Where do you intend to go
“Where do you intend to go with your dirty dress?”
- Jimmy Eat World
I always wondered what might make me change my mind and begin using private entries on domesticat. Now I know. Given a couple of days past the actual incident, I’m calmer than I was before, but the root of the matter still makes me sad.
A couple of days ago, a member of my family got in touch with a friend of hers, because she didn’t like something I said on this site. She was either unaware that he and I are still on friendly terms despite their falling-out earlier this year, or has forgotten. He thought I might want to know about her request, and relayed the gist of it to me:
“Seems [name] was upset about content or whatnot on [domesticat] and wanted to know how easy it would be to get the site taken offline….I was asked to hack your site and remove some comments that were not well received.”
This has happened before, and it was uglier the first time. The first time, it was my sister, and I’ll admit that the comment I made was acerbic, and mean - but, unfortunately, true. Nevertheless, I learned a lesson. In the years since then, I have spoken about my family only in the most circumspect terms, and done my best to make sure that I don’t provide easily-searchable words and phrases about them.
I recognize it is revisionist to speak only of the good things, but I continue to do it. I realize that speaking publicly about many of the negative events in our past will do nothing to make them right, and only serves to cause to pick at a scab that is, truly, beginning to heal. Jeff has taught me many things in the time we’ve been together, but perhaps the most important has been that confrontation and acknowledgment is not always the correct recipe for healing past hurts.
Sometimes confrontation and acknowledgment will do nothing but cause more hurt, and the best answer for everyone involved is simply to walk away. Walk away and start over.
I did that five years ago.
I’ll be the first to admit that I love my family dearly, but I’ve come to treasure my physical distance from them. The distance between them—the overwhelming close-knit, gossiping and prying and loving and judging pack of them—and me, has meant that I’ve been given - silence. The opportunity to hear my own voice warble alone for the first time.
That has meant—everything—yet I find myself unwilling or unable to talk about why. An interesting dichotomy, given that I started this site three years ago with the admirable, yet unrealistic, goal of ‘saying everything.’
Three years and multiple Major Life Events™ later, I know how unrealistic a goal that was. The idea of ‘saying everything’ needs to be restrained, reserved for the freer space of fiction writing; some truths, no matter how blatant, cannot be said in a nonfiction manner without hurting those that I truly care about.
But sometimes, the urge is very strong, indeed.
* * * * *
There are other details that I often leave out here. For example, I don’t like the idea of broadcasting to the general public when I plan to be away from home for a long period of time, because even though my full name and mailing address are obscured from the general public, it is not unfindable. I realize it’s a silly precaution, but there are some lines I’m just not willing to cross on a public site.
But, hey, we’re all friends here.
I’ll confess that it’s a bit of a relief, after all these years writing for this site, to be able to metaphorically look over my shoulder, see that the coast is clear, and type the phrase my friends have heard me say many times: “I love my family, but they are insane.”
So, while I’m confessional and have gotten you to use your quarto account for a change, let me tell you what’s really got me stoked right now: my yearly I’ll-Fly-Away trips in December. (Normally done in October, but scheduling conflicts happen!) The plane tickets are booked, and the anticipatory squealing has already begun.
On Wednesday, December 3, I fly to Phoenix, Arizona. I’ll be there for nearly a week, hanging out with Matt, Kara, and Danny. My plans involve little more than traipsing about to see lovely rock formations, making goo-goo noises at Danny, and staying up late for truly raucous gossip sessions with Kara.
On Tuesday, December 9, I’ll be stowing my things in Jeff’s bag (hey Jeff, can I borrow your bag for these trips? Please?) and heading off for a completely different experience: a week in LA with Noah and David, to a little apartment on the beach. There are rumors of beachside reading and merlot-fueled Xbox wars beginning to trickle into my inbox. There are dark and secret rumors floating about that I—the domesticat who is legendarily cranky about being photographed—plan to sit for a photography session with Noah.
I’d tell you not to put any stock in the rumors, but that would be a lie.
I have visions of taking a mp3 player and a truly salacious novel out to the beach, and working on a pink little sunburn while listening to Jason Mraz noodle over a guitar line.
I can think of few better ways to spend the coin of a December day.
I will fly home on Tuesday, December 16, in time to rejoin my fellow geeks for the December 17th premiere of Return of the King. Cheesy reasoning, yes, but after two years of attending opening-night showings with friends, I can think of no better way to spend the night of December 17th than to complete the trilogy with friends.
We will dart away to Arkansas for Christmas, assuming the weather holds, and return a bit more quickly than we normally do, for on the 30th I’m off again.
New Year’s Eve sees me winging to Colorado, hopefully dodging the worst of wintry weather on my way to spend the week of New Year’s with Chris and Jake. Plans are hazy, but they seem to involve much movie-watching, salsa-eating, some solo yarn shopping (I try not to inflict this on friends) and perhaps the lure of a pair of cheap seats for the Avs-Wild game on January 4.
January 6 will find me home, apologizing to the cats.
I’m only a little excited. Really.