October 4, 2000
Tape Delay

[My horoscope today: "A conversation with a partner or mate could turn the tide of events in your life. Risk making a stronger commitment to another person."]

David and I watched the Presidential debate twice last night: once in "real" time, broadcast live, and then once again when a local network affiliate ran a tape-delayed version, after the A's playoff game.

Actually, we didn't so much "watch" the debate as we watched around it ... bits and pieces of it, here and there. I am notoriously disinterested in politics: just ask The Oregon Boyfiend. And David is your typical channel-hopping/ remote-control-wielding/ power-mad GUY, spinning around the dial like a frantic soccer mom in a shopping mall parking lot, looking for a place to park the Explorer. (Plus we were both more interested in catching the season premiere of "That 70's Show" than in either the playoff game OR the debate.) We watched just enough of the festivities to satisfy our curiousity -- George W. looking like a deer caught in the headlights, Al Gore like one of those audio-animatronic robots at Disneyland -- and that was plenty.

Besides: we knew we would be seeing the debate over and over and over again ... thanks to the magic of tape delay.

The funny thing about tape delays, of course, is that by the time you see them, you're no longer viewing current events. You're viewing history. Even if it happened ten minutes (or ten seconds) ago, if you're watching it via tape delay, you're watching the past.

*FootNotes* is a lot like that.

There is rarely less than a 24-hour delay between the events I write about and their initial "broadcast," here on the website. Such is the nature of the Internet journaling process. I live it. I begin to compose it in my head. I outline it. I scribble it, during slow moments throughout the day. I come home and type it. I edit it. I upload it, just before bed.

You read it. The next day, usually ... just in time for it to be obsolete already.

By the time you're reading about my daughter's pregnancy (and my dazed and huffy declaration that nobody is going to call me "Grandma"), I'm already knitting booties and buying pregnancy manuals.

By the time you're reading about the mysterious missing divorce decree, I've already found three copies of it in my mailbox.

By the time you're reading that David is "distant" and "sad" about our Unfortunate Temporary Poverty, he is already back to talking about buying a house someday.

And by the time you read this journal entry, I may or may not be another step closer to becoming Mrs. Secra Ю僱êrvØ¡.

Unfortunately you'll have to wait for the tape delay to find out.

I feel like I am at the midpoint of a lot of important stuff right now.

Midpoint of my life. Midpoint of my career. Midpoint of my menstrual cycle. Midpoint of my week. Midpoint of my journal entry.

(Midpoint of my sandwich.)

It's not a bad place to be. At midpoint, you're far enough into the process to feel like you're making some progress (and you can look back and see where most of the big mistakes were made) ... but not so far that there isn't time to fix things that need fixing.

Or to change gears completely.

Dear David:

Did I seem unresponsive in the car this morning, when we were driving to work and you were laying all of that Big Intense Important stuff on me, about marriage and money and careers and the future?

I didn't mean to be.

I was just a little tired: you kept me up past my bedtime last night. Plus I'm catching a cold.  Plus I've got another four full days of Franz before he leaves on his vacation. Plus I've learned that sometimes it's better not to respond impulsively ... especially when I'm not feeling 100% up to snuff.

Especially when it's something as big and intense and important as our future that we're talking about.

Believe me, though, when I tell you that I was listening to every word you said this morning, even if it looked like I was just sitting there, staring out the window and chewing on my thumbnail.  I ESPECIALLY heard the part where you said "I want to get married to you. And I want to get married to you pretty SOON."  In fact, those particular words have been echoing in my heart like a song, all morning long.

I think I can answer some of your questions now, though. I've had some coffee. I took a cold pill. (Later -- maybe during the People Development Committee Meeting -- I can catch up on my sleep.)

You asked me, Do I want to buy a house with you someday? Yes, I do. And if we can't afford a house, an igloo would be fine. Or a teepee. Or a mud hut. Or a couple of cardboard boxes and a sleeping bag, under the freeway offramp.

As long as we're together.

You asked me, Do I want to live in Alameda? Sure. Alameda's great. I love Alameda. Alameda is where the true love of my heart lives ... and it's where I've been happier than I've ever been, in my whole life. But San Francisco would be OK, too. Or Oakland -- as long as it's not one of the *scary* parts of Oakland. Or Walla Walla, WA. Or Boring, Oregon. Or France.

As long as we're together.

You asked me, What do I want to do about my job? I don't know. Maybe I'll stick it out with the Totem Pole Company for another six months, after all, and get that full TWO years of Executive Assitude on my résumé. Maybe I'll just stay until the holidays are over. Maybe I'll quit tomorrow and go back to being a carefree receptionist. Or a cashier. Or a circus midget. I don't know. And then you asked me, What do I think you should do about YOUR job? I don't know that, either. That's something only you can decide, really, although I've already said that I will support you in any decision you make. I meant it.

As long as we're together.

You asked me, Do I think I want to spend the rest of my life with you? Do you make me happy? Has my life gotten better, since we've been together? Am I glad I moved to California? Do I know what I'd be getting into if we make this permanent? Am I prepared to deal with the legal/financial consequences of marriage, and all of the baggage we'd both be bringing along? Will I go see your attorney with you, and ask the questions that need to be asked? Yes, yes, yes, HELL yes, yes, yes and yes, yes, yes, and yes. 

As long as we're together.

I love you with all my heart, Honey. You're *it* for me. You are my life's partner, and my heart's desire, and I can't imagine a future without you in it.

Will you marry me?


P.S. This does NOT get you off the hook. I still want a mushy, romantic, "spontaneous" proposal, preferably with you on one creaky bended knee. And preferably when I am least expecting it. (October 30th would be nice. Or my birthday. Or New Year's Eve. Or tomorrow. I don't care. I'll even promise to look surprised.)

As long as we're together.

two years ago: lies the bottle told me
[first public acknowledgement of my alcoholism]

throw a rock