Self Love

September 20, 2009

Basement Politics got pretty dirty this weekend.

On Friday, mil went into our bathroom. She has a maid service come to the house twice a month and requires that we clean everything before they arrive.

(Commence blank stare).

She checked our trashcan and found, much to her horror, open-faced menstrual pads. “Who doesnt fold up their pads?” she exclaimed, according to the wifebian.

(I dunno, in my experience, when you fold up pads, they just pop open, so fuck it, really. Plus, I don’t think menstrual blood is something terrible and disgusting to be covered up, sue me. Plus, I’m lazy.)

Then, mil said to wifebian, “I am worried about you,” and proceeded to observe that I am selfish. She also said that I am not maternal, or nurturing, but she has said that before, so, whatever.

(Apparently, that part where I gave up my whole life to move into her basement so that she could be closer to her daughter escapes her. Not to mention that  whole part where I am a social worker.)

Then, as a a kind of finale, mil told wifebian not to tell me what she said.

(*Really*? My wife is supposed to keep secrets from me now? *Your* secrets.)

But here’s the thing, really — I am selfish. Especially when it comes to little things, like eating and being warm. Or which movie to rent. It is a point of pride and a part of my charm. I’m not inconsiderate or mean, I don’t cheat or steal in service of myself, I just take care of my needs before I take care of other people. And I do it with pique, a certain finesse, some joi de vivre. It’s like those airplane safety videos — put on your mask before assisting other passengers. My selfishness is a mint-flavored balm against bitterness, regret and recrimination commonly associated with chronic sacrifice and self-effacement of the female kind. And then there’s the sweet and subtle ways that my bossy, princess vibe is a nod to our much beloved SM dynamic.

Try explaining that to the mil . . .

But wifebian knows all this. She relishes my little selfish flourishes and smacks my hand away from the cookie jar when I get too greedy. But under the constant scrutiny of this endless away-game known as “living with my mother-in-law”, it’s no fun to be myself. Nor is it fun to love me unconditionally, which is half the fun of being married, if wifebian is to believe the hype.

All of this initiated a mad perusal of Craigslist. The good news is, we can get a two bedroom, two bath house in the artsiest, funnest parts of the nearest urban center for, like, 800 bucks a month. We are aiming for a January move date, credit debt be damned. Like the sample in that le Tigre song says, “We all deserve to live in a place where we are truly alive, present, safe and accounted for.”

Then, in an genius stroke of parallel process, (genius on the part of the universe), tonight mil’s mother-in-law insinuated that mil’s husband might be having an affair.

(Clearly, after flying 14 hours from Hong Kong to San Francisco the only reason to get a hotel for the night is so you can fuck your brains out in preparation for the 8 hour flight from San Francisco to your sunny Southern home.)

Mil said, “She is such an evil bitch! Why would she say something like that?!” And I said, “Yeah, that’s hard. You want to be able to shake something like that off, just let it roll of your back, but it’s really hard to just let it — .”

Mil interrupted before I could finish my sentence.


The real question is, what will I call this blog if I don’t live in a basement?


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