Your Memory Is A Monster

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Luxury living. July 31, 2009

Moving almost always begets a nervous breakdown for me.

There is the normal stress of moving. Starting something new, not sure what will happen, or how things will work out. Leaving a place I was familiar with, people I knew and spent time with. Having to pack everything, move everything, unpack everything.

There are some aggravating factors, too. Like that I have at least two boxes that I packed when I moved out of the duplex I lived in in college, 5 years ago, 3 moves ago, and had a similar nervous breakdown. There are math tests I took 6 years ago, entire boxes of student papers from 3 years ago. So, not only do I have more stuff to move… there’s a hidden, neurotic reason these things are still around.

They have the cursed personal value.

I can’t get rid of anything my mother has given me… and that is a considerable amount of stuff.

I can’t get rid of anything associated with my senior year of college… and a great deal of that stuff is barely more than trash. In fact, I think there are empy cigarette packs that some friends of mine gave me with inside jokes written on them. So, yeah, actual trash.

There are endless notebooks. Class notes, journals, empty notebooks, boxes and boxes of notebooks.

Pictures, from before I got a digital camera. Of parties in college, my front porch the year I turned 21 and belived myself to be impressive by drinking on that front porch, endless piles of pictures.

Tomorrow, I turn 27, and I live in a new apartment, in downtown Ft. Worth. The building and parking garage both have limited access. Landscapers are here every day. There is trash pick-up, from outside my apartment door, every evening. There are swimming pools, a skyscaper view, and the building backs up onto river trails.

I have managed to curb the crap in my apartment in a workable way. The coat closet holds 6 boxes, and there are 4 behind the couch. Aside from clothes, everything else is put away. I am hoping to turn 10 into 2.

I am hoping to feel more deserving of this apartment once I can actually keep track of the crap.

I am hoping to stop romanticizing the town I’ve left, to stop feeling like “it was the only place I felt like myself.” That old town, where I lived for four years doing graduate work and teaching, is the only place I felt like myself… because it is the only place I ever was & because it helped mold me into the person I was… am? I know I’ll miss my friends. Hell, I’ll miss having friends around, no matter who they are. I can’t, though, miss the town. If I think objectively, this town has all of the best things, on a grander scale. And while that grander scale makes things less personal, less personable… I remember now that I never really felt “at home” in all those cool, hip places in my old town.

I felt at home at my home, at my friends’ homes, and at the two shitty bars we went to once a week.

The stuff I own, my possessions, I know would make for a funny essay subject. I’ve tried several times before, and again today, to write about them. For some reason, my stuff has made it to the list of things I can’t successfully write about. Writing teachers have theories about why writers struggle with certain material. Maybe writers don’t have enough distance, can’t prioritize because the subject is a sensitive issue; maybe the writer can’t edit him or herself on the subject because they are still dealing with it, meaning they would use the essay as some self-indulgent therapy ramble.

Would it be too cliche for me to say that I don’t think that it’s any of those things?

I can’t write about my stuff, or my old town, not really… because I don’t want to. Writing is a highly analytical process. Perhaps there is none higher. I don’t want to have to make the kinds of admissions, face the kinds of demons, deal with the implications that would be brought forth by my endless analysis of these subjects.

My essays are highly funny. Perhaps there are none funnier. But they are serious, too, and both the comedy and the seriousness is born of my willingness to make fun of myself. There are matters I just can’t self-depricate on. Old town and stuff aren’t the only ones. Sometimes things change, sometimes I finally find a way to do it.

For now, I’ll just watch my dog look out the window, and wish with him that we had something better to do.


I match socks. You match _______. December 15, 2007

So three of my best lady friends have joined the dating website referenced in the title of this blog. I refuse to actually refer to it.
One was uniquely lucky in that she started and has continued a lasting, long-term relationship on the second of her “match dates.”
One has been uniquely unlucky in that she’s been out with at least 10 guys, sometimes more than once, but has yet to meet a “match.”
These guys are real pieces, too, if you ask me.
Which, let’s assume, you did.
One talked to her on the phone, post-date, arranging a possible next date, only to minutes later send a text that reads “I had a nice time with you but don’t think we click. Sorry.”
One, after the first date, became her friend on Myspace, started messaging one of her top friends, and then started dating that person.
One spent an entire date talking about his ex-girlfriend/soulmate with whom he has one of those “if we’re not married by 35, we’ll marry each other” pacts. He brought up this ex on the first date.
My third internet dating friend is new to this world, and seems a little wrong for it.
Sure, she’s watched one friend succeed, and one, let’s say, continue to try. She’s seen them whisked away on dates, excited by prospects, arrive home late at night with stories to tell. She wants a piece, and we all do, really.
But she can’t describe herself on a profile because she’s the kind of person who doesn’t tell you she is kind and loyal. That’s how kind and loyal she is.
She can’t e-banter with these guys because she doesn’t want to hurt feelings with a sarcast remark I suggest. She doesn’t want to have to wonder if he meant to hurt her feelings with a short response or a strange comment.
I don’t know what drives them all to this means. They all have declared, either to me or on their profiles, that they are “independent” women who don’t “need” men. I believe them. But they surely do not.
I know that things change over time and that the most successful among us will always know when, exactly, to adapt and when, exactly, to resist passing fads. I know that online dating is not a passing fad. It is too easy of an answer for the most common of questions.
But should I, you, all of us single people in the world adapt to this change? I think it’s something that would make many so intensely uncomfortable that things are doomed to fail, reinforcing our ideas that we are, perhaps, unloveable.


It isn’t like that anymore. November 15, 2007

Filed under: Men Life Gossip — memorymonster @ 7:18 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

I’ve found myself becoming more attracted to a man’s health insurance plan than his McDreamy hair or Zach Braff-ian charm.
Clearly, I watch too many medical TV shows.
Remember when you liked someone for them? I know, that’s the goal our mothers try to give us: find someone who loves you for you. Find someone you love as they are.
But it isn’t like that anymore.
Tolerate who they are, enjoy some things about them, yes.
Just as important: Their extras.
We’re not just looking for a rich family. In fact, most women are smart enough to know that a rich family is as dangerous and emotionally trying as they are beneficial.
Now I want a low co-pay, a decent prescription plan.
Now I can deal with dull at parties if I can trade in for does the grocery shopping on his way home from work.
Now I know I can slowly improve his passive agression, and I am willing to climb that hill for battle, so long as you have no debt other than college loans.
How my mother would smile and shake her head. I don’t love him for who he is because I am looking past who he is, ready to change who he is.
We can have disparate taste in movies, I can even hate your taste in movies, if your job gives you a company car we can take road trips in.
These are just sample trades.
Now I know, after being in several weddings, to ask on the first date if your parents drink, or at least don’t condemn it. If you have the parents who don’t want beer at their son’s wedding, then a first date is as far as we need to go.
When she tells me, my mom, that I am going about this the wrong way, I’ll remind her of who my dad used to be, before I knew him, before he knew what she was worth. Worth selling the sports car for something family friendly. Worth commuting to work so she’d be close to her job.
Men have been making the trades, determining the value of changing something, sticking with something, persuring something, moving the tangible around so that the intangible (the love, the sugar, the sweetness and goop) comes at the smallest cost and provides a good return.

So, tell me, do you need a referral to specialist?