Now that I've got you all ready for a cat fight I'm sorry to say, you're in for a disappoint. If it makes you feel any better, it turns out I'm disappointed too.
Sunday, I sat in the yellow-white happy light of candles writing the original form of this post, when Pandora began to play Natalie Merchant's "Jealousy"and the weather Southern California isn't supposed to have began to beat dreary wet and on my living room windows. The poetic perfection made me smile. It's an appropriate setting and soundtrack for the day after the conversation that started with his question
"What are you doing?"
and my answer,
"I'm blogging about your girlfriend."
Nothing has changed but the conversation hasn't truly ended yet, because, in my adult years, I've learned that dialog can and often should stop and start based on how productive it is in bringing me and another person together rather than whether or not I've gotten my point across, and in this case, by "I've gotten my point across", I'm really saying "he nods his head after I say,
'You agree to buy me jewelry as a manifestation of how clearly you see how much you clearly messed this up. Are we clear?'"
Of course that's my initial reaction. I'm human and while I made the point to my husband that my larger self realizes there is no threat, my biologically programmed female self insists on totalitarian monogamy which, in fairness, is no more than was being asked of me by his very male self, when, for example, one of his buddies asks me to go to a movie. That line-crossing he saw, but for the record, had it been a friend who respected his own wife, I might have wanted to go, which shows you that it wasn't really marital jealousy that was working my nerves. Nor was my husband's stereotypically male relationship myopia.
What been bugging me about this is that even though I know she is worthy of my kindness, even though I am in love very deeply with my husband who I trust and respect only because I do know him so well, and even though this friendship costs me absolutely nothing, and even though I know grace and love makes me happier, always, every time, with great consistency, I think I still want my husband, of his own volition, to have called this woman to punish her for not wanting to be my friend too and I think I want him to have felt embarrassed, spanked and humbled as he called her because "he clearly messed this up."
I was most bothered by the fact that I wanted someone other than me to feel bad and I wanted vengeance At least as far as the blogosphere, I got it. I was right and good. She was wrong and bad. "Oh hell no he didn't!" "Girl, you ain't got to take that from no man." , things my sister and I say to each in jest about men.
So why did that makes me feel a little bit small, then a lot small?
Finding grace is a work in progress that is a lot like double digging. If you garden, you know what that is and what that means. If you don't, it's removing the stuff you see to get to the stuff you don't, in the case of gardening, inferior soil. In the case of myself as a human being, anything that doesn't serve me in the highest sense. While this friendship doesn't exactly serve me in apparent ways, jealousy, pettiness, vengeance don't either and those are things I am inclined to dig into and replace with something holy, with something that nurtures rather than punishes, that builds rather than tears down, that creates rather than humiliates.
If you go down to the very root of your jealousies, your dislikes, your anger, there's always a seed of self loathing or even more insidious, self doubt What you are cannot be hurt. That's what we forget. To think that we as brilliant creatures are something that can be dinged and knicked in any meaningful way is absurd. You may be disappointed that someone else forgot themselves and felt the need to attack you in some way, but you aren't really effected unless you take that story of "attack" and attach it to your own definition of yourself. Attack implies battle, which there cannot be with only one person participating. Mine is a not quite tender enough head in need of a little more cooking but I'm done with smallness. For now.
I have this budding bodhisattva to thank for the final form of this post. It was a hard post to write but it got ever so slightly easier after I read a comment he left on the "husband's girlfriend" post.