You look excited. Did you just buy something?
Why, yes I did
And what, praytell, was that?
Your birthday present.
No. Actually, not at all
Just boring supplies related to work. Excited because it is possibly a tax writeoff
I’m not falling for it again. If you don’t want to tell me, that’s fine…
Can’t a person have some secrets?
You can have as many as you like. As forgetful as I am, you probably have more than you’d like
Good, boundaries. You know, some of our friends are in relationships where there don’t seem to be any of those. That would be stifling for me.
I’ve been in one of those relationships. It’s horrendous. Togetherness is about trust, and that also means trusting people with your privacy. I don’t need to know why or where you spend your money; that’s why we have joint accounts for our mutual expenses and separate accounts for our whatever. You shouldn’t have to feel like I’m looking over your shoulder
Well, and you’d die of excitement if you knew what I just bought. I wouldn’t want that for you
When you first started going out on dates, like back in school, did you believe that “there are no secrets with real love”?
Sadly, yes. You?
Sadly, also yes. But I’m the jealous type and you are not
You don’t seem to be nearly as jealous any more
Well, that’s another trust thing. Either I trust you or I don’t. And I do. Besides, jealousy often feels like it’s really about something other than its ostensible object. If I was jealous of one of those ripped, wealthy young rich dudes who buy your paintings, it wouldn’t really be about them, or you.
“Ripped, wealthy, young rich dudes”?… my last two buyers have been octogenarians!
Yeah, but that last guy was pretty ripped. For 83. That wasn’t really my point…
No, I understand, you know I do. I wonder why so many of our young ideas about love are so… wrong? Toxic, actually? Do you think maybe it is symbolic of how we view the process of intimacy, given that we haven’t gone through it yet? That it must be some kind of surrendering of self?
Hmm. That feels like part of it, yeah
My first real boyfriend was in eighth grade. His name was Scott
What was he like?
He was very sweet. He was also an artist, he was in my painting class
Huh. What happened?
He used way too much sepia in his paintings. And we both liked other people
So it was complicated.
For that age, yes. But he was a good guy.
In spite of the overuse of ochre?
Sepia. Have I taught you nothing? So what else do you think contributes to our youthful wrongheadedness about love?
I think there is something about transitioning from childhood to adulthood that makes us seek trials as a way of displaying our worthiness
What kind of trials?
You know.. we need to show how tough we are. How much we can drink, or smoke, or how many tattoos we can get without whimpering. We drive fast, take chances, live loud, make huge mistakes, and I think some of that is a de facto rite of passage
There may be something to that
So between surrendering self because it’s what we think intimacy is, and surrendering self because we are passage-seeking masochists, we have most of the bases covered
And that’s what I bought. Some new base paints for an acrylic I want to experiment with