Setting the Record Straight
Yesterday I had a nice chat with my son. He was on speaker-phone while driving, his GPS yaking in the background. We have a deal: I watch the entire series of Dr. Who and he reads my blog every once in a while. When we speak at random intervals, it’s nice to have topics in common, right? Right…
I’ve watched 7 episodes of the Dr. Who and Rose Escapades as they travel through time and space via TARDIS, no small accomplishment since I’m no fan of sci-fi. But it’s witty and I like Dr. Who’s goofy grin.
Alex read 3 recent posts: the meatloaf fiasco, the 9/11 essay, and my alcoholic “bottom” story. While he thought they were effective and well-done, he had one piece of constructive criticism: the “Chuck” character (his father) came off quite negatively. Did I intend to make him seem so bad, or was it unintentional? He noted a comment that asked “Can Chuck do anything right?” as his evidence that he wasn’t the only one who noticed that “Chuck” was being much-maligned.
Interestingly, Alex didn’t think I was being too hard on myself…
Memoirs are, by their very nature, the writer’s memories of specific events; they’re not meant to be objective accounts of history. Yet, I’ve tried to keep the snarky-meter turned way down. There are no villains in my life story, only fallible humans doing the best thing they knew how to do at the time.
After my conversation with Alex, I was farblondzshet. Don’t panic, I haven’t taken to swearing. That’s a Yiddish word for befuddled or lost. How would I continuing writing my story free from the nagging internal be-nice-to-Chuck censor? This blog is called Lorna’s Voice, not Lorna and Chuck–The Fairy Tale.
This is my solution to my farblondzshetness. I’m setting the record straight about “Chuck” so that anyone who reads future posts about MY experience of being his wife for nearly 27 years will know “Chuck” had (has) wonderful and not-so wonderful qualities, just like everyone.
Chuck’s Positive Qualities:
- hard worker
- good provider
- great chef
- comfortable in any social situation
- generous with his time and talents
- supported me even when it was difficult
- thirsty for knowledge
- best health advocate I ever had
- involved and loving father
- willing to take calculated risks
- big-picture, out-of-the-box thinker
- planned ahead
- loyal and loving son
- financial wizard
- articulate speaker and writer
- sexy legs
- great taste in wives
Chuck’s Qualities that Presented me with Challenges:
- needed to be right, dissention = disloyalty
- wanted me to be someone other than me
- started things he never finished
- had too many fires with too many irons in each one
- couldn’t relax
- couldn’t understand my need for solitude
- baby when ill
Chuck was (is) an admirable man. We were married for most of our lives. The list of positive qualities is long in comparison to the other list, but the items on the other list are important to me, a Highly Sensitive Person who also happens to be a Middle Child. I suppressed my voice for a long time in order to keep the peace. I would still be doing it, too, but he decided to end the marriage. I’m still not sure exactly why he chose to leave me. My guess is that he’s not exactly sure either. As I said: there are no villains in my life story.
I hope this sets the record straight for anyone feeling that I pick overly much on “poor Chuck.” I pick on myself a lot, too. That’s where the humor is. I go where the humor is whenever I can.
Now let’s get on with my story, shall we?