good-time charlie

My dad used to describe a certain type of man as a “good-time charlie” and this appellation often came to mind while I was ‘in a relationship’ with X.  I’m going to call him X if you don’t mind, to preserve his anonymity.  And “in a relationship” belongs in quotation marks for a reason.

I wanted to be in a real relationship with X.  I wanted to be in a real relationship with X because being with X made me feel very happy.  Simple as that.  X made me laugh.  X made me sing.  X made me feel joyous.

Being with X made me feel happy.

I know about happy and unhappy.  I married Q and being with Q made me feel unhappy. I’m using the letter ‘Q’ because ‘Q’ is an anomalous kinda letter and Q was an anomalous kinda individual.  At first, I didn’t even truly recognize my unhappiness for what it was.  I rationalized about Q.  But 15 years of steadily progressing and deepening misery did finally enlighten me to the difference between being with somebody who makes you feel happy and being with somebody who makes you feel unhappy.

Now lots of modern-day positivists will take objection to me stating that this one makes me happy and that one makes me unhappy.  They will take the stance that things outside yourself don’t make you happy or unhappy, it is up to you, it is your choice.  Whatever is going on around you and whoever you are with essentially doesn’t matter.  If you are self-realized, if you are egoless, if you are enlightened, well then others may come and they may go, but it is not they who make you happy vs. unhappy, it is only yourself.

So, perhaps in reaction to having been married and trapped with somebody who made me feel unhappy, being with somebody who made me feel happy was all I really wanted in life.  The happy feeling meant everything.  And I wanted him to want me, to love me, to see that our happiness together was infinitely precious, infinitely special, infinitely meaningful, infinitely beautiful.

From the beginning of my ‘relationship’ with X, which he referred to as ‘friendship’, because he likes to have an infinite number of ‘friends’,  I was happy when with him and something ranging from disturbed to deeply hurt when not with him.  The first bout of real trouble came when he informed me that his ‘friend’ from Russia was coming to stay with him for 2 weeks.  What I knew of his ‘friend’ prior to this announcement was that she’d lived with him for 4 months, that according to him they didn’t have intercourse, (the intimacy shared was left to my imagination), that they’d traveled to at least 4 different places in the US together including SF and NY, that he considered her beautiful, and that she was only 25 to my 51.

Now this is where is gets interesting.  While I felt devastated by X’s news of his ‘friend’s’ visit, X didn’t see anything problematic whatsoever.  He was totally unfazed by my hurt feelings.  He responded cheerfully like this: “Ooohhh, I’m sorry you feel that way!  I don’t want you to be sad!!”  He said we could all be friends.  He suggested I bring my children over to meet his friend so they could learn a few Russian phrases.





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