Last night Shobhit proved to be a bit of an angry drunk. It was unusual, unsettling, and had dark implications for our future. It wasn't especially extreme, mind you -- and to be fair, in the end, I was the one who exhibited the most extreme behavior -- but it still struck me as at least somewhat significant.
Last night was actually only the second time Shobhit and I found a public SAG Awards viewing party to attend -- the first was in 2014, at the Regal L.A. Life Stadium 14 multiplex movie theatre in Los Angeles. That year was the first Shobhit was eligible to vote for, thanks to AFRTRA merging with SAG, and as he was already only an AFTRA member, this merger automatically made him a SAG member. And this viewing party, with free soft drink and free soda, was actually quite fun -- the highlight of that particular visit to L.A., in fact, which was otherwise unusually uneventful.
There are several reasons we did not watch the SAG Awards in 2015, 2016 or 2017. In 2015 we were actually taking our last weekend trip to Las Vegas. In 2016 we were not even together, still a few weeks from my Valentine's Day visit to L.A. that year. By 2017, Shobhit was back in Seattle permanently, and we were unaware of any local viewing parties. For some reason Shobhit didn't think to do then what he did this year: look on the SAG-AFTRA website for local viewing parties officially associated with the union -- I didn't even realize they had such local parties across the country. And, indeed, this year's was in a place in Greenwood called Naked City Brewery & Taphouse. Free for SAG-AFTRA members; $10 entrance for their guests; one drink included; open bar of "light appetizers," maybe a third of which were actually vegetarian, which was plenty.
We went back and forth as to whether to go, as Shobhit wanted to avoid driving if he could, and we wondered if maybe they'd play the awards ceremony at either Diesel or Queer Bar. I tried calling Diesel to ask and there was no answer; Queer Bar didn't even open until 4:00.
Shobhit and I took a walk in the middle of the afternoon, during most of which time the rain stopped and there were even breaks in the clouds, to Volunteer Park and back. It was actually a rather pleasant walk, including areas of Volunteer Park that we'd never seen -- who knew they had two tennis courts there? -- until we were a few blocks from Trader Joe's on our way back and the rain started picking up and so did the wind. I was glad I brought my umbrella but I also had to be careful how I held it. Anyway, it was on the way back that Shobhit finally made up his mind and said why don't we just go to Naked City.
Shobhit wanted to order something off the menu, primarily to make it easier to leave a generous tip to the wait staff who he knew would be far under-tipped by people attending a party with so many amenities included. He tipped something like 40% on the full value of the two drinks we had plus the sampler he ordered, which included about six smaller glasses of beer.
It was these beers that was how Shobhit got tipsy. He estimated that it was roughly the equivalent of three shots of liquor, and he's been a lightweight with alcohol for a while. At first, though, it actually put him in a very good mood -- kind of annoyingly so. At the very end everyone in attendance, maybe twenty or thirty people, was asked to crowd together for a group photo, and during this time Shobhit got very handsy with me in a way he only gets when he's drinking, was laughing way too hard at too many things, and was just slightly obnoxious -- but in a way, really, that only I noticed or cared about. I learned long ago that when he's around other actors, they're all so used to otherwise odd or obnoxious behaviors that he never fazes them.
It was on the drive home that things too a sharp turn for the worse. Shobhit had actually tied for the winning ballot of winner predictions, which was a three-way tie, but one of the people had left. Then a raffle was drawn to determine the ultimate winner since a tie had not been counted on, and the other guy won. When we left, Shobhit still did some slight schmoozing, and he was given a tote bag with a few small items in it -- a tumbler cup, a pen, a mouse pad -- because they felt bad that he didn't get anything for his tie-win. He told me in the car about how his only reason for not voting for Elizabeth Moss for The Handmaid's Tale (other than it being too close to a reality we seem to be inching closer to, something else he's been stuck on regarding that show) was because she is a Scientologist. When I told him that was completely irrational, his version of justifying it was to talk about how most people in America vote irrationally. So why shouldn't he, I guess? What the fuck?
The conversation about this devolved until I directly told him I did not want to discuss it anymore. Shobhit brazenly ignored what I said and just kept talking about it. I had to say three times I did not want to talk about it, and every time he completely ignored me. Note, however, that he was also a little drunk.
When things got really bad was when we reached the intersection of Olive and Broadway. Shobhit was convinced, probably still is even now, that I started pulling out into the intersection while the light was still red. He quickly sucked air in through his teeth like he was in a panic, even though as I recall, there were already people walking across the crosswalk in the same direction; there was no traffic oncoming; and most importantly, when I looked straight ahead, the light was green.
I told him the light was green, he insisted it was not. Back and forth, like this, like a couple of morons. Now, I will concede that I could have somehow missed something he saw. I'm wrong about things all the time (and frankly, I admit to being wrong exponentially more often than Shobhit does). But how about we look at this in simple terms of probabilities? If I'm sober and he's not, which one of us is more likely to be seeing things clearly?
I'm not sure how I could have handled this better, but I did not handle it well. I feel like the only alternative is just to give up to Shobhit's altered state of reality, and I can't accept that. He kept going on and on as we drove up John (that's what Olive becomes on the other side of Broadway) toward 15th, until I literally screamed at the top of my lungs, like a fucking bona fide lunatic, "I'M DONE WITH THIS CONVERSATION! GOD DAMN IT!" Seriously I screamed it so loud I kind of hurt my throat.
On the upside, for once, it got him to shut the fuck up, and he was silent until we reached home. Note to self!
Of course, then, as soon as the car was parked, this man, this person I am actually married to, said to me, "I don't want you driving for the next few months." Like I was a fifteen-year-old being put on restriction. You have no idea how much I wanted to say to him right then and there, "Go fuck yourself, Shobhit." Instead I said, "Yeah, okay," dripping with sarcasm. A better response? Whatever. We all know he's going to be acting as though he never said that within, like, a day. But should I be acting as though he never said that? Should that be okay? I suppose my screaming like I did should not exactly be okay either.
We were home shortly before 8:00 and I did not talk to him for the rest of the evening, but for one sentence. Ivan was in the living room with headphones in when we got home, clueless to Shobhit's and my tensions. I was in the bedroom when he asked on Facebook Messenger if I'd like to watch his Netflix copy of Evita with him. Honestly, that movie -- Madonna or not -- I could take it or leave it. It was still something to do. But I went out into the living room to ask Shobhit about it, knowing he would not want to give me any concessions. I said he didn't have to watch it if he didn't want to, and Shobhit's immediate and predictable response was, "I don't want to." I was then in the bedroom for the rest of the evening, tried to read a while, and fell asleep just after 9:00.
Before that, I had to message Ivan back that it wasn't in the cards tonight because Shobhit and I just got in a huge fight. Predictably, Ivan was like Ooohhhh, what happened???, eager for details. I gave him a few, and he wrote:
Ivan: You two should go for a long drive and talk about it
Me: you're an asshole
Ivan: It could really help
Why not give it a try?
Sometimes I think Ivan observes us like he's watching an episode Desperate Housewives, all but sitting with a bucket of popcorn in his lap.
I was told recently, about Shobhit, "No one else would put up with his shit." But there is a critical element missing from such a supposed observation: they would if they were in love with him.
This much is true: Shobhit is the sole source of stress in my life. He's it, period, the end. The irony is that if we ever split up, the amount of stress in my life would multiply exponentially. Where do you draw the line between comfort and what you can't abide? These behaviors are not constant. I have friends who have been in relationships where they retreated into submission because they felt so continuously battered emotionally, or they just resigned themselves to an indefinite lack of connection with a spouse. Neither is really the case with Shobhit. These things ebb and flow. I've had another friend say recently, "I'm a Shobhit fan," even knowing the ways he can behave, and I really appreciated that. Some people actually do understand why I stay with him. To someone who says "No one else would put up with his shit," I could hit below the belt and reply, "That attitude might explain why you're single."
That said, a line still needs to be drawn somewhere, doesn't it? I'm still feeling pretty strongly that I need to start seeing a therapist. I emailed one a couple of months ago and they never got back to me, which did not strike me as the best reflection of them -- although I suppose there could have been any number of reasons for it. I need to learn better coping mechanisms for someone being irrationally belligerent. The way things are now being the status quo is less and less acceptable to me.
I approach the idea of leaving Shobhit with basically the same approach I had to dating him to begin with: I did not really connect with him until about our third date, and that was because I felt that rejecting him before then would not have been fair -- one date is not giving someone enough of a chance, when there's nothing obviously wrong with them. I just wasn't convinced of anything, of any "spark," after our first date. A good many other people, people with dating experience that I did not (and still do not) have, would have dismissed him out of hand early on. But I chose to get to know him a little, and that was what ultimately made me recognize an attraction to him.
In other words, I wasn't interested in giving up so easily. Neither am I now. I've said this many times and likely will many times again: couples who make it long term are the ones where both of them refuse to give up. I'm not going to lie, I think about giving up just about every time we have conflicts of this magnitude. But if everyone threw in the towel after enduring some truly ridiculous bullshit, everyone in the world would be single. Some people actually like being single, sure. It's not what I want to be. And in spite of everything I have shared, I still believe that Shobhit is a fundamentally good man, who cares for me deeply, and who is the biggest reason I love the generally very comfortable life I live.
Granted, his insistence that his being so controlling and micromanaging is "because I love you" is not that far off from a guy saying he beats his wife because he loves her. He would do well to think a little about that. The flip side is that, as much as I appreciate the many allies I have, friends who support me in countless numbers, they also have their biases, and they would do well to consider that I'm no angel either.
Last night concerns me in a new way, though. I recently stated that an incident that felt a little like gaslighting was not likely the start of a pattern, and here we have yet another instance of Shobhit and me having different observations of objective reality, taking me one microscopic step closer to questioning my own sanity. This is why I get back to the notion of probability. It concedes that I could have been wrong, but given that I was the sober one, it was not likely. Shobhit acknowledging that is really what I need.
Honestly, just writing all this out was therapeutic in and of itself, and I feel a lot better. Shobhit is actually very understanding of a whole lot of things about me that very few partners ever would be, which largely balances out when the bullshit semi-regularly hits the fan. We were just yesterday also talking about how slutty I enjoy being, after all. Shobhit is not a generally jealous husband. He just has certain behavior issues, just as I do. I do wish he had more of a desire to work on them, but I can't control that. What I can do is make more of an effort to get a handle on my own issues, which, in turn, will inevitably improve his as well. I mean, shit, when I was the only one screaming in the car like a lunatic, which one of us sounds crazier, really?
So let's all just take a deep breath and move on.
[posted 12:17 pm]