I have additionally stipulated to Crystal that if she does not beat the rap the nursing home has against her then there is one condition under which I would consent to still date her, namely, marriage.
This is a very simple condition in terms of logic.
From her point of view, either she is able to beat the rap on her own or not. If she is, she gets to date me. If she isn't, she gets the option of having me participate in her welfare under protection of the law, if we are married.
From my point of view, either she beats the rap and proves herself able to hold her own in the adverse mental health bureaucracy without my help, and will therefore be able to be in a modern relationship of equality with me, justifying a long courtship and much later marriage, or she doesn't beat the rap, in which case she gets the option of an expeditious marriage which would be somewhat forced on her, and which would necessarily be a more traditional marriage of male dominance, which is the whole reason it is a tenable option since only male dominance by me will enable her to hold her own against the mental health bureaucracy, if she proves unable to do it herself. I am quite able to act out either option for my part, though I would prefer equality.
The substance of the restriction on Crystal is a claim that she got lost on the south side of Chicago, had no money to get back, and had to be brought back by her family.
Crystal's claim, made to me, and I believe hers over theirs, is that she went to Targets on the south side, and had enough money to get home, but her sister showed up there in her car and brought her back from there. I asked Crystal how her sister knew she was at Targets and she said she didn't know.
It isn't unusual, from talking to Crystal over the several months we have dated, for her not to know important details that affect her life materially. She doesn't know if her grandparents are alive. She doesn't know if her parents ever married. Another man than myself, upon hearing of this failing of details, would undoubtedly have ventured into one or another sort of interrogation. Such a tack would have alienated Crystal in the first incident and there would never have been a second. So I believe I know more about Crystal than anyone else in my position would know by now.
While it is impossible to know exactly what Crystal's experience over the full course of her life has been, it is possible to speculate that this highly intelligent and alert young lady has been dealt less than a full hand and is not to blame.
One thing I do not want to do is scandalize Crystal's family. However, it appears to me, and life does not permit us to consider each other's lives very scientifically as would allow me to do better than comment on appearances, that Crystal is in a dysfunctional family with a polished exterior and Crystal is being forced to soldier through life as if she had the polish but is not being credited for suffering the dysfunction.
Here is the reason i say this:
Our nursing home made my meeting Crystal's mother a condition of my taking her out past curfew to see our first opera. The meeting occurred on the day I was working as a judge of election last November. This was actually after the opera but her mother failed to show for an earlier scheduled meeting. We met in the foyer of the church where the election was being held. It had to be quick.
Upon meeting Crystal's mother, whose name I will presently withhold (it is not Crystal's last name), I was immediately impressed with her well dressed appearance, most agreeably accompanied by a startlingly good-looking figure and radiant, definitely glamorous face. After a sketchy introduction I expressed my overwhelming approval of her by embracing her, which she accepted in kind. I looked between Crystal and her and immediately saw that they were exact lookalikes, to the limits of my powers of observation on the fly.
I leaped into a statement about certain bureaucratic difficulties Crystal and I were having but her mother quashed all that, calmed me down, and said she would return on another day when we would have plenty of time to discuss such things.
This was essentially all of our meeting. however it leaves one thing out.
Crystal's mother smelled strongly of alcohol.
This public airing requires me to immediately add that my own brother is now facing a drinking problem and spent some time in a hospital detox recently.
I personally have never had an alcohol problem. I am very sympathetic, however, and if asked to give the world for Crystal's mother, or for my brother, in the interest of helping them fight this addiction, i would gladly do so. When my brother told me of his problem I decided to give up alcohol myself in solidarity. I have broken that promise to myself once in a year, at a time when I felt far from my brother in affection. He has fallen back into drinking since then and I am more likely to not drink as a result. His is the problem, Mine is the symbol. They are both important and both difficult, for completely different reasons.
I cannot expect to have a chance to say to Crystal or her mother that I smelled alcohol on Crystal's mother's breath. I don't expect their circle to read of it here. I hope, however, that the centrality of my life and of this blog, provide the insight into Crystal and her mother, in general and in specific detail, that may just make the difference, in Crystal's life if not in her mother's.
When I told Crystal that if she doesn't beat the rap in two weeks then I will only date her if we get married, she burst out into laughter. It tells me she doesn't have much belief in me. Time will tell whether she is able to think clearly enough to see the logic in marriage as I have laid it out here. I think one aspect of the problem she faces is that she doesn't recognize the logic in what people say, never having seen it before. Maybe now she has.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Crystal can avoid losing me in two weeks by marrying me.
alcohol|Crystal's mother|marriage|Newell Crystal|restriction|