In a post-cum-article innocuously called ‘To Read or Not to Read‘ I journeyed into the sorrow of a young woman making the final arrangements to empty the house she’d grown up in with her parents and brother. There’s eight parts, and I’ve read at least half of them now. The one linked above is about grappling with the decision to read her mother’s diaries. I have, over the years, journalled intensely, then informally and now, not at all. I have always wondered about the etiquette of the expectation of privacy, and should that be knowingly (and it is ALWAYS knowingly in my opinion) violated.
A while back, whilst tidying papers, I’d left a small sheet of paper on the kitchen table in the loft. Whilst having a shower, the BF found, and read this sheet of paper, which was written in a moment of passion. I use passion, but I mean the dark stormy fury and annoyance for which I’m known, and try to contain to the privacy of writing. For some bizarre reason, I keep these notes, as a reflection of my moods perhaps. It was a very emotional night.
However, back to the path I plan to take this post in. There is a paragraph in Olivia Judson’s To Read or Not to Read that speaks to me.
There are amusing comments on her suitors. One was “rather attractive, wrote well, but too intense and always convinced he was correct. We had violent arguments.” Another: “His solid presence and kind face and helping me to be cheerful. Bringing me beer and champagne and flowers. Dear sweet man … But he shares none of my interests. Doesn’t like reading or books, and I don’t know what he thinks about.” Another is “Very attractive, but somehow too wholesome.” And there’s heartbreak: “I adored that wretched man. He is hideous and small and unkind, but was like a snake and charmed … I was never so miserable in my life.” Another man caused her to write: “Oh God, what misery and sadness. I didn’t want to do anything except weep. I did that fairly well.” (Five years later, however: “He was very drunk by the end of the evening. Full of self-pity and himself. Really rather a bore. I couldn’t see what I ever saw in him. A middle-aged paunchy Communist.”)
I’ve often felt the need to summarise the thoughts and feelings after a failed romance. Now, at a time that is separated from the heat of the emotion of a break up. I pitched this concept to the BF and it spun off into the concept for a website called Letters to my ex. I can see it being a huge viral success, as people anonymously (well, even with only first names, it would still appear somewhat anonymous in the world wide web) releasing their anger, or anguish. Of the petty disagreements or arguments. Of venting to others. Perhaps of the things you’ve learnt, the mistakes that have helped you find the right sort of person to partner with.
I think my snippets might be a little less poetic than Olivia’s mothers.
Things like ‘He just oozed sex, to the destruction of all the lives he touched’ and ‘The charm that made him interesting enough to pursue was inevitably the undoing of the relationship. It’s no longer witty on the n’th repeat’.
‘He thought his intellect was beyond compare. He disapproved of the reading of anything fictional. A authentic minimalist, one thing he didn’t think to flaunt for ‘cred’.
What would your one line snippets be about past loves? What do you feel about the privacy of journal.