Thursday, May 31, 2007

On "Isms"

My sis, the Professor, posted on her blog about watching people's "isms" manifest, and it's definitely something I enjoy doing myself. I don't know why. I think it's the latent novelist in both of us--something we've inherited from Poppy.

I also enjoy watching the stories of people's lives unfold. Sometimes I sit on the train, or in a bar and watch a person to see how much of their lifestory I can learn. You'd be *amazed* at what you learn by watching people... how much of themselves they give away. And in turn, you can use those things to help you navigate your own life, deal with your own "isms", or even hide yourself.

I get an *enourmous* kick watching people have illicit affairs; I've learned the signs having had several m'self. (No, not necessarily "bad" illicit affairs... I don't make a habit of snagging other women's husbands or stuff like that. But I guess I've had about one of every kind of illicit affair... the married guy, the boss, the co-worker. The married guy who's a boss and your co-worker. Hmmmm--apparently here's yet another issue of mine to explore. But not today!) I was in a room with several people I know very well within the last year, and it suddenly dawned on me that two of the people in the room had slept with each other, and probably fairly recently. But they weren't sayin' cuz a third person in the room was The Wife.

So I guess now would be a good time to tell you some "dont's" when you're trying to Hide An Affair:
  1. DON'T make "googlie eyes" or try to sneak off or sneak a feel or only talk to each other. This is an obvious one, but still, some people aren't good at not making things obvious.
  2. DON'T patently ignore the other person, either. To me, that's a *dead* giveaway. Like you can't sit next to someone stiffly and not make eye contact and pretend you're not sitting next to the person. But people do.
  3. DON'T deny the friendship or the attraction, though. This helps things to appear "normal". So if you like talking to the person (I mean you *are* sleeping with them, right?) go ahead and flirt and joke and laugh.... just be sure to "spread the love" and flirt with a few other people, too. Then people will think your just being friendly.
So this came up in my thought process the other day because I had two very interesting encounters with people I've known for at least 10 years, both in the same evening. The first was with someone I admire very much, and was my first real photography teacher. If I hadn't met him and gotten to be pretty good freinds with him and his ex-wife, I probably would never have gotten into Pratt. Under his tutelage, I'd learned to take some good photos, and printed them myself in his darkroom and had built up a pretty good body of work over a period of years. It was that body of work that got me into Pratt, cuz Lord knows my pre-Pratt drawings were pretty bad.

At one point I lived in an apartment right next door to his gallery and especially while I was pregnant, I spent a great deal of time talking to him. I was pretty upset when he and his wife broke up because I liked them both. But I understood a lot of why they broke up, and he and I talked a lot about relationships and all my various troubles with IFKALP. When I was hugely pregnant he was usually the one to carry my laundry or groceries up two flights of stairs, cuz IFKALP wasn't much help often enough.

After the Sun was born, I moved up the street to a bigger apartment. But I actually hadn't told my landlord that I was leaving yet, because my new apartment still had my new landlord and family living in it, and I had to wait for them to leave. But the Rock is a *very small* place, and this woman got wind of the place coming up and hunted me down for it... and then she proceeded to harrass me every couple of days about when I was leaving, and that I was holding up *her* moving plans. I was furious, because in addition to my own stress about when *I* was leaving and not being able to pressure my new landlord about moving out (they in turn were waiting for construction on their new house), I was dealing with IFKALP and his nonsense, and a six month old baby and a job. I took a serious dislike to the chick, which I've yet to shake.

But in the process of her hounding me for my apartment, she let it drop that she had a "crush" on my photographer friend, who technically was still married though his wife had relocated. And I could see plainly that this chick had plans. Now, I admire a bitch who can state what she wants, pursue it doggedly *and get it* cuz this is obviously a skill I lack. But I really didn't like her M.O. cuz she had no remorse about anything (though lately I've tried adopting that tack to a small degree--I'll let you know if it works for me).

After I was finally in the new place, and she was in my old place she immediately began pursuing my friend. One day he asked me what I thought of her and (as usual) it was hard for me to hide my dislike. I told him that if he wanted to be married and have a baby again (his son was 18 and away at college that year) go ahead, but if not, stay away because this woman had designs on him. But I couldn't tell him how I knew--wouldn't have made any sense.

Well, cut to Tuesday evening when I went to drop off two pieces of art for an exhibit (he does a multi-artist show once a year in his gallery). He now lives up the street from me in a house he bought with this woman who is now his wife. Their daughter is two. And he asked me "Do you remember what you told me?" and I told him I remembered *exactly* what I'd told him. He said "I should have listened". I threw up my hands laughing and said "I tried to tell you!" (cuz I'm never NOT the one to say "I told you so!" so if you don't want to hear me say it.... don't bring it up.) Seems they're having problems and he was looking a tad stressed. *sigh*.

To be fair though, I've seen married couples hit the skids when the cute baby turns two. It happens to everyone. The Sun being aged two is about when my life and relationship with IFKALP became unbearable. So I told my friend that if he made it past this point, to when his daughter turns about 6 or 7, then they'll make it and it will be OK. What I didn't tell him is that his wife has NO intention of letting him go. He's in for good. He's going to be looking stressed for awhile.

end of part 1, cuz I really should look like I'm working here...
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