Thursday, August 17, 2006
Men Don't Protect You Anymore
Years ago, I went to an art museum exhibit which contained a small room of Jenny Holzer installations, slogans written on marble benches and light displays that mimicked advertisements, disturbing thoughts like Murder Has Its Sexual Side and Men Don't Protect You Anymore. I was there with my then-boyfriend and a couple of our male friends -- all my friends were men in those days. The exhibit, titled Survival Series, kept me riveted for many minutes after the others had left. I can't remember their reactions to it but I'm sure they purported to like it. They were the kind of men who claimed to love women, to be feminists, to be evolved. I would find out in years to come (either the hard way through personal experience or through rumor and eventually prison sentence) that they all were the kind of men discussed in the exhibit -- sexually violent, cruel douchebags with whom one would do well to avoid having an Alan Alda film festival.
Didn't know that at the time, though, couldn't even imagine it although there were glimpses, mean practical jokes they played, strands of casual meanness in their conversations. What can I say? I lived in a town where a boy stabbed a cheerleader he had lusted over secretly almost fifty times. After leaving his room filled with slasher movie posters with knife cuts all over them and he broke into her bedroom and said, I love you , you bitch, I love you so much that I'm going to kill you. These guys, by comparsion, seemed all right. But the secret violence in the recesses of a heart that doesn't know itself can be pretty godawful. I stayed in that exhibit room for a long time --the rest of the museum which was for the most part western-themed didn't compel me. How could the wide open spaces of old west compared to a small dark room with brightly-lit slogans of pain forecasting the future?
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"With bleeding inside the head, there's a metallic taste in the back of the throat." Jenny Holzer
2 parts pink lemonade
1 part Barcardi limon
a dash of sugar
a splash of lemon
Serve chilled as a martini and a sugar rim.
Benedictions and Maledictions
To Hopeless in Bloomfield Hills -- First off, I agree with Robin -- keep your head up! No one judges a person more harshly than that person herself. I think it's important to keep perspective. You've been in this affair for three years -- one or two months of indecision about what to do is not going to make any difference in the scheme of things. You need to be as kind to yourself as possible, step back from the situation, and not get hysterical about it. That said, think of yourself as another person -- what would you tell her? Chances are that you're extremely attached to this man (no one continues doing the work of having an affair without being attached), and I'm sure he feels the same way about you. But realistically, what's the most likely outcome for the long-term? He doesn't want you to think about this because he's invested in the day to day status quo. If you do this, you might find yourself naturally drifting away from him in a more organic way than the cold turkey route. There's more than one way to make progress, no matter how you feel about the method. Please keep checking in -- we're all sending good thoughts your way!