“So tomorrow we move mom and dad to the new place. I’m inviting you, do you want to come with us?”
I look at my husband. I had some loose plans to tie up a few last minute things, and to pack for my own trip to my parents’ home. Plus, I’d be told to remain in the back seat on most thing having to do with the relocation process of his folks. I’m stung, still licking my wounds on this matter. Yes, I do understand that DH wants to “protect” me from his crazy parents… but I’m a big girl. I wanted to help. I don’t like being told, “You can’t help.” It’s akin to being told, “You aren’t capable.”
“How long will you be gone?” I ask.
“Probably all day…” he goes through the proposed schedule for the next day.
“Meh… I don’t know, it’s a long day, and I have a lot I need to do here…”
“OK,” he says with a shrug. I’m not sure if I detect disappointment. I wonder if he’s asked to just be nice, or if he truly wants my company. But then I think, I don’t care. He kept me out of the loop thus far, why bother including me now?
This is the backdrop that launched me into a spiral.
I don’t know why—but by yesterday evening, my patience veneer had cracked.
We were approximately one full week back from our vacation. DH has been very busy tying up all the loose ends of moving his folks. He works hard all day, and passes out on the couch each night from exhaustion. Not only is it physically exerting, it is also mentally and emotionally challenging. One of the parental units has been resentful and bitter about the move, and seems intent to drag everyone else down as well before it’s all said and done. His wonderful patience and mercy gifts have been tested and tested again, I know this. He quietly and unflinchingly takes the slings and arrows directed at him with a martyr-like demeanor. I had vowed, promised myself, to be a helpmeet to DH through this process, even though I was told to stay in the background and be his support and good listener. I was the one person to whom he could freely unload his frustrations at the end of each day. I submitted to his wishes on how to handle this.
But I miss him. I retired from my job because he told me it was time for us.
Maybe it’s because I saw a teeny sliver of light at the end of this tunnel of responsibilities that stretches out before us. I got a little hopeful. I wanted to talk about what the near future looks like for US, plans for travel and fun together, the reason we retired… even though I realize we are still a ways from having everything neatly tied up. It’s very difficult to deal with an undetermined time: 1, 2, 3 months? A year?
“What do you think about us doing that bigger trip we had spoken of in October?” I diplomatically asked my question. From the look on his face, I knew immediately I’d asked the wrong question at the wrong time. Of course knowing I displeased him makes me uncomfortable, and in turn defensive and bitchy. I hate to be wrong… to displease anyone… I know I need to get over this.
“I don’t know, maybe we can do some small things, it just depends on how things go…” He is clearly not in the mood to discuss this, noncommittal, which the reasonable side of my brain understands, but the bratty side of my brain doesn’t like. But I try to remain reasonable as I address him.
“When do you think we’ll be in a position to make plans together, you and I? Will you ever feel unburdened of these responsibilities, able to put focus on US?” My snarkyness comes flying out of my mouth drenched with sarcasm—“EVER?”
Now his face is clouding visibly and I know I crossed the line. The Kamikaze in me now just goes for the suicide mission. Instead of pulling back and leveling off, I just dive bomb in.
“I guess it’s like always—you won’t put me, or US, as a priority in your life. And I don’t know if I ever can count on that happening. I just get this feeling that you will ALWAYS have other competing ‘responsibilities,’ that will take precedence over US. I’ve dropped everything to make plans for US, and I’m sitting here feeling like I’ve been put ‘on hold.’ It’s hard.”
At this point the tears start. Thank God. Because if my snark had kept talking, it wasn’t going to be pretty. However, I still had my questions, my insecurities. Will my husband ever be able to place his focus on US, on me, on our relationship? Again, insecurities of abandonment die hard.
“DD, what do you want me to say? We just came back from a nice trip together just last week? And in a couple more weeks, we’ll get to go away again. Did you have a good time with me? You blogged about not having a good time on the cruise. Do you even want to be with me?”
“Yes! This is what I’m talking about! And we have talked about what was going on in my brain during the cruise, how I felt I was walking on eggshells, and couldn’t communicate openly with you… and I thought we worked that out. I just need to know if we are going to truly be together, if we have a plan for this retirement? I can’t be shoved to the bottom of your “priority list,” stay on hold forever… otherwise, retiring was a bad idea for me, and I need to make my own plans until you are ready to do ‘US.’ IF you’re ever ready to do ‘US.’” The snark snuck back into the conversation.
He draws a deep sigh.
I know in my heart I’m sort of being unreasonable. There are things that have to be done. We have to step up and do them. But it’s hard when we’re not operating as a “WE.” And it’s really hard that he has a tendency to seem wounded and make me feel bad if I make my own plans while I’m waiting.
All I can say is that things didn’t get much better as we headed to bed. I lot of crap came out. Some of it was real, visceral, and some of it was exaggerated. How I feel his family has always put up a barrier to closeness with me. He wasn’t happy with some of what I said, but we at least went to bed in each other’s arms.
As we lay spooning in the dark, I ask.
“Do you really want me to go with you tomorrow, or are you just being PC by ‘inviting’ me?” I ask.
“I want you to go, but it’s going to be a long day… and I don’t want to subject you to that drama…”
“Well, I want to go with you… it’s just hard to think you are doing something to just appease me. I want to help, be part of your family, this is what happens when you marry—you marry your spouse’s family, for better or for worse; you don’t have to shield me from unpleasantness.”
I know that he appreciated my company today, and I was happy to go. During the day, he was acting extremely Dom. Almost obnoxiously, uncomfortably Dom, giving out some stern orders to me in front of his family. He triumphantly arched his eyebrow at me when I received several heartfelt compliments from his family.
On the way home with just the two of us alone for the first time that day, he demanded an apology and recant of my rant the night before. “My family does love you… two unsolicited compliments today, you heard it. Do you take back what you said? Do you admit you’re wrong?”
Ugh. I hate admitting I’m wrong.
But I did.
We still haven’t fully addressed this elephant in the room. Some people like having lots of responsibilities on their shoulders, it gives them a sense of being needed… sometimes I think DH maneuvers himself into a position to be that person, unnecessarily at times. He has an incredibly high sense of duty, which sometimes is very good, but sometimes is misguided, IMHO. There are others who can take over if he’s away, he’s not indispensable. Our children are (young) adults and capable of taking care of themselves, yet he’s ready to drop anything the moment they call with a whim or want (I’ve heard the phrase in parenting: “He/she had every need met before they knew they had one.”) He CAN prioritize “US” time, if he chooses. Why doesn’t he choose me?
I want to put him first, at the top of my list. I want our relationship to be priority, the one touchstone in my life. I want to support him in everything. I want to be HIS number one. I understand that doesn’t mean having him around 24/7, or that I’m his be-all, end-all. But I ache to truly feel that he thinks first of me and us, as he sets his priorities.
And I don’t think that’s selfish. I think that’s what marriage is. This is what I need. I need to feel like I’m his number 1.
Through my teens and twenties, I was a staunch tea drinker. I didn’t start to drink coffee until I was in my 30s, with the exception of my time as a student in Paris (the morning fare at our pension was always a bowl of café au lait and French bread–the combination of steaming hot milk and French roasted coffee is without equal anywhere in the world).
When I was overseas, the norm was for a tray of tiny espresso cups to magically appear in any meeting. I quickly learned that asking for tea instead was not appreciated, so I dutifully would take my thimble of thick, black coffee. It generally was already highly sweetened, and very potent. It was locally grown and roasted. It grew on me, and the smell of fresh brewed coffee was a good one. To this day, I prefer to prepare coffee in one of my stove-top espresso pots (I have several, from 12 on down to 2 cup servings), and I like it strong. I’m also grateful that there are some decent decaf coffees that still deliver that strong coffee flavor I have grown to like.
When Starbucks came on the scene, it took me little while to be willing to fork out a ridiculous amount of money for a cup of coffee. But the smell alerted me to the fact that we were dealing with some serious coffee here. It didn’t take long before I was ordering up my own Starbucks, which usually is only the robust coffee of the day (rarely can I justify the 400-500 calorie drinks). It’s a treat I give myself once or twice a week, often after yoga. I’m not much of a sitter unless I’m with someone else, which is a shame–for Starbucks has become the Parisian equivalent of a street café. When in Paris, all that is required to take up a seat for as long as you please is the price of a cup of coffee. People watching in Paris is a well-known pastime, and no one need have a newspaper, book, or electronic gizmo to appear legit when alone (I wonder if Parisian cafés now have wifi?). Open people-watching is completely and totally accepted and even expected. It was such a lovely way to pass your time in a world that tends to frown on leisure.
Today as I walked in to order my cup of java, I realized there is another reaosn I do like Starbucks, especially after yoga class. Although armed with their dine-alone electronic armor, most who hang at Starbucks are also engaging in a little surreptitious people watching.
May I posit that guys appreciate seeing a relatively fit woman in yoga pants? I just did a brief search for yoga pants pictures and there is a HUGE following out there of girls in yoga pants. There are some who clearly shouldn’t wear yoga pants out and about, and perhaps there’s a statute of limitations on what aged woman should wear them… I’m not perfect, but I’m toned, tall, proportional (and tucked :-) ) and have spent the past several years working hard on my weight and my fitness level.
‘Tis a nice feeling to have several sets of appreciative eyes on this 56 year old butt… here’s to squats! And here’s to Starbucks after yoga class!
(And DH’s tendency to want to smack my rear a lot more when I’m wearing yoga pants!)
Last night was… well, wonderful. DH made it a point to see to my pleasure in the most delicious lingual ways.
After an amazing dance in the sheets, we both slept amazingly well last night. Sigh… for morning would come quickly and we’d be occupied with a stressful task of relocating the elders.
Later this afternoon as he passed by my study, where I was furiously at work with other writing tasks, he paused and caused me to look up in expectation.
“I was just thinking…” he paused, dragging out his communication. I patiently waited for him to finish his sentence,
“I was just thinking… that…
OK, OK, what? I admit I was confused at his hesitation.
.I was just thinking…that you taste great.”
My mouth opened into a big, surprised O, and I shivered at his words. It resonated right down to my crotch. and I wriggled in my chair. He grinned and walked away.
“I’m a total puddle here, you know!” I called after him. I think I caught a glimpse of his smug and satisfied grin.
(Huge, ginaormous grin on my face…)
It’s always lovely to travel, see wonderful things, visit with great people, relax, listen to an awesome artist, and eat amazing foods. We got to do all these things and had a fabulous time on our short 5-day mini-vacation. As we were houseguests in two different locations during this trip, there would not be any sexy time because of DH’s sensitivities and need for privacy. And although we kept ourselves busy enough to go to bed exhausted each evening, the lack of sexual intimacy takes its toll on you. Truth be told, the lack of kinky, D/s, BDSM sex takes a huge toll on me (six months is a long time). There were some nice walks on the beach, wooded hikes, and extended times alone driving in the car (but traffic jams do lead to frustration), some hand holding and a little teasing now and then (in his jokester way– rubbing up against me in the airplane aisles, grabbing my ass), and also some short tempers now and then where we each took turns at being snappy at each other.
One take-away lesson though is the car parking scene. No, not THAT kind of scene. When an older relative attempted to guide her very domineering husband of 50+ years to a parking space, his sarcastic retort sounded just like my DH’s. Ladies, if you haven’t figured this out, MEN HATE TO BE DIRECTED TO PARKING SPOTS. It’s officially universal, it crosses the age barriers. I ALWAYS think I’m just being helpful and an extra set of eyes, finding that treasure of a parking spot! It has been one of the most
difficult areas of submission for me, to NOT tell him about a parking space, unless I’m asked. I’ve been scolded repeatedly for it. It is so, so, so hard to pass by many good spaces, or to spy one at a distance, and not report it. Apparently my relative couldn’t resist either, and her husband was just as unpleased as mine becomes.
I also submitted on the driving. We see no need to spend an extra $11 a day to add a second driver, so although the reservations are made in my name, and I like to drive, of late we’ve switched it at the rental counter for DH to be THE driver. That leaves me in navigator position, a job I’m pretty good at with an innate sense of direction. Sometimes DH questions my navigation skills, and I become sulky… since most of time I’m right. Except that time that Siri and I ganged up on DH, and we got in the wrong lane for a toll and found ourselves going through the EZ pass lane without a pass…
I do believe the majority of us think we are good drivers. I have driven around the US and abroad, and can negotiate almost any traffic challenge presented to me. I tend to “get” the unwritten traffic rules of a location, country, culture, and adjust my driving accordingly. I can be quite aggressive when need be. I prefer not to do left-sided driving, but can handle it. I had the great fortune of having learned a lot about defensive and strategic driving from a law enforcement friend (where I also learned the +/-4 mph fudge factor). I like to think I’m a good, safe, defensive driver, and a little fearless. I like to brag that I’ve never been in a wreck caused by me… and have had only a few dents over the years, mostly in parking lots with distracting children and poles that magically appear on my bumper. DH is a careful, deliberate and safe driver. I’m not sure he’s ever been in any type of car wreck. He generally stays right at or a little below the posted speed limit. If one or two or even three cars are trying to cut in front of him, he backs off and allows them (whereas I have the one cut-in rule, and only if you are polite and signaling). IMHO, he never learned the useful trick I learned about looking far ahead of you as you drive–gives more reaction time. Therefore he seems to be more easily “surprised” when driving, misses turns or can’t visualize entrances or run-out lanes. On dark country roads where you know deer abound, I wonder why he doesn’t use high beams. Stuff like that.
So, yeah. I kinda sort do think I’m a slightly better driver. I’m learning to not gasp aloud when DH drives, as this irritates him greatly. Sorry, it’s a control thing that’s hard to break. I keep telling myself that he is a SAFE driver. But the driving style differences can be a little tough on a longer trip like this.
DH defers to me on most of our eating options because frankly, he really doesn’t have very many preferences. For me it’s either I’m trying to stay on my diet, OR, I’m trying to go WAY OFF my diet and eat every regional food I don’t get at home. I have the technology to look things up, and he allows this. It sometimes leads to some indecision and detours, and we both get a little testy. When we were on one such detour I attempted to point out our route out of a parking lot when DH seemed to be talking over me in a rather stern way. “Would you please just let me finish talking and explain the route?” I snarled back impatiently. A second later I regretted my tone. I wished he would take me task. There were plenty of decent woodsheds along our route he could have taken me to. Eventually, after a cool silence, I apologize, he forgives. This is good, but not exactly the way I see a D/s relationship working.
Our reentry into home life has us both hitting the ground running, as our last CK is headed out the door. We’re both still a little travel weary, especially since a double bed (vs. our normal King) and no a/c during the trip weren’t always conducive to restful sleep. We’ve both been engaged in duties and engagements today that involved helping or dealing with others, so we haven’t even had time to unpack and unwind. I have no clue if there’s milk in the fridge, or how old the food is (left for CK and not touched). After CK drove off, I even suggested to DH that perhaps we needed our own individual decompression time for an hour or so.
One difficulty with submission at times is that during the rare moments I feel like he’s being a little bit of a jerk (or too much of a tease) I start to wonder if this is what I really want. Conversational gambits are very hard for me– in my attempts at submission, I allow him– and everyone else– to talk over me. I don’t push to be heard as I used to. It’s hard not to be heard. He is feeling obviously freer about letting me know when he wants me to stop offering my opinion or views. That’s hard too sometimes.
It’s tough not to have expectations… and I’m coaching myself to temper them. In just a few days time we’ll be in the thick of moving elderly parents, and I’ll be traveling in a week (alone) doing the same for my own difficult parent. It’s going to be tense and stressful, and I know that sexy time and especially creative play time will be unlikely. Although I know better, I just keep thinking that since February (surgery was early March), it’s been one thing or another that’s gotten in the way of the dynamic I so desperately want and need. Surgery… CKs home… Travel… Resettling aging parents… Some good things, many necessary things, and most stressful. I yearn for some time to spend on developing our dynamic of Domination/submission and kink. I feel like we’re losing relational momentum and I’m getting discouraged, often tempering disappointment.
Tomorrow is our anniversary, and as always, DH asks me what I want to do. It seems that over the years I usually think ahead, decide, pick the restaurant, make the arrangements, etc. I asked if he could please do that this year. He agreed. A moment ago, however, he came to review tomorrow’s plans to me, saying he’d be checking into which restaurant and letting me know… I have to check my disappointment, as I know that reservations are very hard to get last minute on a Friday night. But I’m just going with it, determined I’ll be happy and grateful for whatever happens, whatever he plans.
I just hope I can get beyond the “meh” feeling I’ve had all day… and the unfulfilled neediness I have had for 6 months for an intense BDSM scene and a more obvious D/s dynamic. The lack of it unfortunately has poisoned my mind into crappy thinking– “he wishes we could just be vanilla all the time…” or, “he doesn’t want to try BDSM or to ‘speak my love language…'” or “It’s all a hard limit for him.”
DH loves me and tries so hard, doing little things throughout the day reminding me of his love. He is trying, I know it. I love him too, but this vanilla complacency begins to grate on my nerves, and make me fidgety and unsettled. I hate feeling this “drop” but I know it’s in part the weight of what confronts us in the near term, entering back into stark reality after a lovely mini-vaca, and the compounded frustrations of putting this lifestyle I so desperately want on hold for six months.
I need to convince myself it’s all part of the journey, and that we’ll get there… I hope. I can’t forget to laugh and enjoy each day’s offerings!
I’m going to seem my “fantasy boyfriend!” (Uhm… this is why guys hate Yanni). Thanks, DH for being a good sport. Hold on tight– I may be up on that piano…
An eclectic fusion of ethnic sounds… He’s performed at the Acropolis, Taj Mahal, Forbidden City, El Morro in Puerto Rico. How fabulous it would be to see him in one of those amazing places! I’ll have to content myself with a mere US stage.
I was always in love with his 90s look… but he’s aged pretty well.
I like grilled cheese.
I like PB&J.
Because it’s with you.
Easy, fast, quick, yummy.
Gooey, basic, with little preparation.
I like slow-cooked barbeque ribs.
Because it’s with you.
Because it’s with you.
Slow, unhurried, long, and lingering.
Nibbles, licks, sucking deliciousness.
I like lobster with drawn butter
Sultry, salty, creamy, sweet
Expensive, delicacy, savoring, of the sea.
Opened, exposed, cracked, removed from the shell.
I love the smorgasbord of our love.
It’s one place I don’t need to be on a diet!
I crave the variety: the simple, the basic, the profound, the complicated, the sultry, the dangerous.
Please feed me a variety, sir.
…Grilled cheese and PB&J can get old…
So today was the day we ladies all dread.
Yep. That day. For me, because of having family history, some suspicious mammos, and biopsies, it’s quite the production. I have to drive to a major medical facility that deals with people at risk, and have the full-blown “Diagnostic Mammogram” and Ultrasound. The good part is that they read your results immediately and you are seen by your doctor the same day (and do biopsies if necessary). The bad news is this easily takes up half of your day.
Let me just say now that if this was a foretaste of nipple clamps, perhaps I’m not cut out for them. This time there was a strange little plate used during a few of the images that was designed to capture JUST my nipple and a little beyond. Yeah. They love that compression… and… well… I actually did let out a loud yelp. So embarrassing! The technician was wonderful, but explained to me that with the implants we’d be doing a few more images than normal; that some had to be with my implant “pushed out of the way” (um… I know my face registered horror at this thought, but it wasn’t as bad as I had envisioned), all the while admiring my new boobs and assuring me the scars were healing quite nicely. Then the “go sit and wait for a moment while we read the images” and the “come back in for a few more images (which of course always puts you on edge–what did they see??)
Then the ultra sounds, which is essentially how they do the baby ones, except it takes a LONG time! Gooey (warmed) gel all over you boobs, and someone stimulating them with the ultrasound wand for a very long time, searching for any abnormalities. You kinda can see the screen, see when they pause over something darkish, pause the image, snap a pic, then continue on looking for other darkish spots. This is the most nerve wracking, as of course I think all sorts of horrible things, and I just wish the lady tech would give me a little blow-by-blow.
Updating my charts with the nurse, I had to mention the tummy tuck and augmentation, of course. When the doc came in, she was full of congratulations over my having done this. It was such a welcome contrast from what I was expecting (i.e., to be judged, shamed, chastised for getting silicone, etc.–she actually was very pro-silicone). I said, “hey, 56, when would I do this? What the heck?” and she started asking me about the cost and was I happy (she was a fabulous looking 60 and said she was considering). As she examined my breasts in all the positions, she kept exclaiming, “these are fantastic! VERY natural. I can’t tell at all!”
Whoa. What an affirmation. This is a world-class surgical doctor at a major teaching hospital. I last showed her the TT scar, warning her that was one of the down sides. “That? That looks amazing for 5 months, and it will continue to fade…” Seriously– who do you get to show your boobs to, and get a compliment? In my case it’s my DH. He’s the only one who gets to see and touch them. And, well, yeah, out in the waves at the beach I flashed one of my nurse friends who also had BA done.
I told her it meant a lot to hear this from a “real doctor” (sorry, I realize my plastic surgeon is a “real doctor” but you get my drift– one who deals with medicine). I think I walked out a little taller.
Oh– and everything is great! I aced the titty test!
(Now–to get serious about this weight… Too many cheats this summer!)