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.

Comments

Ames, I've told you stories about my crazy family. I can't remember if I told you about the last time I saw my grandfather. That was in April, and events of that day led me to the decision to not invite him to my wedding. I know how you feel. As for travel...yea for travel! I've got Toronto in a couple of weeks, then a brief respite home before jetting to Colorado. I call it a recon mission for your trip New Year's. Mucho, mucho photography. I think you've earned the travel.

Speaking as someone who has moved her blog twice now in an effort to stop my mum reading it, I can *totally* understand the crazy family thing. I love my mum - but sometimes she drives me utterly potty and while I realise it probably makes me a bad daughter, I really do think that moving 600 miles away was the best thing I could ever have done - for both of us, although she would probably disagree. It's a shame that you feel you have to make entries private, but I can understand why you have done. Enjoy your trips - I'm very jealous - beachside reading sounds wonderful!

Good lord, does this one hit close to home. I don't know what it says about me that as soon as "the family incident" happened this summer, within minutes I was already thinking of whether I'll write about it when I bring my site back ... something I can give myself extremely good reasons both for and against doing. Part of me needs it for a thousand reasons, and the other part... well, what you said. I love my family. But they are batshit insane out of their fucking minds. But they are my family and I love them more than anything else. But they are... etc.

Amy, My family could be on Springer. I dated - ok had sex with - my sister's husband (before they were married and she was still married to someone else) only to find out that they (my sister and he) were secretly carrying on an affair. They have since married, and we don't speak -although I doubt she knows...big burden. I have nephews with serious drug problems; mental illness abounds...and yet I don't blog because I can't tell the stories as well as they deserve. I have an ex-husband that is sort of Manson-like, not Marilyn...and well, a wacky life - yet appear totally normal...I think. Please, while in LA, venture north - at least a little, and breathe in some N.Calif. air for me that is not smoggy. Colorado, Arizona, California - three of the best states to see! Enjoy!

I completely understand the desire to be as transparent and uncensored as possible. I, myself, ran into similar problems just a few weeks ago when I posted a photograph taken at the company offices showing me using my notebook while sitting inside a large wooden box, with the caption "Finally, after years of complaining, I get my own office." Days before, I'd posted my fantasy of what I'd do if I was suddenly rich, and I mentioned that I'd buy into the partnership, and expand the company. I was called into the president's office, told that, although he couldn't order me to stop writing about the company, he wanted me to because "that's exactly the kind of thing the [competition] would use against us." Followed by the obligatory, non-blogger's mantra: "Why would you want to post such personal things for all the world to see?" So, I took the offending entries out, I'm in the middle of retooling the site to be much more static and non-offensive ("These are my kitty-cats. Aren't they cuuuute?"), and then I registered my former blog name as my domain name using a proxy and plan to resurrect the blog using a pseudonym. I'll never be able to post anything too specific again, but I'll at least be able to speak freely, albeit in generalities.

I find myself not posting as much because I don't want to offend anybody. Maybe that's not the way to go about it, but it is the way I have looked at it.

Yeah, my family is also batshit insane at times, and I wish I could write about it on my web page. But nope nope nope. (I used to do that on Discordia, mainly because Discordia didn't have a public search engine.) Actually... some of the stuff that happened last time I went home -- I'll tell someone about it *eventually*. Maybe. I just wish that I would have taken my car instead of rode with other people so I didn't hear a certain conversation. Most recently, I've really wanted to vent on my site about the completely insane people that I run into with my paper job. Well, they aren't insane, just a bunch of weasles. But I refrained from talking too much about it, and I'm glad I did because it wasn't too long after I almost started venting to a friend of mine in church that I found out that one of the friends of the weasels goes to my church. Never know who you can vent to when the topic is local politics. I resorted to calling Heather (the new Heather on my website) because she doesn't care and doesn't know anyone around here who does. Well, I can vent to anyone I want about stuff in my town. But I cover stuff in a township a few miles from here, so that's why I'm trying to maintain journalistic respectability when it comes to *their* local politics. (And I report everything fairly in my articles). But sometimes I sit back and it's all I can do to keep from standing up in the middle of the board meeting and screaming at some of these idiots.

Wow...this one hits home too. I think a large part of the reason that I value my "chosen family" as much as I do is that I've almost completely severed ties with my "real family." Despite only living three hours drive from my parents, I only see them about three times a year. I prefer it that way. It is much easier to love them if the wounds from my childhood are not constantly being re-opened. As for my extended family, I hate to say it but the majority of them represent that which I most despise about the human race. Consequently, I wish to in no way be associated with them.