Posts tagged ‘W’

February 22, 2011

A question of freedom

by f

Flickr, via Jim Linwood

My friend S’s hit a rough patch. On our way home from the city today, we talked a little about it. Then, she asked me a startling question:

“Which would you rather have,” she asked, “personal freedom, or financial freedom?”

I asked her what she meant by that.

“I have financial freedom,” she said, “and you have a certain degree of personal freedom. You can go and do what you like during the day when your folks aren’t around to interfere.”

“I guess I do,” I said, staring out into the highway abyss.

S has financial freedom, but work eats up her time. She’s on call throughout. I don’t have those constraints. I can tell work to fuck off. And often, I do.

But I don’t have any money. I am always at my parents’ beck and call. They can trash me, my things, denigrate me in public, and use me as a whipping post. They interrupt me constantly. On weekends and the days that I are home, I feel so miserable I can’t think. I have to beg for permission to do anything.

Often, my privileges are taken away on a whim. I am subject to an insane level of scrutiny because I live at home. I earn enough to have small bursts of spending money, but not enough even to afford a small room to myself, and that is how I fund my daily activities. Anything beyond that, I can’t help myself.

So what kind of life do I prefer? Uncertainty but day-to-day contentment? Or security and general dissatisfaction?

I often thought to myself that I’d trade the small bursts of free happiness for a life of security. Now, I’m just not sure what I want. I have no idea how to answer that question.

However, it’s made me think a lot about my daily activities and how I live my life. I know I’m unusual. I fill my time with people that I like and do things I want, but I have very little material freedom.


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January 8, 2011

Please stop breathing down my neck.

by f

I hate it when W comes over my house.

My parents like having him over because he does stuff around the house. Shelf to be installed? Brother to tutor? Opinion to be solicited? W’s their man. Whenever he makes his once-a-month weekend stay at our place, the family monopolizes him. That’s great.

My mother makes things very difficult for me while he’s here. I cannot talk to him or engage with him in any meaningful way. My every action is scrutinized. Not even a single moment of mine goes noticed, nor a single detail. My mother is meticulous and doesn’t let any of that go. It’s a blistering silent interrogation process so horrible I can’t even begin to describe it.

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November 12, 2010


by f

When I read the following on Slate, the first thing I thought was, “I’m not like that. I don’t want a ring. I’m not crazy about expensive things.”

But, you know, that would be a lie. Or at least a part-lie. I’m sure I’m not like that now. But I wasn’t always.

I have a confession to make.

When W and I were in college, I really wanted to have some kind of physical momento for our relationship. I wanted a piece of jewelry. Not like a ring, per se, but anything I could take with me. To me, my relationship was like fiction. It didn’t exist when I was at home with my parents. I couldn’t do anything about it. Lots of other girls get to bring their significant others home. But forget me; my parents would have stopped paying my college tuition.

I told him that I wanted a piece of jewelry.

Now I know I was being dumb, but …

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October 18, 2010

A wonderful monday

by f

from Rutgers Student Life

I just got back from an excellent event at the old alma mater. (Dan Savage! I think I nearly died from the star shock!)

Tomorrow, I have a free morning, so I’ll write about it then. I need some time to think about everything. The talk — the subsequent conversations — everything — has simultaneously excited and drained me.

These are my impressions:

He was impressive in person. After eating bolis with my sisters — plus one boyfriend! — five of us headed over to the student center for the Dan Savage talk.

There were lots of curious people in the audience. The hall was PACKED. You could see everybody there just waiting for him to start talking, and when he did it was a rapidfire humor fest with a lot of salient points about motivation and activism. I felt inspired while listening to him. Throughout the speech I sat on the edge of my seat, straight-backed. I’d intended on taking notes but I couldn’t even stretch to take out my notebook; my memories are clear enough.

And yes, there were three references to Rick Santorum. I counted.

It was the perfect cherry on top of an amazing day I spent with W on our old campus. It’s a beautiful place even if it has moved beyond us. The sadness of the past met the purpose of the present so masterfully I can’t help but view the day through the lens of bittersweet fiction.

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