Bloody Terrible

Did you ever have something like a business meeting or a job interview and knew you were blowing it the entire time you were in there and should probably just shut the fuck up already, but your brain couldn’t relay that knowledge to your mouth or vocal cords and you just kept going? And then afterwards, you felt like such an idiot that you somehow forgot how to operate an elevator?

No? Hm.

I guess I can’t relate to you. I’ll just have to sit here and replay the entire 30 minutes in my mind and cringe myself to sleep. Which is really nothing new, but it never gets any better.

I could read more of Cleaving by Julie Powell, as she is certainly a worse person than I am right now. I started reading Cleaving because I liked Julie and Julia and because this book is about a) Julie Powell learning to be a butcher (which I actually wanted to do at one point) and b) Julie Powell having an affair with a sadist. Both of these things sound bloody and sexy and interesting, but the reality of the book is that it’s sad, pathetic, and a little boring. The butchery parts are described in a tediously technical way that’s less about meat and more about twine. The affair parts aren’t so much about sex as they are about Powell trying to convince the reader that she really was in love with the guy so it might have been okay that she slept with him for more than 2 years while she was still married to her husband. And worse than that, she also tries to convince the reader that her small ways of hurting her husband’s feelings (small ways that are not the actual affair, I mean) are somehow deserved by him for a variety of reasons, including his passive sadness over the whole business, his irritation at her after she passes out drunk on Christmas, and his short-lived girlfriend, whom he seems to have chosen in desperation after his wife had already been with her boyfriend for two fucking years. They’re most deserved because he stays with her (at least so far, and I’m halfway through), which is the most batshit thing of all the things that have happened so far.

It could be that I’m not permissive enough to accept my spouse sleeping with someone else for 2 years without my expressed consent, but I prefer to think that I’m simply not so weak that I would continue living in that situation because…what, I don’t think I could find someone better? Come on. I don’t love anyone enough to allow them to cheat on me for any amount of time. Oh, really, you slept with someone else when you were blind drunk and I was out of town and you didn’t even enjoy it because you thought of me the whole time? Bitch, please. The door, go through it. There’s no way I would sit around like a hangdog mope after someone had been remorselessly fucking someone else (and texting “I love you” to them) for years. That’s fucking crazy and fucking stupid, I don’t care how good the actual fucking is at any other point in the relationship.

And what if the person I’d left for cheating wrote about it? I’m not sure if writing about (and publishing!) it would make the situation better, worse, or unchanged, but from where I stand right now, I suppose that it’s something for her to admit all of this wrongdoing in a book. It may not be the way I would have done it, but we all make our own penance. Although it does seem like she’s bragging a little. Even through her most deplorable behavior (letting some ugly anonymous stranger fuck her in a hotel room for no fucking reason whatsoever), she’s still finding ways to excuse herself from it. In a way, the raging narcissism is worse than the infidelity (and boring butchery) itself. If someone were to cheat on me and then write about it, I would at least require them to acknowledge what a shit they were. Julie Powell hasn’t acknowledged this yet. She’s said that some of her choices weren’t particularly wise, but at no point has she ever seemed contrite. She talks about loving her husband, but she treats (and writes about) him like shit. She’s not even nice to her dog.

Yet I keep reading. I’m repulsed by the author and I keep reading. It could be worse, you know. I could be reading Twilight.

About erineph

I'm Erin. I have tattoos and more than one cat. I am an office drone, a music writer, and an erstwhile bartender. I am a cook in the bedroom and a whore in the kitchen. Things I enjoy include but are not limited to zombies, burritos, Cthulhu, Kurt Vonnegut, Keith Richards, accordions, perfumery, and wearing fat pants in the privacy of my own home.
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