Late Night Thoughts

Originally published April 27, 2019.

Last night¬†Laura¬†and I had a spat. I got pulled into dealing with something hobby-related that I thought wasn’t necessary, and I was irritatedly dealing with it on my computer, which is upstairs in the little loft we have outside our bedroom. I have a clacky keyboard, and the noise bothered her, and when she asked me if I was going to be loud all night, I was brusque and put her off. She closed the door, clearly unhappy, and I felt (and was) the fool, and I brooded.

But later, when I got into bed, I was thinking about us, and our life, and how we’ve overcome so much to keep making our marriage better, and how important it is to me that we keep doing that. And I was thinking about how some friends of mine are going to a wedding a week from tomorrow, and, then I thought about when Laura and I got married back in 2008.

I do a lot of age related math in my head – when you’re an older parent of little kids, you often think about how old you’ll be when they graduate from high school (Charlie 59, Ben 61) – and I realized something. Our eleventh anniversary was a few weeks ago and I’m 48. That means our 50th wedding anniversary is in 39 years, when I’ll be 87.

I totally plan to live forever, but just in case I’m wrong about the nanotech AI singularity offering me immortality and vast multidimensional power, my general expectation is to make it to 90. 90 is a good round number, and I’ve got a pretty good chance of living that long.

So then I realized, of course, that 87 is less than 90, so if I have a good chance of living to 90, I have a good chance to get to be married to Laura for at least 50 years.

And so I went to bed happy, because the prospect of 50+ years with the right person is a darn good reason to be happy. And if for some reason it’s not 50 years, well, I’ll be happy for the time I got anyway.

Laura makes me want to strive to be a better person. And when the best possible outcome of being a better person is getting to have all this time with her, it’s easy.

Love you, Jibba Groo

This has been Late Night Thoughts with Dwer.

You Can’t Run From the Things You’ve Done

Originally published April 18, 2019.

So I have a fair number of SCA friends who have two Facebook profiles. They do it for a variety of reasons: their job, their desire to keep groups of friends separated, their family doesn’t care for the SCA, and far be it from me to ever tell someone that they’re doing the SCA or Facebook wrong — you do you boo.

But there are some people who keep separate profiles because they say that “Bob Smith” is a different person from “Robert the Smith”. And, again, if that’s what you want, go for it, but I don’t, personally, think that it works. And it has to do with a fundamental belief and a fundamental part of my SCA philosophy.

People are who they show you they are.

There is no SCA life vs Real life, there’s just Life, and you are accountable for your choices.

The vast majority of my friends are in the SCA. I barely dated outside the SCA. I met my first wife in the SCA, and I met my second wife through an SCA friend. I go to something like 20-26 SCA events a year. I used to schedule my vacation time around the SCA. Heck, when I was in college, I’d quit my summer jobs in July because I knew I was going to go to Pennsic. For almost all of us, the SCA is a permanent, intertwined part of our lives. People like to say that it’s “just a hobby” but it’s really not. It’s our social universe. It’s our place to be. It’s our chosen family. And we are who we show people we are.

So if you’re a good person in the world of computers and electric stoves and carbon fiber, you’re likely to be a good person in the world of spears, vikings, madrigals. If you’re a shitty person in the world of banks and cars and televisions, you’re likely to be a shitty person in the world of catapults and pavilions and scrolls. And if you need to change the way people look at you, it’s probably going to take decades of work and disappointment. Ask me how I know.

In the end, you can’t run from the things you’ve done by creating a new Facebook profile for yourself. In the end, the truth comes out.

People are who they show you they are. And Life is just Life.

The Bucket of Renown 2

Originally published April 14, 2019.

The theory of the Bucket of Renown posits that everyone has a bucket that holds your reputation. But there’s also a hole in the bucket, and if you don’t perform ongoing acts, the bucket empties, and all you’re left with is your titles.

As you gain recognition, the bucket gets bigger. But so does the hole. The corollary of “those who do more are more worthy” is “those who are more worthy must do more.”

Peers are human, and we all know that people have bad days. But peers are called to a higher standard of behavior. That’s why it’s called peer-like.

Context Matters.

I don’t often post about my oldest child, M, but sometimes my experiences with them help me put other things that happen in my life in context. I think it’s important to recognize that mental illness — even something as drastic as being bi-polar or a sociopath — don’t excuse a person from bad behavior.

Often people who are bipolar or sociopaths are also narcissists. M triggered multiple visits from DCFS by accusing me or my wife of abuse. Every time, of course, the social worker came to visit, and almost immediately determined that there was no abuse, and eventually M became the kid who cried wolf. M was very good at stirring up trouble between my ex and myself with emotional manipulation. This is what people with THAT KIND of mental illness (EDIT: the way theirs manifests, not everyone with Bi-polar) do.

M stole money and objects, M was violently aggressive, M was verbally abusive, M was a master liar and manipulator, and M consistently refused to take his medication. It was NEVER M’s fault. There was always someone who had made them do whatever they’d done. It is because of this that M went to the hospital multiple times, it’s because of this that M was involuntarily committed to an in-patient residential therapy visit, it’s because of this that I had to remove them from my home, and it’s because of this that I haven’t seen them in four years.

I would never -ever- say that accusations of abuse should be ignored. Accusations should absolutely be investigated, every time. But if the investigation shows that the accusations are false, that knowledge should be made as available as the original accusations. Context does sometimes matter.

People who are mentally ill are still responsible for the things that they do almost all of the time. It’s not right to go off meds and then expect people to say “well, they’re mentally ill, so they’re off the hook.”

Things are rarely as clear cut as they seem. Context does matter. When people say “believe people who say they’ve been abused” what that should mean is that we should investigate and pursue justice.