Okay, so. In the span of the last few days, I’ve:
1. Discovered I’m being audited by the IRS. They believe I owe then many thousands f dollars, because of a rather blindingly obvious error on their side–they seem to be counting the small business income I made in 2002 twice. Yes, they’re clearly in the wrong; no, I entertain no hope that that means this will be an easy mess to fix.
2. Came into work and discovered my cable modem connection down. Someone climbed up the pole outside the building, cut the cable going into my office, and then sabotaged the cable junction box. WTF?
3. Heard from the company that I’m looking to work for in Boston; they may not be hiring for the position ’til August. August???
This is in addition to all the things going on in my romantic life, not the least of which is the collapse of my eighteen-year relationship with Kelly. Observant viewers will notice that I have not posted anyting about that in my journal.
There are many reasons for this, not the least of which is I don’t feel any particular benefit will be gained by airing our mutual laundry in a public forum. That has not, however, stopped the email from coming in–most of it from people I don’t know and have no idea who they are or what interest they may have in my romantic life, and much of it quite nasty.
It seems, for reasons I’m not quite clear on, there are a significant number of people in the world–people who don’t know Kelly and I and have never met either of us–who feel as though they have some kind of personal stake in our relationship. And judging from the tone of some of the mail that’s landed in my inbox, they feel personally threatened, attacked, or insulted that Kelly and I are separating.
I find this quite weird, to be frank. I’m not quite sure what’s motivating this emotional investment on the part of people who are, when it comes right down to it, strangers–but it seems as if the end of our relationship represents something that people find personally threatening. Some of it could simply be a case of schadenfreude; there always have been and always will be those who take pleasure in the misfortunes of others, and the only way to amuse some people is to slip and fall on an icy pavement. For others, of course, it’s comforting–it reinforces the notion that anyone who’s polyamorous is a bad person. For still others, perhaps it’s the same thing that motivates people to write hate mail to the villains on their soap operas.
What these people don’t seem to realize, though, apart form the fact that we all have our own lives to lead, is that this is not a question of choosing one person over another. I’ve done that in the past–and the person I’ve chosen has always been Kelly. No, this is a question of choosing a way of life which does not compromise who I am as a person. Were I to lose my relationships with Shelly and Xtina tomorrow, I would not believe that I have made a mistake; I am not choosing those relationships over my relationship with Kelly.
I doubt, however, that most of the people sending me email would understand that. It’s not even about me at all; these people don’t know me, and see in me only a reflection of their own attitudes and fears.