Archive for the ‘Mark’ Category

more Plume!

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

One of the ducky things about a beloved who works at home is that you can receive cheery mid-day pictures like this one of Plume in her bed next to Mark’s desk.

Plume 20100407

How to deal with Asperger syndrome at work

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

The always-delightful Penelope Trunk is writing a series this week. I think it’s going to be about how to deal with work when one has Asperger syndrome oneself.

I showed the first article to my beloved.
http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2009/09/29/this-weeks-series-how-to-deal-with-asperger-syndrome-at-work/

“Yes, I’ll get to it. It’s in my blog reader.”
“You follow Penelope Trunk?”
“Of course. She’s the idealized version of you.”

Interesting. That was a nice thing for him to say, right?

apartment

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

One of our tenants gave notice on the weekend and is leaving in, um, ten days.

Rightey-ho, then. Mark is going to spend September making the apartment functional, comfortable and beautiful as only as a storage-and-lighting-obsessed dutchman can, and then we’ll want someone to move in around the beginning of October.

Challenge to my devoted readers: time to bring any latent matchmaking skills into play!

grief

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

Last night Mark came to bed and Pepe wasn’t there between us. He brought Poupoune into the bed as a substitute, but she isn’t as soft and snore-y as Pepe was. Mark broke down in inconsolable sobs. “I miss Pepe!” “Pepe didn’t want to die!” “He was so happy on his walk.” “He was so helpless. I looked after him!” … and finally, “He needed me.” I cried too, because I was sad for Mark.
 
Today we talked about why he is so much more affected than I am. One reason is Mark’s greater experience of loss, having lost both parents as well as his country and old friends. Intellectually he thinks the decision was probably appropriate, but he feels it to be painfully wrong.
 
Another reason is my own experience of suffering. I spent years trying to get my depression taken seriously so that I could get effective treatment for it, only to be repeatedly told that as long as I could function a little bit that I wasn’t depressed enough—probably not depressed at all. I got treatment after having lived in a dysfunctional relationship for years because I didn’t have the financial or psychic resources to leave; having become unable to do any kind of work; having lost contact with my friends; and having been reduced to walking the sidewalks with tears streaming down my face. As long as I wanted treatment I was denied it. When I no longer wanted it, when I had given up all hope and wanted only to die, it was suggested that I was possibly depressed and would I consider accepting treatment for depression?
 
I am still angry today at having been forced to suffer as much as I did, forced to endure completely unnecessary losses, in order to qualify for intervention.
 
Mark may be projecting his own sense of abandonment, but I am also re-enacting my own story, this time re-written to include the recognition of suffering and need given promptly and lovingly, without begging.

Mail-order brides

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

A little kerfuffle over at Science Blogs brought mail-order brides back to my attention. (Didn’t they have their fifteen minutes of fame in the eighties?)

I commented to Mark that I didn’t see what the fuss was about. He gamely pointed to the fuzzy grey borderline between mail-order brides and prostitution.

Alison: Well, there’s a fuzzy-to-nonexistent borderline between marriage and prostitution generally. The point of marriage is that it recognises sexual relationships as inherently potentially exploitatitve, and confers legal rights and responsibilities on the parties involved.

Mark: Ah, but that doesn’t apply in the US. If they divorce, the mail-order bride has no residency rights and is deported back to her country of origin. It’s not like Canada where a sponsored immigrant spouse has residency rights independent of the status of the relationship.

Oh. Right. I keep forgetting. (Which is odd, because one of my favourite stories about sponsoring Mark under Canada’s Family Reunification Program is how when he went to get his visa exchanged for a residency card, he was sat down and solemnly lectured that if I were to become abusive, he was not to hesitate to Move Out Immediately. Quebec would help him find a place to live and give him welfare if he needed it. He would NOT have to leave the country. Quebec would come after me for reimbursement as necessary. He was NOT to worry about that.)

But does that mean that we should be worried about the institution of mail-order brides, or that we should be protesting the lack of protection the US offers immigrant spouses – exacerbating a situation of potential exploitation where marriage is supposed to alleviate it?

Advantage to having dodged parenthood #3876

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Sitting in the airport listening to fathers boast about their children’s achievements, I’m realizing that as a non-parent I don’t invite one-upmanship in this area and am thereby excused from listening to long ramblings about Junior’s university adventures.

*** *** ***

So, like, the other day I’m sitting in the car making sure the dogs don’t suffocate while Mark pops into the store to do groceries. While waiting I pick up the Ikea catalogue and as an exercise I decide to page through and pay attention to exactly what excites feelings of envy. Will it be the quality of the light in the rooms? The well-appointed kitchens? The CD collections? Interestingly, it turns out to be the kids. I am envious of people who have kids to furnish a room for, or build a home for. “Nesting!” says Mark when he gets back. So that’s how the Ikea catalogue works: don’t buy this for yourself, buy it for your family. Noted.