My other girlfriend is an ex-Catholic
[This one could easily have been titled: Why You Should Never Want To Get Involved with a Music Writer]
Did you ever tell your girlfriend (or boyfriend, for the estrogen-inclined among you), something you're sure you've told them before, only to get a response along the lines of, "that must have been your other girlfriend"? Of course, there is no other girlfriend, and they're not Catholic either. Guilt, like jealousy, is something we would all be a lot better off without.
All sympathy points aside, the life of a writer - any artist, for that matter - is generally not an easy lot. You've already got the ideas in your head, but there is no finite measure of time which applies to the task of stretching it out into a full-fledged work you can be satisfied with. And mind you, this is even before some editor (internal or external) gets their mitts on it, trying to second-guess the often-elusive and fickle tastes of the anonymous audience you'e hoping to connect with.
Although I've yet to see any statistics on the subject, I suspect that writers - music writers, specifically - may well be the highest ranking demographic among single males in the United States. That's a fairly glum speculation, coming from a guy who has written - compulsively and obsessively, for nearly three-quarters of his life so far - but a quick rundown of some of the oft-cited reasons for these breakups does imply a set of rather limiting options.
Wanting the unattainable
Y'know, in general, most people seem to be attracted to things that they don't already have, which lends a degree of excitement to the pursuit of one's pleasure. The key to not screwing this up is knowing what you want, before you try to claim your prize. Think really hard, before you start chasing something you don't actually want. Put it this way - if you don't know what you're going to do with it once you catch it, why go after it in the first place?
Of course, everything I'm talking about here only applies to people with healthy agendas. If you're just in it for the potential conquest, or you have deep-rooted issues (like class differences, or with the opposite sex), then you leave a trail of broken hearts and bruised egos in your libidinous wake. Just remember that none of us are young and attractive forever, and you always get what you pay for. Nature exacts its' own particularly cruel manner of vengeance that tops anything we can do to each other. Maybe I'm biased, but I think it goes even worse for those who trample the hearts of artists, because we can ultimately turn our personal tragedies into more commodified art, and maybe even turn a buck talking about the people who think they want to be like us, but have yet to take the first step.
J. Free is a Mpls-based music critic who has been dumped twice in the last year by the same woman, who was herself a Catholic the first time, and an ex-Catholic the second time around. It seems somewhat unlikely that they will try for round three. J. himself remains non-denominationally single, and stubbornly refuses to give up his wicked lifestyle, even though it has left him with more ex's than the Russian alphabet. He has never used the word "girlfriend" before this past year, although he has had plenty of experiences with dating Catholics, which he will undoubtedly do again.
[General Disclaimer: that tag at the end was also written several years ago; I did in fact manage to keep most of my wicked ways, and find a very nice girl with a Catholic background, to whom I am happily married.]
Here's what was going on in my head back then; quite possibly, some of it may still be the case:
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