Thwarted by Obesessive Single-Mindedness

If you read my other blog, you will know that I spent some money on art supplies. The spouse was almost okay with it, but when I mentioned buying a couple of field guides about Chile (one on birds and one on flora and fauna), he completely froze me out and made me feel like a naughty kid. He wouldn’t even come and look at the samples of the books I found online, he completely stopped talking to me or acknowledging my existence.

Okay, I know money is a worry, but when I have a purpose and plan I get quite single-minded. We are not speaking at the minute. I am more comfortable off in my own world. I could of course just order them but it wouldn’t be right. I have found scant information online regarding natural history in Chile, but these books are very comprehensive and contain hundreds of species and illustrations. The one book has shells and plants, mammals, sea creatures, birds, reptiles and amphibians, butterflies and moths. It costs $15 at

Blah. I hate being thwarted when I’m trying to get information. My own obsessions tend to take me over, but I honestly prefer disappearing in books to anything else in life, including being married.

Let’s have some clarification with a card.

“Forgiveness is the healer of the soul.”


He has a headache and is distant, she is offering him a rose and putting her nurse cap on to heal him with her touch. In a pig’s eye.

He is saying “She just bought a bunch of stuff, isn’t that enough? Harumph.”
She is saying “But honey I need to know, I need to see, I need to touch the world out there.”

I guess it’s a weakness if you need to buy a book to enlighten yourself. I spent decades not buying myself anything, not having any money or wearing anything but hand-me-down clothes. What rankles me is being treated like a “bad” nuisance of a child, someone who deserves nothing without an argument, someone who is worthless, someone whose ideas are dismissed as annoying nonsense, an endless, irritating burden.

Two intractable positions. I know I should forget about it, let it go. The publication date is old enough that I can try ordering them in from the library, but with hundreds of entries I wouldn’t get too far in a three-week loan period. I’m a browser, a fiddler, someone who consults and ruminates and consults again, thinking it all over, making notes, looking up further references, exploring.

I can’t stand it when people don’t get it, don’t understand the creative imperative, and the need to know. I like to disappear into my head at times like this, it’s more restful and peaceful there. I don’t have to argue or see the gloomy Sad Sack sighing and carrying on about how awful I am.

All for $15. That kind of hurts.

Later in the day….I decided not to be silly and ordered ONE book. With shipping and tax it cost $20. I told the spouse and he said “It was never about the money.”

(Much rolling of eyes ensues.)

Oooh, and she’s got English, Spanish and Latin names for all the wildlife in the book–it gives me more chance to track down things.



2 thoughts on “Thwarted by Obesessive Single-Mindedness

  1. I know this. I’ve had it too. It can feel soul-destroying when things like this happen, because it is as if those things we do in life have no worth (meaning that we have no worth also). And after such arguments, those things we battle for do not have the same excitement attached and feel empty. The great thing about getting this stuff is sharing it, for me, and if those around do not want to see it with the same enthusiasm, then my interest in it is lessened.

    I have to say I am lucky with the Dazzling One. He doesn’t always ‘get it’ in the same way as I do, but he always encourages me and tries to understand what I see in things and why.

    • Generally I am lucky with the spouse in that way, and he says it wasn’t about money, but it was, it definitely was.

      I’ve spent two months scrounging up information. There don’t seem to be many naturalists interested in Chile so to find a book with an extensive overview was like finding gold. Plus you get Spanish sites online where the information is hard to mine.

      Exactly my thoughts on sharing too. It can be quite a let-down if others don’t see. That’s one of the reasons you and I avoid forums these days.

      The spouse did the same to me with a small book on architecture I bought. It was a fantastic Dorling Kindersley overview with tons of photos and information and he did the same sulk and hover threateningly routine which ruined the book for me. It was all out of proportion to what I spent. That time it was a little more money at $28.

      This time he is not going to ruin it for me.

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