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[That poem in the previous was from a collection called Poems of our Moment.]

Here's a question raised in my mind, but an old one actually, by the Mad Astronaut story.

If you are jilted/cheated on/losing your lover to another, do you in you blind rage and grief want to shoot/pepper spray/mallet:

a) your lover,

b) the lover's new or alternative lover,


c) both, but if so, which more?


( 35 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 11th, 2007 07:45 pm (UTC)
d) myself?

I'd say the new lover, because I would blame them for what was really an issue between my lover and myself.
Feb. 19th, 2007 02:59 am (UTC)
"Don't laugh--you're next!"
Feb. 11th, 2007 07:55 pm (UTC)
It depends on the context. What's the arrangement between me and my lover? Is my lover a slimeball who professed eternal, singular love to me while sneaking out the back door? That'll be his skull in my hands (as shown in the icon).

Did the other person know my lover was involved, supposedly solely with me, and deliberately insinuate herself between us? I will make that person's life a living hell. However, if she didn't know I existed, no fault to her side.

If prearrangements have been made (we're poly, we're already broken up, we didn't promise exclusivity), no pepper spray for anyone. Some party invitations might be torn up.

Without any other context, the person I machine-gun first would be my lover.
Feb. 11th, 2007 08:51 pm (UTC)
Neither, as long as the new lover cooked and contributed to the house bills.
Feb. 11th, 2007 09:24 pm (UTC)
c) both,
but my lover's new lover more. i certainly feel that it's easier to hate a person you're not in love with, especially when he or she is aware of your situation and fully understands that his/ her actions will hurt you. i think psycologically it takes some of the anger and blame off the lover gone astray and it's a kind of self-defense mechanism in regard to the relationship.
Feb. 11th, 2007 10:03 pm (UTC)
I'd want to go after the lover, but I'd probably just remove them from my universe mentally. Of course, if the fates decided to balance the rat bastard's karma, I'd like to be there to watch...and laugh. Or I might write a story in which they figure as a victim. All the satisfaction, none of the prison time.
Feb. 11th, 2007 11:40 pm (UTC)
Yeah, cutting people out of my head is what I do in real life, as opposed to my revenge fantasies described above. No relationship woes are worth driving 900 miles in diapers, much less standing in a courtroom (as a defendant, anyway).
Feb. 12th, 2007 12:29 am (UTC)
I've actually gotten paid to use an Ex or so (as well as some really bad bosses) in stories. I love makng money by using them. They don't know they are dead, and I'm happy. Works for me.
Feb. 11th, 2007 10:43 pm (UTC)
If I caught them at it
No, not even then. I thought the astronaut was out of her orbit, and I'd certainly give preference to the false lover, not my rival. But that isn't why guys get into fights in bars, is it? They go after rivals. Likewise Mercedes McCambridge and John Crawford, or was it Barbara Stanwyck in Johnny Guitar. The locus classicus, or would it be Aida, for female/female deadly intent. But really I'm not like that./ I once had a heart to heart talk with my lover's wife and his new lover (woman) and we all discussed what a lovely fellow he was. That was in Feb. of 68. Things were different then. We all loved each other.
Feb. 12th, 2007 06:24 am (UTC)
Guys Get Into Fights In Bars
Because they like fighting.

There's usually other stuff going on, but there's always that.

Feb. 12th, 2007 01:30 am (UTC)
Both, but the new lover more. I think it's because I wouldn't have any pre-existing loving feelings towards them (unless it was someone I knew) and I'd be more willing to forgive the person I was already in a relationship with.

I realize it doesn't make sense, but feelings are often irrational.
Feb. 12th, 2007 01:42 am (UTC)
I don't see how anyone could answer this question without knowing the details. What ties of love and loyalty connected you and your lover? What promises? What relationship did you have with your lover's lover? Was either of them cruel to you? How cruel? Did either of them deceive you? How?

The only time anything like this happened to me, my friend told me that we were living the oldest story in the book; but it seems to me that the details of our story are so odd that it becomes a different story. It makes a difference that my husband's lover had been my dearest friend for thirty-seven years before she became his lover (and for fourteen years before I became his lover); that I consented to their relationship; that I loved her and believed she loved me. It matters that it was my friend, and only my friend, who insisted that my husband no longer loved me. It matters that the falsehoods he told me were lies, while the ones she told me were, apparently, delusions, which, she said, she believed because she needed to. It matters that his falsehoods were meant (among other things) to protect me from pain and to prevent my leaving him, while hers were meant to cause pain and to drive me away from them both.

If any of those details were different, so would be how angry I am at each of them, and what I wish I could do about that anger.
Feb. 12th, 2007 03:54 am (UTC)
I have to say that if I could generalize this to any losing-my-lover situation, if any violence is inspired by it, it would be (would have been, because I don't think about things that way so much nowadays) to myself. So I have to say d) also.
Feb. 12th, 2007 04:31 am (UTC)
It depends on how old you are.

If you are young, you shoot your lover. You are taking revenge for her perfidy, which is a personal insult against you, your manhood, your love-making abilities, whatever. Their new lover was merely the instrument. Maybe you go out and have a beer with him, and grouse about how them dames are all alike.

If you are old, you shoot your lover's new lover. Because 'love' is as temporary, contingent, and mutable as any other sublunary thing, all lovers may be unfaithful, it probably wasn't an insult anyway, and even if it was, responding to an insult is a silly waste of time. Instead, you shoot your lover's new lover, as a practical matter, reducing the pool of rivals by one.
Feb. 12th, 2007 06:21 am (UTC)
The Question Shows Such A Lack Of Imagination
Why not

c) several random strangers you pick off with a sniper rifle from a tall building.

d) The President of the United States <=(Note for US Secret Service: this is a joke).

e) several prostitutes you pick up in red light districts over a period of years.

f) an oboist.

g) everyone at your workplace after taking them hostage.


The possibilities are endless.

I mean you want everyone to know how upset you are, right?


Feb. 12th, 2007 06:40 am (UTC)
My initial reaction was neither, at least as regards the notion of commiting some sort of mayhem. But as far as wanting to rail against one, the other, or both is concerned, it would really depend on the details of the situation. For instance, is the new (or alternate) lover a stranger, or a trusted friend? That alone would make a world of difference.

Feb. 12th, 2007 09:38 am (UTC)
Well, if you're going to go to all that trouble, you might as well do both. As well to be hung for a sheep as a lamb (as they say around here)!
Feb. 12th, 2007 03:56 pm (UTC)
And Why Stop There?
I ask you.

Feb. 12th, 2007 11:49 am (UTC)
I'd befriend the new lover, then seduce him/her.

This nearly always works, plus there's no jailtime. Unless someone then decides to kill ME.
Feb. 12th, 2007 02:30 pm (UTC)
The only way I'm going to be mad at either of them is if my lover lied to me -- otherwise I'm just sad (or mad at myself) -- or, more likely in my case, hoping to meet and adore my lover's other lover as well.
Feb. 12th, 2007 05:19 pm (UTC)
I guess shooting Reagan's no longer an option, huh?
Feb. 12th, 2007 05:30 pm (UTC)
So interesting how the passage of time can affect one's responses to this type of thing; both the situation really happening and the hypothetical question about the situation happening.

When I was much, much younger I would have been tremendously hurt and betrayed, and immensely jealous, and would probably have struck out at both (so, choice "c"). As someone else commented, probably the third party first simply because I would have seen them as "taking something of mine".

Now I think I would still be hurt but would recognize that there are a zillion ways to look at any situation and no one to blame, really, and would just try to determine if this was a one-time mistake or a long-suppressed tendency that would, now it has been outed, continue in a consistent way. After that I would try to determine if I could live with said tendency. None of these responses would involve violence to either person, though I might take the writers way out and plot revenge in a story, on a particularly tough day.
Feb. 12th, 2007 05:41 pm (UTC)

When it happened to me in college I beat the crap out of MYSELF, which in retrospect seems like the poorest choice out of the available targets - but also the easiest to catch and the least likely to call the cops. I was more truly pissed off at my lover, but I only had violent fantasies about the rival, because I didn't know and love her so she could easily become a caricature in my imagination.

She was a caricature in real life. Rebecca Pratt. What a bitch! Now, 15 years later, I sill get a rise when I think of her. For the guy I feel nothing.

I used to be so jealous I couldn't be in the same room with a boyfriends ex girlfriend from like Elementary school or whatever. Now my husband and I happily share a wonderful girlfriend. In fact I'm in Thailand for two months and skype with them in bed every morning. Goes to show that people change.

Not Rebecca Pratt though - She will remain a bitch until the end of time.
Feb. 12th, 2007 05:55 pm (UTC)
Strangers of a Train
How about we trade victims? I take care of Rebecca Pratt for you. You handle my landlord for me!
Feb. 12th, 2007 06:07 pm (UTC)
Re: Strangers of a Train

It's a deal!

Actually - I was operating a big cool ride-on art piece at Burning Man this year, and there were two girls in line who were obviously on Ecstasy and just crying and hugging each other like long lost sisters. It turs out that they we're big time junior high nemesis (nemisesises?) Apparently it was the kind of childhood trauma that really sticks with you. Like if they had to say who they most hated in the world they might well have said each other, though they hadn't seen each other in 15 years. They had litterally crashed into each other (bike accident) in the middle of this fabuluos carnival - both of their lives having turned out okay despite the others best efforts on the playground- and they decided to drop it all at once and be best friends. It's incredible how much stored tension they obviously were releasing - like setting down a backpack that you've been carying, forgotten, forever. It was beautiful.

Rebecca Pratt, I wish you well.

Feb. 12th, 2007 07:13 pm (UTC)
You left out a choice.

Speaking from experience? Myself.

I don't know if that's the case particularly often - sod it, he doesn't love me I can't give him what he needs he'll never let go of her, I don't want to be here anymore, how can I go with a minimum of fuss and bother? - but it does happen.

Leaving that option out, however, and looking specifically at your choices, I'd have to go with a).
Feb. 12th, 2007 08:06 pm (UTC)
This seems somewhat appropriate:

Sir John Suckling. 1609–1642

Why so Pale and Wan?

WHY so pale and wan, fond lover?
Prithee, why so pale?
Will, when looking well can't move her,
Looking ill prevail?
Prithee, why so pale? 5

Why so dull and mute, young sinner?
Prithee, why so mute?
Will, when speaking well can't win her,
Saying nothing do 't?
Prithee, why so mute? 10

Quit, quit for shame! This will not move;
This cannot take her.
If of herself she will not love,
Nothing can make her:
The devil take her! 15
Feb. 12th, 2007 11:27 pm (UTC)
I usually start wanting to do in b, and then, when I get calmer, realise that a is the actual asshat.
Feb. 13th, 2007 12:49 pm (UTC)
Me too. Love is blind. It can't be my darling's done this. Somehow that creep has hypnotic powers, or used force, or lied lies. Years later you think, no, not really.
Feb. 13th, 2007 03:15 am (UTC)
Guess Hillary's betrayal - lie to the NY voters that she wanted nothing except to be Our Senator -- twice! -- applies here, right?

Love, C.
Feb. 14th, 2007 03:39 am (UTC)
Your old lover, who did you wrong. That treacherous bitch, or bastard.
But what if it's an imagined wrong? This girl apparently had no relationship with her command pilot, she just had a crush on him, although maybe one he encouraged. The tubing, the garbage bags, the pepper spray, the wig? I'd say somewhat suggestive of a mind to murder.
My point being, how do you deal with a doomed crush? If the guy or girl has an active partner. Do you wish for their death? Do you hope they beat the living crap out of the object of your affection, and he or she sees the light? In other words, how much evil do you wish into somebody's life, in hopes of picking up the pieces? (This in itself, of course, the kiss of death, the rebound effect. He/she feels unworthy, and you must be a loser to be interested.)
Feb. 14th, 2007 01:40 pm (UTC)
Re: Astronaut
This is perspicuous, and you are perspicacious: it was the wrong case for the question posed. Yes, this is as you state -- a doomed crush, in which the crusher gets the idea that the crushee would be all hers/his if the awful other could be got out of the way. Obviously the Other is a bastard/creep/Svengali/enslaver, and as soon as I have made the ultimate sacrifice of deleting him/her at the risk of my life or freedom, I will be seen as the savior. Hopeless and hopelessly common.

Indeed probably more of your desperate mental life can come to revolve around the Other than around the supposed object of your entranced affection. Yike! A long sea voyage? A trip to outer space didn't do it though....
Feb. 28th, 2007 06:40 am (UTC)
All of the above in succession. First myself. Then days later her. Weeks later the both of them, but in the end, me.

Years later, Chinese Astrology even though it wasn't opted.
Apr. 27th, 2007 12:15 am (UTC)
A choice between B or C, and the default would be B.
May. 15th, 2007 02:48 pm (UTC)
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( 35 comments — Leave a comment )