will it have that je ne sais quoi that keeps the staff of the Louvre in new shoes and crème patisseries?

Why Zack, why? Where was my giant squid?

I felt that instead of adding to a great book (or taking a story and creating something new but enjoyable), the movie lost a lot of the grittiness that leaves first-time Watchmen readers reeling. The cold war, post-‘Nam anger and 80s yuppie bleakness are reduced to freeze-frame images and an artfully choreographed riot.

I enjoyed seeing frames from the comics writ large in technicoloured, dolbied glory. However, the fact that Snyder reproduced them with such fetish but still changed the ending made me a little fidgety (plus I’m bad with long movies, attention span measured in diehards (SI unit)).

On top of that, the soundtrack was jarringly eclectic, and a lot of the performances were dialed in, especially Malin Ackermen and Mathew Goode, although Jackie Earle Haley redressed the balance.

Come to think of it, lacklustre omigod-I’m-so-bored-we’ve-been-green-screening-for-12-frigging-weeks acting was my main complaint with 300. Maybe Snyder is just really bad with people.

So yeah, not a bad effort, but not the film to make Alan Moore accept that screenplays from books are a valid medium.