FORGIVE AND FORGET?

I absolutely believe in forgiveness, but forgetting? I remember. I may not remain angry about the things I remember, but I don’t forget them, either. I keep a tally. If you’ve betrayed me, lied to me, broken your promises, not been there when I needed you or sometimes, just not been there at all … I remember. It’s not necessarily a grudge. I can forgive bad behavior, but I’m not stupid enough to let myself get betrayed repeatedly by the same person. Twice gives you an asterisk and a footnote: “Not someone I can depend on.” The footnote is permanent. Thrice? I tend to quietly slip away, if not from the person, then from whatever kind of incident was involved.

Any number of combinations can be extrapolated from this, including:

  1. I may refuse to forgive or forget — and hold a grudge. I’m not planning revenge, but you aren’t invited to my party.
  2. I forgive you. I remember everything and won’t trust you when I know you to be untrustworthy. Not holding a grudge, but I am wary.
  3. I forgive you. I pretend to forget because I love you so much I will let you do what you do because that’s just you and you can’t help it. Every now and again, I’ll get really mad about it but real love wins.
  4. I forgive you but I remember everything. No grudge — except I never want to see you again. I don’t hate you, but I do want you out of my life. Permanently.

There are lots of permutations based on combinations of forgiving, forgetting (not) and the holding grudges.

Forgiveness is not the same as “let’s be pals again.” Damage has been done. A sincere apology helps but I am unlikely to trust you after you have hurt me. Most people get a free pass for one hurting. People I adore get two and sometimes more free passes because love is more powerful than the hurt. But after that, be careful. Because when I decide to drop someone from my life, I never change my mind. It’s permanent. Even if I wish I could change it, I can’t. I never have. If I sever ties, they stay severed.

With my moon solidly in Scorpio, forgetting is impossible. Pisces sun? I forgive, but I remember. I don’t plan vengeance, don’t even wish ill on people them, but I won’t give them another shot at me either. I don’t even stay angry. It’s as if all the feeling I had goes cold.

As far as I’m concerned, all this means is I learn from the past.

LIVING IN REAL-TIME

When I was little, I had imaginary playmates. I talked to them. They followed me around. I was never bored because I had friends who really understood me. After I started school, my shadow friends left, never to return. Instead, I got a narrator who has been my lifetime companion. Whatever has gone wrong in my life, I suggest you blame in on the narrator. It’s all his or her (or both) fault.

“Narrator?” you ask. Before you decide I’m schizophrenic, a lot of writers have one or more narrators. I understand the narrator is my voice. He has just one story to tell. Mine. My job is to live. His is to tell the tale. His is the eye that sees all but isn’t involved. He witnesses — but causes nothing, changes nothing, makes no suggestions except to correct grammar. I wish he were a better proofreader.


My narrator does not instruct, chastise or judge. He records, remembers and fills in the back story. I’m in charge except I can’t get him to shut up. He gives me a third person perspective on my life. I’m so used to hearing the running commentary, I don’t know how else I could see the world. I’ve grown fond of the old guy.

There are narrators and then, there are narrators. You can get into serious trouble if you forget the narrator is you, not an “other” entity. Should you find yourself listening to a narrator who is telling you to blow things up or kill anyone, you might want to drop by someone’s office for a little chat. Just saying. Of course if you know it’s God talking to you, who am I to interfere?

Through the years, the narrator has filled the holes in my life story, adding “He said, she said,” describing action and scenery, “novelizing” reality. I wish he could type. It would save me so much work. A couple of years ago, the narrator left for a while. It was a particularly turbulent period, so maybe the noise in my head was too loud and I couldn’t hear him. Eventually, he came back. There a correlation between when I’m writing and the narrator. If he’s gone, so is my creativity.

The narrator is distracting and I have had to learn to not let him derail me. He does not respect the moment. A running commentary in one’s head during sex makes it difficult to focus. Men take this personally and trying to explain always makes it worse. They then think you are not merely disinterested, but also nuts.

A narrator can take the fun out of parties. You have to make an effort to participate, not just observe. With the narrator describing the surroundings and each person, occasionally arguing with other narrators (sometimes I have more than one), it’s tricky to connect with people. When narrators argue, I have to step in, settle the dispute, tell all but one to shut up. Problem is, there’s more than one way to see stuff and when a lot of points of view clamor for attention, it gets noisy in the brain-space. It can keep you up at night. It can keep your partner awake too

I’ve learned a lot from my narrator. I’ve learned to see life as an endless story with chapters, back stories, weird incidental characters, tragedy, romance, hope and despair. My job is to live it and not forget to write it down. And fix the typos.

THE DAY OF MORTGAGE BROKERS AND SEXY SQUIRRELS

Remember how I said that Owen got the feeders back up on hooks? And how does this have anything to do with mortgage brokers?

I’m glad you asked. In a last desperate attempt to generate some money so we can not only get a boiler, but fix the back door and get the deck reattached to the house — and maybe even get new planks that aren’t a mass of splinters, I decided to have one final go at seeing if I could get a refinance on this house. Mortgage rates are very low right now, generally between 2.5% and 3%. We got a HARP loan while Obama was President. To get our overblown mortgage under control, HUD took over $80,000 of our mortgage.

For the past 8 years they have held that money. Payment and interest free. During that time, we managed to get the mortgage down by almost $50,000. And now, with the rates as low as they are, even adding the $80.000 back into the mortgage and taking out $15,000 extra to fix a few things in the house and leave us a little money to pay off a bunch of small credit cards with very low totals, the mortgage would STILL be lower than it is now at its current 4.8%.

So I’m talking to the very pleasant — and creative — broker from Mutual of Omaha — and there’s something weird going on out the back windows. On the deck. There’s a big white flag waving. Finally, I got up and went to look — still talking to the broker — and realized it was two squirrels humping their little furry hearts out on top of the new feeder. All that waving were their tails.

They were having a fine time. “It’s that time of year,” said the broker.

“Well,” I said, “The squirrels sure think so.” When I finally got a telephone break — before the next call came in — they had somehow detached and broken the feeder. It’s somewhere on the ground. Probably crushed. Of course it was the brand new feeder, not the old feeder. This probably proves that you might as well pay more for the better product because the cheaper ones tend to die sooner. In this case, it wasn’t much cheaper, but it was the only one that promised to have a mesh big enough for sunflower seeds. It lasted exactly ONE day until the happy humping squirrels took it down. I have gone through an awful lot of bird (squirrel?) feeder (mating platforms?). Forget the price of seed. The feeders are killing me.

There is a \a better than even chance that we’ll get the mortgage. So how come we couldn’t get a 0% heating loan for $7000, but can get a $250,000 mortgage? Does that make any kind of sense?

We are going away for a couple of days to visit Tom and Ellin. We are taking the Duke, but Owen will be here to hold the fort. If I don’t correspond much, it’s because I’m taking a break from dealing with EVERYTHING — banks, bankers, brokers, interest rates, et al. — and most especially banks. And I got to watch some very happy squirrels.