Tag Archives: compatibility

He Said, She Said.

He said God didn’t interact in the lives of humans.

She was sure that God did, though she wasn’t clear on exactly how, or when, or what God was doing.

He was a Democrat, but didn’t vote. She was a registered Independent, voting whenever she could choose a viable candidate.

He believed in abortion as part of a woman’s right to choose, and had encouraged women he knew to have them in the past.

She was fervently pro-life, and considered the right to choose a foil for the right to abort.

He had chosen vasectomy as his means of birth control. She’d used the sympto-thermal method, which had included periodic abstinence.

She loved to walk outdoors, but her profession kept her inside 90% of the time. When he wasn’t cooking, he was outside.

He loved dogs, cats, and birds. Her cat allergy was prohibitive and, though she’d always wanted a dog, both her neighborhood and property were not amenable.

He was built of short, bulk muscle, and preferred large motor activities like weight lifting, sailing, and heavy land maintenance. Hers was a small motor gift, expressed on musical instruments and utilizing the tools of visual art.

He was open ended, preferring to go with the flow. She needed closure, almost obsessively so, not resting until achieved.

He enjoyed hip hop and other contemporary music styles. She would choose country over hip hop, every time, but preferred everything from the classical masterworks to ballads to blues.

He was a medical professional. She was a creative and educator.

Her love expressions were gifting, problem solving, and verbal encouragement. While his love language included gifting his was almost exclusively physical release, and she could count on one hand after six years the number of times he complimented her even if strangers lavished praise.

He liked the house cool to cold, often complaining of feeling hot. She had a bit of Reynaud’s, and required a warm indoor environment to keep her fingers fully functioning.

He was a recreational alcohol and drug user, and self medicated regularly. She took prescriptions to treat migraines, one of them with a history of altering mood.

He was an introvert. She was an ambivert.

He regarded talking as a one sided means to vent. She preferred productive conversation and active dialogue.

He enjoyed reading about history and the care of animals. She preferred reading about the current states of society, health, and the cosmos.

He addressed multiple tasks as they came to mind. She made lists, and crossed off tasks as they were completed.

He preferred keeping his personal life details private. Her imagination led her to question the veracity of his disclosures.

He was fiercely in need of making all decisions on his own, including those which she believed were her exclusive domain. She was the most independent woman she knew.

He preferred to live within a small sphere of his own influence, rarely seeking answers. She was constantly curious, attracted to the speculative universe of unexplored possibility.

He resisted all forms of perceived control. She perceived his resistance as a stubborn need for absolute power.

His behavioral standards were focused on self comfort and sustenance. Hers were built around self protection and preservation.

His, from early childhood; hers, from every aspect of her social realm, theirs was a trauma bond.

He said. She said.

In spite of everything and against overwhelming odds, they had found themselves unable to break free of that which had kept them intersecting in each other’s lives.

To call this a relationship was to stretch the limits of human definition. Only God could name it.

He said God wouldn’t. She was still waiting.





Copyright 1/21/23 Ruth Ann Scanzillo . All rights those of the author, whose personal story it is and whose name appears above this line. No copying, in whole, or part, or by translation. Sharing by blog link exclusively, and not via RSS feed. Thank you for valuing the rights of original material.




“I’m treading water.”

“We could both use a break from the ‘unhealthy pace’.”

“I need space to process feelings, desires, choices and goals.”

And, to add, the operative noun:



All euphemisms.

For never coming back.



The tenacious ones always get hurt.

Being a barnacle. Hanging on, trying harder, being mindful, vowing to practice good listening skills. Harvesting scraps, from dinner.

Denying how much the one so loved wants to leave.

He’d been talking about “incompatibility” for months. Good listening skills notwithstanding, I’d refused to hear it. Compatibility was a small thing; heck, I’d been “matched” for it at eHarmony.com in 2006, spending three weeks with a bona fide, raving psychotic. You laugh?

I thought that really caring, providing nurture, being helpful around his house, thinking of his needs first whenever I entered a store, trying to find solutions to an endless litany of problems, and being willing to drive the twenty three minutes each way to his place three, four times per week were the ways to show love. Oh, and, the big one: forgiving him all his sins. Past, and present. Repeatedly.

I was mistaken.

In the end, everything I said or did, and how I said and did it, drove him away. He couldn’t stand being around me. He only wanted me there when I wasn’t.

And so, he treated me in kind. I often found my words dismissed – grammatically and syntactically correct texts, each one requiring an intolerable twelve seconds to digest – deleted because there were just too many of them; my overall behavior frequently subjected to declarations tinged with sarcasm and outrage; sweeping generalizations about what was “normal” regularly put up as the barometer against my every act. And yet, to sum it all up, this was “just me”, and who was he to try to “change” me?

By now, with the single exceptions of downhill skiing, skydiving, scuba, performing surgery, and giving birth, everything about life had happened to me. There’d hardly been an experience to which there hadn’t been at least some tangential connection. I’d hiked to the top of Mt. Washington, reeled in a mahimahi off the Honolulu coast, and played on stage with YoYo Ma. Taught competitive marching band (not very competitively, being a poet and aesthete), choir, chorus, hundreds of strings, scores of private students, and coached/produced/directed childrens’ drama ten times in ten years. In 1984, traveled alone to Scotland, England, France, Germany and Switzerland. Written and illustrated three childrens’ books. Bought my own house at age 29, my own cello at 28, and my own Steinway at 57.

But, being dumped as a single woman, at age 61. That smelled more like terror. Who wanted an old woman, for a partner? Surely not an old man. Men were largely unteachable, to begin with, unless groomed by a registered Suzuki instructor by age 4; how could they be expected to adapt to anything, by this time?

I suppose that, just like I myself declared in the musings of a prior piece, beginning again at age 61 might entail going more solo than ever before. That multiply published author, as she traveled the college keynote circuit, never made mention of either a husband or even children. But then, the tiny one, in the bookstore. Carefully laying out all the major novels as her world for the remaining winters of her solitary existence.

So, what did I want? And, what would it be? Serving at the soup kitchen, on Christmas day? My own mother had regularly helped do the very thing, every week in the final few years of her life. She died, anyway, at age seventy six, not a day older than she was at seventeen.

Ask, and ye shall receive. But, isn’t it better to give?


I’m tired of giving. Giving up, that is – most of my entire self, for another (but, keeping the house, dammit. The only thing I hadn’t done was build it, for God’s sake.)

Maybe spreading love around is the secret. I’m a sprinter anyway, after all – good in short, intense spurts. For the long haul? The biggest load since the space shuttle crossing country on a flatbed.

No matter that the shuttle altered life on the planet as we all knew it. The shuttle was never intended to win friends or influence people, or get tucked into bed at night between the dogs and the warm, familiar embodiment of romantic idealism.

Even as a child, I was not well liked. My own mother found me irritating. And, she was quick to say so. I bore every, single trait inherited from her husband which she never knew until after he’d married her.

So, time to go.

Or, stay.

Tonight, I’ll be at my house. It’s warm, inside. Been mine, for thirty years. Plenty of space, to fill with perpetually collecting reminders of everyone who’d ever been next to me in the room, now to sit alone and think.

But, just don’t ask me to feel.

For that, I would need a really exquisite, carefully selected, and truly exceptional metaphor.





© 11/26/18   Ruth Ann Scanzillo.   All rights those of the world’s most rejectable woman, whose story it is and whose name appears above this line. Thank you for stifling your self satisfied derision.



The Merely Un-Enlightened.


*Originally posted November 15, 2014 – Rescheduled for reposting on March 29, 2016.


August, 2014

I adored the boy. Adored everything about his sensitive, electrifying personality, and the sight of him, all healthy and alive and real, not destitute in the gutter. But, he, distinct from my image of him… that reality was jarring, and jostled my senses. I would learn to find that he carried within him a fundamental lack of acceptance of the As I Am, and probably, across those past many and joyful days, had really come to me only as a respite from an atmosphere he’d described as intolerable.

As such, I’d fulfilled my role, for him; however, his actually giving me anything that might have brought what I needed may, also, have been pre-destined to be short-lived – just like the three lovely weeks those 30 years ago that had meant so much to me and, now to be realized, so little to him.

In plain English, when I lay in bed that night, I’d said to myself: “Given his repeated references to my ‘thinking out loud’; being ‘caught in the mind’; and, his most unflattering characterization of my swift, reactive personality….. his pontificating need to endlessly laud the virtues of Mindlessness and Disinterest ( hours at a time, over a period of days, toward which I applied my mind’s full capacities to grasp), I am left to [yes] think: “You know, if you extract my unlimited Internet access, my enticing electric Clavinova with the multiple presets and delay features, the guitars, and all my food, plus my willing reimbursement for household work (in which I duly shared, lest you think I sat by merely watching and barking orders)….would he have any desire to ride his bike to my house just to be with……well…me..….? ”

I concluded that the answer was: “No.”

Because, by his Master Teacher’s definition, “I” did not exist.

Only the god in all of us exists, he’d said. The god in him, with all his specific needs so expressed (and, defended)….but, the god in me, those needs either un-acknowledged or labeled “nasty”, perhaps petty?, all ultimately dismissible. And, he would persist to exist, in the fullest expression of god, but not so me – because I was merely Self, the product of my own, limited mind.

My adored’s needs very definitely did exist – his need to extract himself from all perceived negative forces; his need to identify flaws in the allegedly un-enlightened’s behaviors; all of that…..but, as soon as my needs attempted audience in the discussion, I was reminded that “I”, as a self distinct, did not exist.

Yes; my darling of 30 years ago had morphed into an Ego in minutes, accusing me of many things, among them being frustrated with my desire to “handle and touch” him.

Though I’d simply said: “Sex aside, don’t you ever just want physical contact for affection’s sake? “,  I was not to be heard. “You might receive a hug.” He would hear only the voice of fear in his own head, which declared: “She wants to have my body, and she shall not.”

Everything had pretty much exploded at the moment when I decided to define my parameters for the sharing of provided goods. These were met with the litany of each of my flaws, in succession.

He’d railed against me, from all directions, pronouncing me crazed and spiraling (how does one “spiral into mania” in print, exactly?), declaring that “we never would have made it all those years ago, either.” Because I was a split personality – half Christian, half sinner.

To which, now, I can only respond:  If a human alive exists without duality in his or her nature, let him step forward and speak; If, as the embodiment of the god in all, there exists one, pure person  – without need, without ego, and irreproachable – let him stand in judgment of another, as Christ was so characterized. In the meantime, I will wait, in my fatefully split state, and in every further facet of my multiplicities, in the silence of my own, equally-real illumination.


© Ruth Ann Scanzillo

8/2014.  all rights reserved. Thank you.