INTERN has been quietly working away on a novel for the past year, which she is trying very hard to complete before summer. INTERN and Techie Boyfriend are also in the process of paring down their stuff so they become nomads (i.e. shed pesky strictures like "rent" and "utilities" so they can continue to not have normal jobs and also possibly find ultimate reality). These two activities collided yesterday in a way that really gave INTERN some insight into her beloved Techie Boyfriend's mindset.
In the morning, INTERN was throwing giveaway clothes into a bag when Techie Boyfriend showed up and immediately became alarmed (OK, totally freaked out) by her heartless methods:
Techie Boyfriend: Wait, where's that wool sweater? The white one?
INTERN: You mean the nasty yellow one that used to be white with the half-unravelled sleeves? Gone to the Free Pile!
Techie Boyfriend: YOU PUT IT IN THE FREE PILE??? But-but-that's the sweater you wore all the time when I first met you! When you were hitchhiking and it was your only sweater! YOU HAVE TO GET IT BACK!!!
INTERN: Oooooh boy....
Later that afternoon, Techie Boyfriend convinced INTERN to let him see her latest manuscript revision. Against her better judgement, and perhaps to make up for the morning's trauma, INTERN acquiesced.
Techie Boyfriend's terrible trials were not over yet.
Techie Boyfriend: Wait—what happened to the first chapter?
INTERN: It wasn't the right place for the book to start anymore.
Techie Boyfriend: YOU CUT IT???? But that's how the book STARTED!!!
INTERN: (gleefully) Not anymore!
Techie Boyfriend: AAAAAAAUUUUUUUGH!!!!!!
Now, Techie Boyfriend is, in fact, quite a valuable beta reader, and his suggestions have often saved INTERN from veering in terrible directions with her long-suffering WIP. But he doesn't share INTERN's cold, cruel, and (to him) terrifying approach to editing, which (for this project) has mostly consisted of declaring everything utter garbage and starting again. When Techie Boyfriend looks at INTERN's manuscript, he sees INTERN. INTERN just sees a pile of words that aren't good enough yet, or a truly derelict wool sweater that looks like it was peed on by llamas.
INTERN wonders if she and Techie Boyfriend will ever sort out this difference. Maybe it doesn't need sorting out. In a weird way, having somebody else be sentimental about these things makes it much easier for INTERN not to be. As long as one person's mourning the darlings, the other person's hands are free to sharpen the editorial knife.