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Carpe diem... but NOT at other people's expense.

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MonteLukast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-20-09 11:07 AM
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Carpe diem... but NOT at other people's expense.
That's what I take away from the affair.

I have one very important commonality with RH: my dislike of boundaries when I'm on a quest for personal development and rich life experiences.
Johnaries said something key: never underestimate the drive to live life to the fullest. Never underestimate the longing for ecstasy.
That's one reason this affair was so repugnant. It was a misuse of ecstasy. It was using the tools that make happiness, in a way that denies somebody happiness.

EE said it: others see their joy and plenty, and want a piece of it themselves. The proper thing to do is, of course, wait for an invitation. Earn the Edwardses' trust first, and then smoothly integrate into their lives as a friend.
But what if that invitation is never given? What if those feelings never turn your way? Then you miss out on a great friendship, and all the personal growth and memories that go with it.
With so much at stake, my first impulse is to go for it. But that, as it turned out, was exactly what RH did. EE will from now on be a little more suspicious, a little less generous with people. You will have to jump through more hoops now to earn her trust and friendship. Which ruins it for me, too, in perpetuity; for due to EE's example, everyone's boundaries will become tighter and even less surmountable.

RH was clearly looking for not just a new lifestyle, but a better identity. She'd fucked up her life pretty good, and very likely saw a relationship with JRE as the personal transformation she was looking for.
We become who we are in large part through our relationships. There's a lot at stake: if you fail to earn the trust of someone you admire, if they choose not to give you that intimacy, you lose the chance for personal development. You lose your growth. And all you will be advised to do is to accept it and move on.

Where better to find a new, more joyful identity than in close relationship with the Edwardses! Whether as a staffer or as a friend... that abundance and optimism was palpable. That deep and sincere love for smart women and lively intellectual and philanthropic life. The ideal progressive family life, the ideal example that yes, liberals can get fabulously wealthy without being assholes.
I would certainly have been transformed by closeness to them... but RH grabbed all that joy and transformation for herself, and left no more for us. Leaving JRE, who'd failed to wake up before the damage was done, a withered husk in the process.

If I have any solace in this, it's that Elizabeth truly is growing and thriving. She looks even better to me than she did before her cancer. She and John have done an admirable job of keeping the kids out of this, and trying to stay involved politically as best as possible.

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