November 14, 2000
Somebody To Kick Around


A couple of years ago -- back when David and I were just starting out on the bumpy road to romance, and our online audience was still evenly divided between the Wow! What a fabulous couple! faction and the Wow! Would I like to toss their bed out a twentieth-story window (with the two of them in it)! faction -- I received a scathing e-mail from an online acquaintance.

At one time, this woman and I had been friends. Good friends, actually: we ran in the same AOL circles, we shared secrets, we vied for a lot of the same cyber *attention-sources* ... she saved my life ... you know, the usual cyber grrrlfriend stuff. But for various reasons, by then our relationship had soured beyond the point of no return.

(What can I say? Cyber happens.)

"So tell me something," she wrote contemptuously. "You have cute little names for your ex-husband and for all your ex-boyfriends. What 'cute little name' will you have for David when you get tired of him?"

She was referring, of course, to my endless blathering about the Ex-Husband (who I used to meanly describe as "The Anti-Husband")  ... The Doc ... Oregon Tim ... The Balding Aluminum Sales Guy  ... ad infinitum. The whole wacky cast of characters in the ongoing saga of *SecraTerri: Girl Done Tragically, Hideously Wrong (Through No Fault of Her Own, Of Course).*

I don't remember if I responded to her e-mail or not. I was only a couple of weeks sober at that point, and I hadn't cultivated a lot of emotional control yet. If I did write back to her -- and if she wasn't blocking me yet -- I'm sure I was hostile and defensive, and I probably turned it around and made it her fault somehow, and I probably said something along the lines of Who the fudk died and made you Ann Landers?

And I'm sure that I defended to the teeth my budding romance with David.

*I* knew, from the very first moment I saw him in the airport, that he was the one. I knew we would be together for the rest of our lives. I knew I would never get "tired" of him, or make fun of him, or make up derisive little names for him, or do anything to deliberately hurt him. I knew all of this stuff in my heart. I just hadn't convinced the rest of the world yet.

History, I'm happy to say, has proven me correct on this one.

Yes, I call him "Doofus" once in a while. (You're supposed to remove the plastic wrap from the pizza BEFORE you put it into the oven. OK?)  And yes, sometimes I tease him about his stoopid *guy* behavior. (Wow. You bought another forty-gallon jug of Pert Plus?) And yes, I occasionally write the semi-embarrassing journal entry about his bald spot or his droopy Fruit of the Looms or his snoring. But it's all done in a spirit of love, and of humor ... and he knows that, and he's OK with that ... and to this day we remain the most connected couple I know, short of that couple in England who had themselves surgically sutured-together at the nipples.

Still, from the comfortable vantage point of hindsight, I can understand the point my former friend was making. I do enjoy having someone to kick around a little. I freely admit it. I used to do it in the chat room all the time, poking fun at the Ex-Husband and all the things about our marriage that used to drive me insane. Later I did it in e-mail, using The Doc (and his conveniently irritable bowels) as the object of my extremely vocal, extremely public disaffection. Now I do it here on the website ... with my boss.

What can I tell you? I do enjoy a moving target.  Preferably one with testicles.

Which leads me to wonder: if I go on this job interview tomorrow afternoon (an interview that I am absolutely SICK with fear about, incidentally) ... and if manage to sufficiently *wow* them with my résumé and my cute new suit and my vast reserves of poise and grooviness and articululit articulatio articulativicity good-speakingness ...

... and if I miraculously manage to not spill anything or knock anything over or fall down or vomit during the interview ...

... and if I get this fabulous new job, and I come back to the Totem Pole Company and triumphantly give my notice, and two weeks later I pack up my TotPhotos and my wind-up chicken and my plastic koala bear plate, and I get into that elevator and say goodbye to Franz forever and ever and ever (until he calls the next day to scream about his stoopid missing fabric swatches) ...

... who in the world am I going to kick around, here on the website?

I'll be fresh out of assholes for the first time in two years.

Any volunteers?

throw a rock