Mangled English


Today’s English-language mangling included:

“We need to plan up” – heard twice. It’s “plan”. I imagine this is a direct translation rather than an error. It’s just funny.

“She will cover up for the team.” This should be, “She will cover for the team.” I don’t plan to cover up a murder committed by the team

it’s in the details


He may have been right when he said that it’s all about the details, noticing the little things. Trouble is, our brains are wired differently, so the details that matter to me are not the same ones that matter to him.

In the years since I moved to Sweden, I made priorities that included being able to more than support myself, never getting into vulnerable situations (economically, financially) again.

For him, the priority is having the right pair of shoes and looking cool in them.

I didn’t realize it was this pervasive or stark until too late.

That is not to say that I don’t agree with him. I ignore these details and can be very stubborn about fixes. But when I promise to fix something, I do it even if it takes a long, long time. I fixed so many other things in my own life and in his, but it was not apparently the stuff that he prioritized, and his patience ran out. Or his resolve to sobriety, given how brutal his approach was.

He said eventually, “I’m not that guy.”

Without recounting the nightmare of his addled mind and anxieties, I can say… I’m not that girl, either.


“You will always be a loser…”: A ballad of users and takers


Heading into a new phase, discarding and changing.

Ages ago I bought a cheap-as-hell blender so I could blend fruit and veg on the road (in my long commute days). I never took it out of the box until now. I’m all about the spinach and kiwi gorilla juice. Or some knockoff gazpacho made of tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. This cheap little blender works – improbably – better than my relatively expensive KitchenAid blender ever did. Sometimes paying more is not better. But the trick is learning when it matters and when it doesn’t. This is true for things you purchase and for the people you let into your life. How much can you really spend on someone else before you’re running on empty?

But the concept of spending anything is so remote… I’ve spent so much time, so much money, so much patience, so much care, so much compassion, so much understanding, so much love, so much tongue-biting frustration, so much support, so much much much much much that was all for nothing. I am numb – what is it in my karmaorwhateveritis that makes the people who get close to me so damaged, petty, troubled and such users and takers? Sometimes it’s narcissism. Sometimes it is a weird brand of self-hate. You know the self-haters who have to be as cruel as shit to you to take you down with them, right?

For a couple of days, while shedding stuff and moving forward in a real way like I haven’t in years, I’ve been crying – a lot. Improbable things set me off. Like at the end of the latest season of Orange is the New Black, suddenly the cheesy Foreigner tune “I Want to Know What Love Is” played over the end credits; soon tears are shooting out of my eyes like arrows. Sometimes I cried out of anger and sadness but sometimes just because it felt cathartic to shed tears in the same way I could shed a tattered sweater or a pair of tights with a hole in the heel.