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The Wheaton Test Or What I Need to Know About You Before the Second Date: With an Amendment Three Years Later Regarding how Completely Wrong I Was

The Wheaton Test Or What I Need to Know About You Before the Second Date: With an Amendment Three Years Later Regarding how Completely Wrong I Was

Adam Byrn Tritt

Amendment
12/26/2016

There is a picture on my bedside table that was not there yesterday morning. It is a picture of a gloriously beautiful woman, sky and sea behind her, smiling. It is in a frame of gilt and funk and sparkle and it makes me smile nearly as much as the beauty in the photograph. It was a present from Arlene for Chanukah. And it is perfect.

Beside me, as I write this, is another picture, a drawing, actually, by Brian Andreas. We were in a gallery in Charleston, South Carolina. She was looking at Christmas ornaments, hand-blown globes, from Glass Eye Studios in Seattle. Each globe, multicolored, swirling, translucent, reflective, unique, blown with ash from Mount St. Helens. And she was going to buy one. The problem was that I had already gotten it for her, months earlier, in Tacoma at the Museum of Glass.

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Posted by on December 26, 2016 in Culture, Family, philosophy, Social, Writing

 

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Peacocks

When I think of peacocks
I think of you and
There are so many peacocks
Here. Their colors are
Everywhere. You are
Everywhere. Teal, turquoise, and
Azure surround me as
The color of you. Your eyes,
Electric blue, Blue –
The eyes on a feather,
Royal, The color of Sky and
Oceans of blue,
Sapphires of blue,
Everything your eyes see
Makes everything I see
Iridesce with,  flash with
You,  Now
Everything reminds me of peacocks.
When I think of peacocks
I think of you.

(for Arlene)

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2016 in Poetry

 

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Metric

If I had been brought up with the metric system
I could hold an orange in my hand
And tell you how much it weighs in kilograms.
But I was taught with pounds and feet
And I can tell you how much a whole bag of oranges weighs,
Just about,
Or look at a board and give you the measure of it.
But how many meters it is?
How much the orange weighs in kilograms?
I’m lost. Dumb.
Right in front of me,
Any guess as good as another.

Love, I think—
Love is measured in metrics,
Or some other unit.
I can look at it,
Heft it.
No matter.
Ask me how much I love you:
I cannot say.
I can only look at you,
Sigh,
And trust it can also be measured
In those sighs and desires, and hope
You do not ask.

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2016 in Poetry, Uncategorized

 

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Love Means Never having to Apologise for Saying “Sorry, You don’t get to treat Me like that.”

Loving someone, even deeply and completely, does not automatically confer a sprinkling of pixie dust that creates compatibility.  It takes work. And even then, work will not make two people fit who do not. Like sanding, it may take off rough edges, but will not make something into a new shape. That would be to make a new person in a shape that fits. Such love is not for the person, but an image or ideal, an imagining. Work will not make a miss-sized or miss-shaped shoe fit. You may get it on, but it won’t get you anywhere.

There have been a spate of “Love me as I am” graphics on the Internet lately. The latest says “The person who really loves you sees what a mess you can be, how moody you can get, and how hard you are to handle. But still wants you in their life.” Bad punctuation aside, this is a load of trite, treacly tripe not worth the pixels it takes to render it. The “hard to handle” part of the poster is the part I find most, well… hard to handle. Sure, no one is perfect. As one friend said, we are “Perfectly imperfect works in progress.” But the poster isn’t saying that. Basically, the poster is saying this : “Hey, even if I’m a complete and utter basket-case that makes you crazy, so inconsistent that you cannot even build trust in me,  if you love me, you’ll put up with whatever the hell I do to you.”

There is a quote that has been going around that is attributed to Marilyn Monroe. “I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”  Let’s look at this. That’s a bit like saying “You love me, so I’m going to feed you fishsticks. If you don’t like eating fishsticks, you sure as hell don’t deserve to eat fresh salmon.”   What we should be saying, both men and women, to our lovers, is this. “You love me and you deserve my best all the time. I love you and want you to have my best. But sometimes, like all people, I’m at my worse. And thank you for dealing as best as you can with that as well.”

Love doesn’t mean putting up with abuse. And love should mean doing our best to modify the inconsistencies, the moods, so there is stability.  Without stability, nothing can be built.

Look at is this way -these posters usually come with graphics that have beaches, and hearts, and flowers, denoting femininity in some way, so we know it is aimed at men and regarding women. What if we changed the graphics to denote something that is culturally understood as masculine.  For the sake of argument, perhaps a garage. Or a beer can. Telling women that, as a guy, I can be unstable, inconsistent, moody, snappish, and hard to handle but, if you love me, you’ll put up with my lack of desire to control myself, lack of interest in seeing how my behavior affects you, and whatever nonsense I dish out.  How far would that get?

And a guy who puts up with that, no matter how much he loves a woman? And, to be fair, any woman who puts up with that from a man? We’d say they have a lack in self-respect. Maybe they don’t love themselves or respect themselves enough. Or perhaps they feel they can’t do better or don’t deserve to be treated better.

These posters perpetuate an idea that any feminist, female or male, should rail against. The idea that a woman isn’t responsible for her behavior and, if a man loves her, he’ll just deal with it. That men are, by duty, stable and consistent – the emotional anchor in a relationship – and that women are creatures of emotion only and may be absolved of responsibility for upheavals in a relationship. Upheavals that men must simply weather. It’s time for these posters to go and for women to stop posting them. They owe it to their daughters. They owe it to their sons. They owe it to their lovers. They owe it to those who fought for women to stand on equal footing.  They owe it to themselves.

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2013 in Culture, psychology, Social

 

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When I held You

The moment I held you,
nested with your body,
wed thigh to thigh,
belly to back,
breath to your neck.
The moment I held you
The sigh, the sleep
my hand rising and falling
with each of your breaths,
you, my inspiration.
The moment I held you
when your body let go,
when your soul, let loose,
held to mine, soul to soul,
and I could no longer tell
whose soul belonged to who.
The moment I held you
when the distance disappeared,
when separation ceased,
when all became you and me
became we and naught else existed
but us and still you are all with which
I am filled.

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2013 in philosophy, Poetry, Uncategorized

 

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I want You to fill Me

I want you to fill me.

It is not that I am empty,
but I want you to fill me
so that our essence
is of the same truth
and our eyes
of the same vision
and our hearts
feel of the same blood.

I want to have my eyes filled
with your soul
and my ears filled
by your music
and my hands filled
with all the stars have lent
to be your body
and my mouth filled
with your sweetness,
able to speak only
your name.

 
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Posted by on October 8, 2012 in Poetry, Writing

 

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I Drown

World-weary Angel
ill of this earth
(full) of l(i)o(f)ve
and l(i)oving
in the moment
as the need
taking every hit
this world has
and still open
Angel with your
(he)art and wiles
designed for
dreams and
intoxication and
how do you do it
Angel? Melt the
soul of one
who needs melting
heal the
spirit of one
who needs healing
whole (s)he
who is broken
throw the life preserver
even as you sink
and smile and know
for love
to drown is joy.

I drown in love
Angel and I
live.

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2012 in Poetry, Uncategorized

 

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