Relationships: A Primer

I want to start a short series on here, given the overwhelmingly ambivalent feedback from twitter, that details the nature of relationships. Not just romantic relationships, but all of them: family, friends, spouses, children, strangers, even relationships with concepts. This might get a little weird, just roll with it. I don’t know that I’ll say anything especially novel, but Allie Brosh said here, you have to sift through some pebbles before you find gold.

I remember my early life as a series of opposing relationships. My religious schooling contrasted with a secular home life. Mom was always around, Dad was usually at work. I was either the happiest kid on earth, or absolutely miserable. I think most kids are like that to a certain extent, and I’m sure my vulnerability to depression didn’t stabilize anything. As time goes on, all of those have evened out, but my relationships still feel very polar.

As my mom-by-marriage recently said, the only options are hell yes or absolutely not. So, let’s spend a few posts talking about how that’s played out in my life. Even if we don’t learn anything, we can have fun on the journey.



2 thoughts on “Relationships: A Primer

  1. shelly says:

    I’m looking forward to this conversation. I choose the word “conversation” intentionally, because the topic of relationships is always bouncing around in my head, and I’m always talking to myself about the people in my life. Am I a decent mom, wife, daughter, teacher, colleague, Christian? Generally, I’m afraid I’m abysmal at all these, but on occasion there are moments of deep satisfaction and realization that I have actually done something right, which is where the polarity comes in. I totally agree that most of my life is “hell yes or absolutey no.” Personally I’d like to find a comfortable place in the middle, but that doesn’t seem to be an option. I will say straight up I’m a humanist, and I sincerely believe “nice” matters, and if I’m going to err, I want to err on the side of giving people the benefit of the doubt. Thanks for blogging. Thanks for making me laugh, cry, think, and feel.

  2. Claire says:

    When it comes to relationships: friendships, people to hang out with, my gut often tells me hell yes or definitely no, but I’ve found over and over and always to my surprise, that the more time I spend with the definitely no’s I find them interesting, personable, kind, and at least people I could occasionally sit and chat with or work/play with in group situations. I tend to be- no- I am a reverse snob. If you are too pretty, too rich, and sometimes too clearly of the educated elite variety, my gut says hell no. But over and over and over, I’ve been wrong. The one behavior I cannot tolerate is true snobbiness, and that includes all the major -isms: classism (my particular pet peeve because it touches too close to home), racism, homophobia-ism (oops) and sexism (although I have spent my entire life around old well intentioned guys whose sexism is a function of age and culture. And their sexism seems relatively mild, mainly because they are relatively powerless.) Do you see how I ramble? This is a complicated conversation requiring a boatload of context, stipulations, addendums, exclusions.

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