Come on– best title ever, right?
One of the things I’ve recently learned about being married: it’s much harder now to be quietly depressed for a day.
Just a day, here and there. It shouldn’t be so difficult.
My emotions are mysterious. An ancient civilization would probably have interpreted them as evidence for like twenty different persnickety gods. I get randomly really happy whenever I’m driving alone, listening to my ipod. Which doesn’t happen a lot, since I live in Manhattan. I get randomly really stressed out and remind myself of one of those middle-aged men who work too hard in the New York Times Health studies. The ones who die of stress-related ailments and are then compared with all the women who don’t die because they handle stress a lot better, naturally.
Sometimes I get horribly depressed, for about a day, and walk around with a blank look, muttering, “Why have you failed at everything?” to myself. This happens pretty much every time Dan from Modern Love rejects another one of my perfect pieces about modern love. It also happens, well, randomly.
It’s always been this way for me, dating back to the moment I discovered that I was doing things that I could fail at. Traceable to when I learned that life is about winning. At everything. And if you don’t win at everything than you’re a big, stupid loser who will probably develop a mid-life obsession with tiny ceramic animals and start collecting them and arranging them on strips of green felt.
I’m kidding. I don’t think that.
It’s always been this way for me, except that now it’s worse. Because of marriage. Because of Bear.
Because every time I start wandering around with glazed eyes and whispering about how much God failed when I was born, he’s like, “Hey– are you OK?” And then, “You look sad. What’s going on?”
“Tell me what you’re thinking.”
“Why are you upset? Did I do something?”
“Nothing. I mean, no.” (Argh. Just let me say “nothing” incessantly until I die of inane repetition!)
And he will not leave me alone. And then, after a while, he gets depressed because I’m depressed. And then it’s my fault that the entire household has come down with the bug and everyone’s just lying around, groaning and aching with failure, crying on themselves, and barely able to drag their pathetic carcasses off the floor and into the kitchen in order to haul the refrigerator open and gasp, “Why is there no more soda?! Why? Why? Whywhywhywhywhy….”
And then….and this is the new part, I feel guilty.
For being depressed. And for feeling like a failure. It’s this complete, separate layer of badness. I am a failure for feeling like a failure. I should work the word “meta” into this somewhere.
I am a bad wife.
Good wives do not get randomly depressed and think that they are a failure because Dan at Modern Love is determined to reject everything they’ve ever written (has he never been held? Does he hate Jews? Am I a terrible writer?). Good wives think that they are a success because they have love. Y’know, like, actual modern love. Not some really sad story about being a Mormon who has never had sex even though she’s forty-three, because of the Mormon church and brainwashing and stuff.
Good wives think they are a success because they can keep things in perspective. Which is how they’re able to get married. Because they’re grown up. They’re grown up, mature people who act rationally and don’t throw temper tantrums.
“You know,” I told Bear sullenly, on Sunday when I was being randomly depressed, “If you weren’t here, it wouldn’t be like this. No one would even notice I was miserable, and then I’d get over it by tonight and everything would be fine. But now it’s a big deal.”
He didn’t really have a response for that.
This is the biggest benefit, I think, of living alone. Who knew? So if you live alone, enjoy your depression. At least you don’t have to feel crushingly guilty about spoiling someone else’s Sunday, too.
Also, you don’t have to keep thinking, “What if he thinks I’m, like, actually depressed now? What if this is how he comes to think of me? What if he’s thinking, ‘She’s probably been like this all along, but is finally comfortable enough with me to let me see how terrible she is’? What if he starts buying me tiny ceramic animals?”
Marriage: Making it harder to be depressed, since, um, forever.*
*Probably not, though, since being married doesn’t mean you have to care about the emotions of the person you’re married to. But Bear does. And now he will suffer, as a result.
* * *
Un-roast: Today I love the way I feel when I’m walking. I like being in motion.
Some amazing un-roasts recently. One of my favorites is from Kellie: “Un-roast: today I love my brain… and I fancy my eyes. ”
P.S. See? Photos! I’m trying, here.