where we go from here


-- चार हजार एक सौ और साठ-एक --

I suppose I should have thought more about how the way I started yesterday's DLU could be read as a threat, as opposed to me merely brainstorming my options for avoiding a worst-case scenario. I never claimed to be perfect, you know.

I still stand by everything I said, mind you -- the most pertinent of them being that I was going to give it some time, see if things work out in any way, and in all likelihood they would. The target of what I was writing about, much as he claims to put logic in front of emotion, naturally reacted selectively. There was a lot of information in that entry. Shobhit said at one point last night that he felt I had already made the decision to leave him. I thought I made it pretty clear I had not.

The first thing he said when I got home, actually, was, "I don't like what you wrote in your journal." What a surprise! Did he think I expected him to be ecstatic? And, although I will admit that some of it could have been molded better to come across as less hostile, I feel today that it was worth doing. Why? Because it seemed to wake him up a little. He finally had a real discussion with me. I don't feel like we necessarily got anywhere when it comes to his behaviors I have a problem with it, but at least he was talking to me about it rather than literally dismissing me with shrugs.

Laney told me she thinks Shobhit may need antidepressants. She has extensive experience with having a clinically depressed partner (that would be Mac, from when they were together like a decade ago) and knows what it's like to deal with it. I don't know for certain if Shobhit is clinically depressed -- he would need a diagnosis that I am not qualified to make -- but when he says things like "From my perspective, my life is over," that doesn't seem like a good sign.

Shobhit sent Faith the link to that entry, via text, right after I got home. He was in the midst of texting her about it and, presumably, had just recently read the entry. There's a bit of irony to this, as I actually suggested in my entry that he call her, and that perhaps she could talk some sense into him. Instead, she immediately got angry at me, on his behalf. One of the things she mentioned was that my problem with that he said to Danielle "seems like small potatoes considering all that's going on" in the world -- as if I need some perspective. She may have a point. But with all due respect to her, she's also not one of the two people in this relationship, actually experiencing it -- and Shobhit's texts alone did not provide enough context, which is largely the issue I have with Shobhit: his inability to consider things in context, and how some things are more appropriate at certain times and places than others.

Shobhit is the King of False Equivalencies. He does this constantly. When I told him how much it bothers me that he doesn't consider other people's feelings, he brings up how much I drink. Just because I have a higher tolerance for alcohol than he does, he thinks that means I'm an alcoholic -- a term he insists on using no matter how many times I define it for him. "It's what it means to me," he says, as though he can just arbitrarily change the literal meanings of words.

Why don't we take a moment right now just to make this explicitly clear?

Now, there are multiple definitions of "alcoholic," but Shobhit consistently uses it as though I have the disease of alcoholism. From Medical News Today: "'Alcoholic' is a term used to describe someone who suffers from alcoholism - they often have a physical and/or psychological desire to consume alcohol beyond their capacity to control it, regardless of how it affects their life."

There are two key points here. First, I rarely "suffer" from alcohol consumption, and second, I have every capacity to control it. I certainly have no physiological compulsions toward it. Barbara, who is legitimately (and openly) a recovering alcoholic, once made this distinction to me. I told her how I can always tell when I don't need to drink any more, and she said, "That's how I know you're not an alcoholic." When Barbara drank, she regularly blacked out, and never had any sense of when she should stop drinking. I kind of think of Barbara as a better authority on this matter. There is a clear distinction here, which Shobhit refuses to acknowledge, because of his tendency to use false equivalencies as a fundamentally clumsy means of deflection.

I'm sure I have my own fundamentally clumsy means of deflection as well, mind you. I really try to recognize when my own behavior is below par, and I know I don't always succeed. But to insist that I am an alcoholic for no other reason than that I have a higher tolerance for alcohol is fundamentally preposterous. Shobhit gets annoyed when I just make a single drink with two shots instead of one, and it's crazy.

Anyway! Enough about that. Back to Faith. When she was texted him while she read my entry -- and I have no idea if she even read the whole thing; it did go on tangents about the entire weekend's events but then returned to Shobhit -- Shobhit noted to me that she was angry. So I said, "That's fine." And I meant it. "I think you need a friend right now, and she's being a friend." Even if it meant that she had a problem with me, or even talked shit about me, so be it. I still want someone in Shobhit's corner in a way that only a friend who is not a spouse can be. I do wish Shobhit had more close friends. Faith is kind of it for him. Sachin too, but Faith is the only one who can offer the kind of emotional support he sometimes needs. And she is also the only one who sometimes opens his eyes to things I am unable to. I sort of expected that here, and I guess I was wrong, but that's okay. Just as long as she's being a supportive friend.

When I mentioned to Shobhit that Laney suggested looking into antidepressants, he calmly but pretty firmly rejected it immediately: "No." Well, he needs to do something.

And, as it turns out, he is -- something rather unexpected, but which may actually help. He's decided to take a trip to Delhi for Diwali and his birthday -- which, this year, are 11 days apart. Diwali, the Hindu equivalent to our Christmas (in that it's their biggest holiday) and is kind of a cross between that and the 4th of July, is October 19; Shobhit turns 44 on October 30.

Shobhit had already set on this plan before I even got home. He texted me that he was thinking about it while Laney was driving me home last night, but not long after we talked after I got home, he went to his laptop where he had the Expedia itinerary all set to book. I had texted him that I prefer to be with him on his birthday but still agreed that it might be a good idea. He needs both a change of pace and a change of scenery, and this will absolutely provide both. Also, he hasn't been there -- and therefore hasn't visited his other -- since January of last year. This will make it the first year I am not with him for his birthday since 2005 -- when he also was on a trip to India -- but I'll live.

I have no idea what I'll do on my own for Halloween but I'll figure something out. I've had at least one Halloween without Shobhit since that one in 2005 -- in 2013, although I did spend his birthday with him in L.A., he flew to India the next day (which is Halloween) and I flew to Seattle and then spent Halloween in Olympia. If Dad and Sherri are in Olympia this year then that's what I will do again. That’s still up in the air; apparently last year they spent Halloween in Arizona with Brandi and her family. I suspect if nothing else I can hang out with Evan and Elden -- they are huge Halloween fans and are bound to be doing something fun. (Aside: I still have no clue as to a costume.)

All of this does mean I'll be guaranteed to spend some big chunks of money on the mortgage right quick, as Shobhit not working for five days means I'll have to make the mortgage payments for him in October and probably also November. I said that was fine. It's the least I can do, really.

I think his change of pace and scenery will do him good, but also a break from each other for a few weeks might be good for us. We'll get back to missing each other again, and are more likely to be grateful for each other when he gets back.

-- चार हजार एक सौ और साठ-एक --


-- चार हजार एक सौ और साठ-एक --

So just as I mentioned I would in yesterday's entry, I went straight to Laney's after work. It was a gloriously rainy day yesterday, so I had my umbrella and thus did not ride my bike -- it was dry while I walked home though so I was able to read my book while I cut across town to Capitol Hill on Denny Way. It was quite pleasant, although I worked up quite an appetite and by the time I got to Laney's house I had that "just-exercised slighty-desperate hunger" feeling going on.

I had another hour to go, but I also had granola samples from a broker at work and so I broke into one of those bags for just a few bites and that helped a lot. When I got to Laney's, I quickly used her bathroom and then we were off. She really wanted to leave by 5:00 because she knew traffic would be bad at that time.

And to my amazement, we made incredibly good time through Seattle itself -- because Laney has the pass on her car for paying the toll on the 520 Bridge, which has very little traffic since it became a toll bridge. This even cut traffic significantly on I-5 north before turning onto the bridge. I shudder to think what I-90 looked like. Anyway, for a while I was thinking, Wow, we'll get there in no time! And then we hit I-405 and traffic sucked. It took us nearly an hour to get to Woodinville. We arrived at the pizza place at precisely 5:51, which I remember because I had noted the GPS on her phone predicted we would arrive at 5:52.

We were there to join Thayer, Hayley, their two kids Henny and George, and another couple with a kid Henny's age who they are all staying with on their visit back from the home they have now in the Milwaukee area. (Hayley's family lives back there and they moved, if I remember right, last year.) Laney has already visited with them several times but I guess Henny, who is seriously my biggest fan and apparently still regularly asks about me, had asked if she would see me. So, I joined Laney to have dinner with them so Henny could see me. And also to see Hayley and Thayer; it was nice to see them too.

We went to a place called The Pizza Coop. Thayer told us they know the owners. Their pizza was excellent; the wait staff a tad inattentive. The place is in the middle of a strip mall the way these places tend to be in suburban areas. My 10" pizza cost me $18 with tip, but at least I managed to save half of it for lunch at work today. When Shobhit later asked me how much the dinner had been and I told him, he said, "You didn't get a drink?" I did briefly consider getting a cocktail then decided I didn't need one. So there! I think Shobhit was mildly surprised.

Henny, true to form -- she was always this way when Laney and I came to Thayer and Hayley's house -- was shy at first and then super friendly. When we arrived, everyone else was already there; Hayley asked Henny if she wanted to give me a hug and Henny said no. Minutes later, though, from across the table she hollered at me with a huge grin on her face, "HI MATTHEW!!"

Once we were all leaving, Henny then said she wanted to give me a hug. I didn't even realize Hayley was taking pictures of that until she posted them to Facebook this morning. I did know she took the selfie of all six of us, since, you know, I was actually in that one. You know what? I'm not sure I really like how my hair looks from the side. I never see myself from that angle.

It was an overall rather pleasant dinner with very nice people, and then the drive back had far less traffic and so it went by more quickly. I checked Twitter and mentioned the account I follow called @StaceyNightmare, and how often she tweets about her "sex basement." So, I did a Twitter search filtering to her handle along with that phrase, and spent most of the car ride reading those tweets to Laney. I honestly don't think I've ever heard Laney laugh so much or so hard in my life. Now she wants me to send her any new "sex basement" tweets she does. (She also tweets a lot about diarrhea but Laney wasn't as interested in those.) In any case, it was a stupendously entertaining car ride as a result.

And then I was home, and the discussions with Shobhit commenced. After a while the tension was diffused, though, and he was being much more typically affectionate, and I was accepting that as it was. He decided he didn't want to cook his dinner, which he still had not eaten, and so I walked with him to Chpitole where he got himself a veggie burrito. We came back home and did the New York Times crossword puzzle.

I think yesterday's entry was maybe a little misleading in that it made things seem more dire than perhaps they were -- or at least, I wasn't in a particularly terrible emotional state myself; I still felt fine as I usually do. I was just expressing my thoughts related to the fear that I might have to make some decisions that could incrementally lead me closer to such a state. I'm feeling better about it all right now. Granted, that's just today; I could feel different yet again tomorrow. I feel more hopeful today, at least. Shobhit's decision to take that trip, at the very least, indicates some kind of shift in him. He's doing something. I'm not sure how much more I can ask at the moment.

-- चार हजार एक सौ और साठ-एक --