Lofty Standards

I lived my single life, including an ill-fated previous marriage, and sadly, all, yes all means every single one, of the other romantic alliances prior to this one, balancing on the narrow, crumbling, pinnacle of the moral high ground contorted in the most compromising positions your devious minds can conjure. It was exhausting.

I adore being above reproach, beholden to no one. There have been times, decades perhaps, where seemingly all of my conduct was reproachable. Good behavior just wasn’t satisfying. The trick to unconscionable bad behavior is beating casual observers to condemnation. One must be punctual in announcing one’s unfortunate actions, accepting all of the blame, and recognizing the flagrant selfishness inherent in doing the wrong thing, no matter how much fun it was.

I used to lie. Self-preservation was a big motivator. Explaining to one’s spouse how one’s clothes became filled with sand is a situation that demands an untruth lest one suffers a violent mishap. Don’t jump to conclusions. I walked in on a transaction involving prescription narcotics, on my kitchen table, at my apartment, next door to the courthouse,  between my illustrious former spouse and a fat man called Cisco, who dosed himself throughout the day with prescription cough syrup administered on, what was undoubtedly, an ill-gotten, sterling silver teaspoon. I was torn between the right thing and retribution. Retribution won.

It took several months for me to provoke my unsuspecting former spouse into a position to which I could transfer the fault of a failed alliance thereby extricating myself from a spot I should never have been in the first place. I knew better but I was lazy. I should have said, “Sorry I made a mistake; I am exceedingly fond of being right. I’m leaving.”

Sometimes doing the right thing is the wrong thing to do. The right thing, while often hard, can also be the path of least resistance, which makes it the lazy thing. I agreed to marry my former spouse against my better judgment. I could have rescinded prior to the “wedding” but I chose not to because I had said I would do it so I felt I should honor my word. Honoring one’s word is the right thing. In this case, it was the catalyst for a series of calamities that were unarguably wrong.

About elroyjones

Married, no children, responsibly self-directed, living happily.
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25 Responses to Lofty Standards

  1. The mental stamina required to stay on the perch would defeat a Spartan. The sheer genius involved makes Einstein’s theories look planar, Nietszche’s blatherings childish.

  2. It is possible to do the wrong thing when it comes to major life choices, and still do the right thing in most other instances. You can be ‘bad’ and honerable, polite, gracious, kind, helpful and charming, all at the same time. Life is funny that way.
    And just because society calls something ‘bad’, doesn’t mean it is.

  3. Ray Colon says:

    The first thing that happens when cautioned not to jump to conclusions is to jump to conclusions.

    This is the way life often is. For self-preservation’s sake: the lie, the transferring of fault, the constant battle to define right and wrong. Writing about these things in real terms makes for interesting reading.

  4. Oh, sister. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed reading this. Your bravery, your wit, and your ability to tell your own story so well, makes for fascinating reading. And I could sooo relate.

  5. So Longfellow was talking about you: . . . when she was good, she was very, very good, But when she was bad she was horrid. Cuffed and stuffed in SD, for an unfortunate adventure in Mexico? Please hurry with the post.

  6. Doug says:

    Wild oats and long ago outlaw days are these days becoming outliers. Years of zero tolerance, for even the most minor stray behavior, has raised consequences for our young “rebel without a chance.” Yesterday’s fuck up is today’s fatal felony. What does all this have to do with your post. Your resilience. The skill set, situational and self-awareness, moral parsing and understanding, that you brought to your circumstance is being bred out of our future brood.

    • elroyjones says:

      You nailed it, Doug. These kids don’t stand a chance because society will not tolerate errors of any kind. My mother used to tell us, “If you’re gonna play, you have to pay.” She expected us to THINK our way way out of things and was not willing or equipped to bail us out of the messes we found ourselves in. Everyone deserves a chance to be young and stupid.

  7. judithatwood says:

    Yes, you are resilient — thank everything that’s holy. So much of your story sounds like mine — you make me think hard about my llfe.

  8. gkinnard says:

    Where the hell are the Coen Brothers at? I’m pretty darn sure we have a film here!

    Glad you’ve lived to tell your story—Sis!

    • elroyjones says:

      I was such a little nincompoop. Always chasing the movie in my imagination thinking that my technicolor life was just beyond my grasp and if I could behave the right way I’d get it. When things didn’t work out to my liking, I was supremely pissed off and sought retribution, often to my own detriment. People were surprised at my capacity for devastation and I was too.

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