Friday, July 22, 2005

Getting the Last Word?

My cousin was recently telling me about the prank calls she and some of her friends make to a guy who was a jerk to one of the friends. I admit, I was in a juvenile humor that day, and it was hilarious! We giggled like teenagers over the story, then she offered her friends’ “services” in case I thought my soon-to-be-ex should receive such calls. I admit, that idea made me giggle too. But I told her no.

“Why?” she wanted to know, saying she thought I should get some sort of “revenge.”

“Ah, but the best revenge is to live well,” I told her.

But I don’t want to live well for the sake of “revenge” or for making someone else feel bad, or so I can “flaunt” my happiness. That would make it all very hollow. I don’t want revenge. I just want to be able to live well for the sake of life itself. There are days when I feel it is the greatest of all possible gifts just to be alive, and I don’t want to squander that. So I want to live well.

I competed in Lincoln-Douglas debate at a few tournaments in college. The format is fairly simple: the Affirmative presents a case, the Negative rebuts, the Affirmative rebuts the rebuttal and restates the case, the Negative rebuts again, and the Affirmative states a conclusion. One key thing to remember in a debate is that if your opponent makes a point and you fail to address it in your next turn, you concede the point. This makes it so that the Affirmative presenter has a better chance to conclude strongly; after all, they get the last word in the discussion. (Strangely, I always did better when I was assigned to the Negative presentation.)

Real life is not like debate; there are no such organized rules, and the person who gets the last word is not most likely to “win.” In real life, it doesn’t matter who gets the last word. It doesn’t matter in the slightest. What matters is who gets the best word.

I know what is true from my perspective, and I know what I strongly believe. This truth I carry as a shield. Is my word the best word? That I can’t say. But I believe it to be true, and that means I don’t need the last word at all.

8 comments:

ilwrath said...

But I believe it to be true, and that means I don’t need the last word at all.

Fascinating that you'd build an entire blog to distribute the last word to your fan club, then, isn't it?

You can use words and a sanitized truth as a shield, if you choose. But the blood of slaughtered relationship is on your hands, as much as it is on mine. And the real shame of it is, it didn't need to be this way. If you'd have put half as much effort into fixing things as lying to me and maintaining your "inertia" we probably wouldn't be in this sorry state.

Bainwen Gilrana said...

If I were concerned about having the last word, I would have made a blog of the sort where people couldn't comment, or only people on a select sock puppet list might comment. But you may speak here freely, which should tell you something.

Understanding is a three edged sword, as the Vorlon said. I never made any claims of being wholly in the right. But my perspective of the truth, from any angle at which I look at it, is enough for me. I can say with full honesty that I did everything I could do, everything I knew how to do, and it was not enough.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to get ready to meet my "fan club" upon the morrow.

Mellon said...

"Fan club"? Some would call these "friends". Perhaps you should look into the concept.

EscapedCatChild said...

Last word, last word, blah blah blah blah blah. Blah. Blecchhh. Enough. As a charter member of Bainwen's "fan club"; or as Mellon so eloquently pointed out, a "friend", I have to say that you don't sound very nice. Or mature. Or even likable. Did she marry you for who you pretended to be? I'm sure she was very dissappointed when your actual personality emerged. We all have our faults, and Bainwen surely has a few somewhere; but the way she writes, she seems to be a nice and decent person. I don't even know you, Ilwrath, and I don't like you at all! You have a very bitter soul. I don't blame her for leaving the marriage if you're so surly. (Surly being an understatement.) Give it up and move on. Take a look deep inside, and work on being a nicer human being. Maybe the next woman you end up with may be the one. Obviously, Bainwen wasn't. So go away and start your new life without her. You'll both be better off. Go on, now. Git. Scat. Say bye-bye. Move along; these aren't the droids you're looking for.

ilwrath said...

uh-oh... Someone on-line doesn't like me at all. :) It usually takes me a few weeks to get that kind of welcome wagon when I'm not trying. Your warm reception makes it very tempting to stay.

But it was never my goal to turn this into a warzone. (If it WERE my goal, I could have spent 5 minutes and written a nasty little shell script to spam the living daylights outta this place, but that's not my style.)

I just needed to get a few things off my chest. This is one of very few ways I can reach "Bainwen" at the moment, so after she decided to drag me into the discussion here, I felt invited to use this place to clear my own heart of a few things that needed to be purged.

As stated elsewhere, indeed, truth has three edges. In this case, though, I don't believe it to be a three-edged sword, as much as I believe it to be a two-edged sword and an entire separate knife, which is several blocks away. It's not really for me to say which blades are which. Everyone will have their own opinion.

To borrow another B5 quote, while we're going geeky.... "No one here is exactly what he appears." (I should be preaching to the choir here, snopesters...)

I'm not really a bitter person. I'm quite sure I come off that way when dealing with my divorce... But, you must remember that there is always going to be a lingering animosity between two people, when one realizes that the other has been lead on for over a year.

Personally, I was hoping "Bainwen" would go out and face the real world and be more brave and assertive. An insular community (and let's face it, a 'blog is the most insular community you can create!) doesn't really help toward those ends, though. I don't wish bad things to happen to her. I do wish she'd understand and acknowledge the pain her actions (or in this case, inactions) cause others... But I don't think that's going to happen, either.

So I've stated my peace, and indeed, it's time for me to vamoose. (I think that's the only one you missed, catchild!) I showed up here because I was still seeking closure. In a demented sort-of way, I think I have that, now.

stephen: Wish I could have gotten to know ya better. Sorry for kinda messing up the launch of your friend's blog.

mellon: Nothing you've said is even close to relevant. I suggest you find a brain.

b/t: I don't think I have anything more to say to either of you at the moment.

rest of snopesters: Catch ya on the other side of the net.

Bainwen Gilrana said...

I just needed to get a few things off my chest. This is one of very few ways I can reach "Bainwen" at the moment, so after she decided to drag me into the discussion here....

Ilwrath, if you have attained some form of closure through this, then this is good and I am glad for you.

But saying that posting in a public forum is one of the few ways you can reach me is ludicrous. You have my email address, phone number, and address. I have received neither email, nor phone call, nor visit, nor Pony Express message.

I created this blog so that whomever was interested could come and read about whatever was running through my mind when I wrote. That's kind of the point of a blog. Sometimes it will be about you and the breakdown of our marriage. Sometimes it won't. Of course I'm only presenting my side of things. And you are doing the same for yourself. First person limited perspective is a troublesome viewpoint for an author to write from. But as humans living out our lives, that's all we've got.

Oh, and I do have friends who aren't snopesters who might be reading this. My community is much less insular than you might think.

EscapedCatChild said...

Oh, good grief. You have now lost that last .004 oz. of dignity you had left. Farewell, Ilwrath.

Mellon said...

Nothing I said is relevant, Ilwrath? How so? She has friends, in case you didn't notice this fact. Guess what? That's pretty damn relevant.