Sunday, June 8, 2014

Trip to Leena's

I went to the main city to go see Leena, the first time I had seen or talked to her since 2007 when I had the phone call with her before going to the tech street. Seven years is a long time for people to change, and Leena is no exception. I took my wife and son over there to meet her, with only Leena knowing that she was my first love. Even not knowing that, on the way there, my wife would absolutely not stop bellyaching about every little thing:

"It's drizzling! Wah!"
"I'm tired! Wah!"
"I'm carsick! Wah!"
"I'm bored! Wah!"
"You're lost! Wah!"
"We're late! Wah!"

She never used to talk to me like this when we were friends. When we were dating. When she was pregnant, but afraid I was going to leave her. But now she does. I guess one way of looking at this is "See how much she loves you to show her true self." A better way, however, is "Look how little she respects you to ruin a trip with her juvenile complaining, thinking you can't say or do anything to make her stop."

As a contrast, here is a comprehensive list of all the problems I complained about and pushed on my wife during our six hours out:


So when we finally reached our destination on time, she was on her best behavior for Leena. My old crush was now married with a child, but of course I didn't feel a thing for her, since I had long since let her out of my mind. She did weigh about half as much as my wife does, though, even a year after she had delivered her son. We talked and played with her son for a few hours, during which time we talked about our futures. I said that I was going to use mnemonics and three months to master the language of a country I wanted to move to (a dream that was crushed by my wife's and my surprise pregnancy and marriage, though of course I didn't mention that), then go there as soon as my son was off to college.

My wife then asked, "What about me?"

I simply looked back at her and said, "You're coming, right?" She quickly nodded, and said little more.

On a side note, this whole making your girlfriend or wife afraid of losing you by withdrawing affection, something that has served me well to get the ogre my wife was back in line, apparently has a name: Dread Game. It's amazing what a little research on the net can teach about checking your out of control wife. As a response to my wife's disrespectful attitude all morning and afternoon, I knew it was time to put her back in her place, so I continued with this technique by promising our son I would take him back to the city next week, and my wife could stay home to relax. Not only does this work to continually keep my wife both chasing me, and back in line, as I draw away from her, but I'll also avoid the whiny baggage she offers almost every trip I take with her by going only with our son.

So does this technique work? It's a simple enough question to answer: the last time my wife did something stupid was April 6th, over two months ago. Every other day between was half smiles and fun, a little withdrawal for any signs of disrespect, and some ignoring while I played games or did other stuff to show her that I will not be chasing her again. Now compare that to three or four years ago, back when I allowed her to be the leader of this marriage and did nothing to stop her rampages. Drama came every ten or so days, much worse than today. Even a comparatively lesser series of slip-ups like this morning and afternoon needs to be punished on that same day, or the problem of an awful wife only get worse.

When time with Leena was up, we started walking back to the train station to go home. On the way back, I saw ten or twenty foreigners with their thin, smiling girlfriends on the street, a sharp contrast to the pudgy wife of mine with the occasional sour flash on her face. Almost every one of them did the "foreigner fakeout," a common action from one foreigner to another abroad, by either sharply turning their heads ninety degrees to the side to avoid eye contact, or staring straight ahead, unblinking and ignoring every smile and hello from other foreigners, until they were safely away. Since I used to do this during the first time I went abroad to another country in 2005, I still assume that, like the old me, these men are only here for sex and money, and see other foreigners as hated competition for women and jobs. Only one man returned a smile.

Still, as I mentioned, this kind of stuff doesn't bother me anymore; I actually feel kind of sorry for the obvious jealousy or undue sense of rivalry these men have with other foreigners, and I wish them the very best. I just thought it was funny to mention it, because though everything in my life, and the people's lives around me, has changed quite a bit, the foreigner fakeout has remained a constant for the last seven years.

And that was it. Soon, we were home, showered and off to bed. I can only imagine the much busier, and happier, day I could have had today if it were just me, or just me and my son, without my wife and marriage weighing everything about my life down. Today could easily have been another Then and Now, had I not tied the noose.

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